Today we welcome our regular Tuesday contributor, Catherine Alford!
In the past, the bride’s family used to pick up the tab for her wedding. However, many couples today are paying part or all of their own way to wedded bliss. This is due to a combination of people getting married later in life and the exorbitant costs of weddings, which might require some to split the bill with their parents.
That being said, who do you think should be the ones to pay for the ceremony and reception? Should it be the parents or should it be the couple?
Who Paid For My Wedding?
My parents paid for my wedding. I was only 22 years old when I got married, and I was only one semester into graduate school making a very small stipend. My (future) husband had just started a new job, and we definitely didn’t have the funds to pay for our own wedding.
Maybe it was the deep south culture or maybe it was just our age, but there was no question that my parents would be paying for my wedding. This was something they had mentioned on and off since I was a child. My mom even told me that she’d only pay for my wedding if I graduated from college, and I, of course, made sure that I did (for more reasons than just that!)
My husband and I did pay for our own honeymoon, but that was only a small fraction of the cost of our wedding. His parents paid for the rehearsal dinner and the flowers. My family took care of the rest. Our wedding was beautiful, and I know that it would not have been nearly as nice had I paid for it myself.
However, if I was getting married today at 26 years old with a healthy savings account and a good job, I would certainly have offered to pay for part of it. Maybe I would have offered to pay for the alcohol tab, the invitations, or my dress. I still would not be able to pay for the whole thing, but I would have likely offered to do something to help my parents out.
Of course, all of this would be a little easier if the cost for weddings weren’t so marked up or the idea of an expensive wedding weren’t so pervasive in our culture. Now, TV shows promoting brides buying $5,000 dresses as if it’s no big deal make everyone feel as though they “deserve” something out of a fairytale.
Many more levelheaded people would argue that a wedding is just a day like any other, a simple symbol of the beginning of your marriage. Perhaps the thousands of dollars people spend on their wedding would be better suited towards a down payment on a house or another investment.
All I can say is that I’m grateful for my parents’ generosity, and I hope that if my husband and I have a daughter one day, we can help her pay for her wedding.
I do realize that couples have their own opinions and ideas of how the process should work, so please share your opinions of who should pay for what in the comment section below.
**Lance’s Two Cents** As you all know from the wedding posts my fiancee, Tori, has posted, we’re paying for almost all of our wedding costs out of our pocket. We’re just having a small frugal wedding, but a big party isn’t that important to us. However, if our parents could afford a blowout party… maybe we would have taken them up on it? We’ll never know…