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How to… Set Your Wedding Budget

Get this out of way first thing – Set your wedding budget. We all know that figuring out who pays for a wedding can sometimes be a touchy and confusing issue. It is not as clear-cut as it used to be. Though there is no set way the bill has to be split, here is a traditional guideline of how wedding costs are customarily divided.

The Bride:

  • Groom’s wedding ring and gift
  • Gifts for the maid of honor and bridesmaids
  • Wedding Dress (and accessories)
  • Wedding Consultant

The Groom:

  • Brides engagement and wedding rings, and gift
  • Gifts for the best man and ushers
  • Marriage license
  • Officiant’s fee
  • Tuxedo
  • Boutonnieres
  • The honeymoon

The Bride’s Family:

  • Invitations and announcements
  • Wedding stationary
  • Transportation and parking expenses
  • The reception
  • Flowers for the wedding, including bouquets for the bride and her attendants
  • Photographer and/or videography
  • DJ or Band

The Groom’s Family:

  • Rehearsal dinner
  • Ties and gloves for the groom’s party
  • Flowers to be worn by immediate family members

The Attendants:

  • Cost of dress or tuxedo
  • Travel expenses, if the wedding is out of town
  • Gift for the bride and groom
  • Brides attendants pay for the bridal shower and Bachelorette party
  • Groom’s attendants pay for the bachelor party

Above all else, make sure the joy and goodwill that should accompany your lovely Pittsburgh wedding is not overshadowed by controversy or ill will over who is paying for what. Sensitivity to the financial capabilities of both families is imperative. Care should be taken to not cause undue financial burden and even embarrassment if the one who “customarily” should pay really can’t afford to. The groom and bride should take the lead in openly discussing with the families how to allocate the costs of “their wedding day” so everyone can feel comfortable with their contribution before and after the wedding. Clarifying the financial responsibilities early on will create a sense of harmony throughout the wedding planning process.

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