How much does a wedding cost? And who pays for it? I won’t address the first question, because it’s too complicated, and the range is great.
But who pays for the wedding? Traditionally, the bride’s parents covered almost the entire cost, but that is rarely the case now. The reasons? More couples get married later in life, there are more second marriages, and the financial situation is better for some couples than it might have been in decades past. Also, young people are trending more and more toward individual freedoms and throwing off the restraint of rules and expectations from the previous generation. Additionally, in the last few years as economic conditions have been more difficult, many families simply have not been able to pay for the wedding on their own.
Statistics from a Christian Science Monitor article in 2003 indicate only about 20% of weddings are completely financed by the bride’s parents, a little more than 1/2 are shared by both sets of parents and the couple, and about 1/4 are completely paid for by the couple. These figures seem to have remained relatively constant to this day.
The bride’s parents most often pay for weddings in the traditional south, or if the bride is young.
One advantage to the shared cost approach – both families will have more a sense of ownership and involvement. The disadvantage? Both families have a sense of ownership, and there can certainly be tension and disagreements as relates to weddings and finances.
The takeaway: If expenses will be shared, be gracious and understated in your conversations with other families, and be clear about who is paying for which parts of the wedding and ceremony. Consider ahead of time possible areas of disagreement or changing costs, and be aware that many items have a wide range of possible cost.
Pre-planning and thorough discussion are in order here. Does the bride want flowers that may cost upwards of $1200, while the parents are figuring to spend about $500-$600? How about reception catering or the cost of hiring musicians for the ceremony or reception? Who pays, how much might it cost, and how does that figure into the way the families are dividing the expenses?
If you’re using a qualified wedding planner or coordinator, you can probably rely heavily on their experience and expertise to help solve some of these issues.
Some of you arrived at this article through our website, the Wedding Music Project. For those who arrived here another way – probably an internet search – we exist to provide low-cost, professional quality pre-recorded music for weddings.
Our arranger has 2 gold records to his credit, is an accomplished songwriter (one song was on a multi-platinum project) and years of experience arranging and producing music for a wide variety of corporations, publishing companies, events, and individuals.
If you navigate back to our home page, you’ll see wedding music for every aspect of your wedding – prelude, processionals, ceremony songs, recessionals, and more.
We hope this article will help you plan ahead, avoid some pitfalls, and work out the necessary details as you move forward with your planning. Have a beautiful wedding with wonderful memories!