Weddings have almost always been intertwined with old traditions and clear-cut rules.
Just as you must walk down the aisle with something borrowed, something new, and something blue, the groom’s family must pay for the rehearsal dinner while the bride’s must cover everything else. Right?
In recent years, the lines have definitely blurred when it comes to understanding who will be paying for what part of the nuptials, and if you’re planning your own Nashville wedding, it may be a question you’re asking yourself right about now.
So, who’s responsible for what when it comes to weddings?
It’s important for you to know who will be responsible for paying for every aspect of your special day — even before you book the wedding venue or look at wedding dresses. So let’s look at what tradition has to say about who pays for what.
The Bride’s Side
Traditionally, the bride’s family is financially responsible for a majority of the wedding expenses. This originally stemmed from the old days, when the bride’s family would provide a dowry to the groom’s family. Later, this tradition somehow morphed into having the bride’s side handle all wedding arrangements — including the check.
This can often include everything from the wedding invitations and flowers for the ceremony to the actual wedding reception — with a full course meal included. Parents of the bride also typically handle the ever-important wedding dress purchase, although sometimes the bride herself will take care of this expense.
The bride also will usually handle anything related to her side of the bridal party, as well as the groom’s wedding band and any gifts she might want for her bridesmaids or groom.
The Groom’s Side
Often, the groom’s family will handle the rehearsal dinner, while the groom himself will plan and pay for the honeymoon, the bride’s wedding band, and other, smaller expenses that often revolve around his groomsmen.
When there are bridesmaids and groomsmen to consider, each individual is responsible for purchasing their own outfits for the big day, especially when the bride and groom have selected specific dresses or suits. You bridal party participants are also responsible for anything related to the bachelor or bachelorette parties, including paying for you and your partner throughout the trip, if they decide to participate.
Your wedding guests are often responsible for bringing gifts — whether that be money or something off of your bridal registry — as a token of blessing for the happy occasion. They are also responsible for handling their own travel arrangements and hotel stays when necessary. Tradition tells us that gifts – especially checks – should be equal to how much they think the cost of each person’s meal (or meals if a couple is attending).
Navigating the Conversation
Like all things related to money, having conversations about who is going to pay for what is never an easy thing to do.
One way to avoid having any awkward conversations is to build a wedding budget that you share with both your family and your partner’s family. Budget conversations should start at the same time you begin developing your guest list, particularly because understanding your “cost-per-guest” early on will help you stay realistic about what you can afford.
It’s also important to note that these traditions were established during a different era. In 2021, couples are waiting for marriage until they are older, with more career and financial stability to be able to fund their big day without excessive support from either side of the family.
That’s not to say your parents won’t want to contribute financially to your Nashville wedding, but there’s no real rule of thumb anymore when it comes to understanding who’s supposed to be paying for what. Instead, have an open and honest conversation with both sets of parents, as well as your partner and come to an agreement on the overall budget ahead of setting a date.
How can we help?
As a premier full-service event planning and design company, JP Events can help you turn your dreams into reality for your special day. No matter what stage of wedding planning you’re in, we can help you design a day that’s perfect for you and your loved ones — and ensure it’s one you can afford, no matter who’s signing the check. Leave the heavy lifting to our hands-on team, so you can sit back, relax and enjoy the experience from start to finish.
About JP Events
“Since 2008, JP Events has served Nashville and the surrounding metro county areas as the premier all-inclusive event planning and production company providing full-service catering, cake & pastry design, floral design & arrangements, event planning & coordination, event rentals, bar & beverage services, and more. Whether its a wedding, corporate event, or special occasion, we curate every detail to perfection to ensure a seamless, effortless experience that leaves every client, and their guests, smiling.”