The old rules still apply, experts say
When it comes to footing the bill for a wedding, most people know the cost of the ceremony and reception fall squarely on the bride’s family.
“Most of the time, I’m on the phone discussing payment with the bride’s mother. Occasionally, the groom’s family will pick up the cost of the venue, but not very often,” said Lauren Burns, manager of Windy Hill Wedding & Event Barn in Simpsonville.
That doesn’t mean the groom and his family get off scot-free. While the bride’s family pays for the wedding, bridal dress, floral arrangements, invitations and photography, the groom is responsible for the cost of the rehearsal dinner the night before.
“That involves two separate costs if they decide to have their rehearsal dinner here. One cost is for the use of the barn. The other is for the caterer that will provide dinner,” Burns said.
And that’s not all. Tradition states that it’s up to the groom to pay for the engagement party. It’s also the groom’s job to pay for the honeymoon—after they’ve forked out big bucks for the bride’s engagement ring. Grooms are also responsible for the cost of the marriage license and the preacher who officiates the ceremony.
But fear not. While the majority of couples still lean toward tradition, the rules of who pays for what aren’t set in stone.
“We’re seeing more couples pay for their own weddings instead of passing the expense onto their parents. That’s especially true with older couples,” Burns said.
Mom and dad should thank them for that. The average cost of getting married in the U.S. is now $38,700, according to WeddingWire.com.
While nearly all weddings are expensive, Burns has seen some that push the envelope.
“One bride rented a lift to hang drapes from our tall ceilings. The lift itself was $1,000 and I’m sure the drapes weren’t cheap,” Burns said.
Another expense for the bride and her family in their quest for the perfect wedding.