Who pays the bills?


Who pays the bill, family issues, you know what i mean...


       Some families still stick to the traditional, "Groom's side pays for..." & "Bride's side pays for..." but why? I am not sure. Especially with more than half of couples living together before marriage, it doesn't make sense.  Long gone are dowries, the bride living with Mom and Dad until the day of the wedding, and yet the Bride's parents still get stuck with 90% of the wedding costs. There will always be those parents that want to pay for their daughters wedding, who want to host it 100%, but more than likely they are wishing for help. Wedding costs have gone up, big time, and I am guessing you had no idea how much a wedding actually costs when you first started planning; yes, well, neither did either family.


       Grooms, how about talking with your parents and seeing if they would be willing to offer a little more financial help? If they are following tradition, then the flowers and rehearsal dinner should already be covered. But what about a smidge more outside tradition? Any little bit could help and make the relationship between the families stress-free and resentment-free.


       Keep in mind, this should come from you, not your bride. Discuss how it doesn't make sense that those traditions still stand, and anything more they could contribute would make YOU extremely happy. Make sure to ADD that if your bride knew you were asking them, she would be "so embarrassed," so if they could, please, not mention it her. Perhaps they can offer half, perhaps they could offer to pay for more than just the rehearsal dinner and flowers. Perhaps the photographer or the DJ or even just favors, as well. 


       Grooms,I know a lot of men (and us girls, too) get very protective of our families, with good reason, they are our families! However, try to remember something. You are about to start your new family, you and your bride. Part of being a husband is sticking up for your wife, protecting her physically and emotionally,  and vowing to stand by her side  So, when it comes to family issues, you may at first want to take up for your family right away. But take a second, breath, look her in her eyes and remember she is your family.  We may seem tough on the outside, but we are mushy on the inside and need your support.


A few options for splitting the wedding bill:


  • Traditionally speaking, the Groom's side pays for the Rehearsal Dinner. Sometimes there is a “Welcome Dinner” instead of the rehearsal, which is usually everyone from out of town invited, or those staying over night at the hotel. If this is primarily the Bride’s guests, the Bride’s side should pay. If the Groom’s guests, the Groom side should pay. If it is an even split, than it can be discussed since a Welcome Dinner is usually a small wedding sized event. If you have a Rehearsal Dinner and a Welcome Cocktail following the dinner with just some drinks and a few bites, then this can be the Groom’s side in total or perhaps the Bride’s side splits the Welcome Cocktail, but the Groom’s side still pays for the Rehearsal Dinner. Many ways to go about it! 

  • Traditionally speaking, the Groom's side pays for the flowers. However, floral bills are no longer $1500 or so, so sometimes it is more of a "donation" to the bill...

  • 50-50: Split costs down the middle. Add it up, divide by 2, 3, 4, or 10 depending on how many families will be contributing.


  • %: Adding total costs and breaking it up into percentages.  For example, lets say there are 100 guests: the bride's family has 50 guests, the groom's family has 30 guests and the couple' has 20 guests. Each pay for their percentage of guests. 50% of the wedding costs are paid by the bride's family, 30% of the total costs paid by the groom's family, and the couple pays for 20%.   


  • Almost equal does it: Each side pays for something of equal costs. For example, the Bride's family will pay for the venue, photographer and bar, which adds to up to be $13,005. The groom's side will pay for the videographer, caterer, and favors, which adds up to $12,895. The bride and groom pay for the extras adding up to $12, 499.


  • Contributions: If one side is paying, and the other cannot afford to match, then any type of contribution would be appreciated. Have the contributing side write a check to the other family in a handwritten note or card. I advise against saying they'll contribute  BEFORE knowing how much it will actually cost.  When the contributing side offers to pay for a vendor, make sure they know how much it actually costs! They might think a photographer costs $500 not $5,000.


Good Luck!