- Rules are meant to be broken, but guidelines can be helpful
- Many brides and grooms opt to pay their own expenses
- Parents often want to pitch in, and tradition dictates certain roles
- All parties should be happy with their level of contribution
Today, most people believe the couple should pay for their own wedding, especially if they have lived on their own for some time. Of course, parents often want to pitch in. Contributions should be negotiated according to willingness and ability, but the traditional divisions will offer some more guidance.
The Engagement Party
Traditionally, the bride's parents (although anyone can host) will throw an engagement party for their daughter and her husband-to-be, for the express purpose of welcoming him and introducing friends and extended family to the groom and his family and friends.
Although this isn't a requirement, it can be a wonderful way to get future wedding guests together to establish a rapport before the event -- familiar faces always make for a more convivial affair.
The Engagement Announcements
Long before the reception takes place or is planned, the parents of the bride are responsible for sending (and paying for) the engagement announcements to the local newspapers. If the groom is from another town, or his parents live outside the local paper's distribution area, the bride's parents should find out whether the groom's family would like the announcement to appear in their hometown paper as well.
Traditional Roles for the Bride and Her Family
Traditionally, the bride and her family are responsible for all planning expenses, the bride's attire, all floral arrangements, transportation on the wedding day, photo and video fees, travel and lodgings for the officiant if he comes from out of town, lodging for the bridesmaids (if you have offered to help with this expense), and all the expenses of the reception. The bride personally pays for the flowers and gifts for her attendants, the groom's ring, and a present for him.