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Budgeting and Finance

Who’s paying for what?
In a traditional wedding, the bride’s family would pay for the majority of expenses.
Much ground has shifted and today nothing is set in stone about wedding expenses. The bride and groom themselves often foot the bill (though this is often relative to their age) with financial help split between their parents.  

  • Communicate openly and regularly with your financiers about costs- money can complicate relationships horribly.
  • Plan and organise payments well in advance, leaving ample time for saving, crises and adjustments.
  • Overestimate expenses if there are any gray areas- that way you will have a pleasant surprise if there is any excess.

If you’re struggling to work out who’ should fund what, you can use the traditional wedding expense format as your guide and adjust it where you will.

The bride and family traditionally pay for; the engagement party, the groom's wedding ring, wedding announcements, the reception venue, catering, drinks, decorations, flowers and entertainment. The wedding cake and services, stationery, the wedding gown, the mother-of-the-bride's gown and all accessories, bomboniere and gifts for the bridesmaids, accommodation for bridesmaids and guests of the bride's family if they have travelled to the wedding.

The groom and his family pay for; the bride's engagement and wedding ring, the ceremony, wedding cars, the groom's suit and accessories, the marriage licence the brides wedding gift, gifts for the groomsmen and ushers, the bride's and bridesmaids’ bouquets and the honeymoon.

The bridal party should pay for; bridal showers, hen’s and buck’s night celebrations, wedding gifts for the bride and groom, bridesmaids’ dresses and suit hire for the groomsmen.

If you are creating a wedding on a tight budget there are a few trimmings that can help and corners you can cut.

  • Discover the virtues of DIY!  Involve your wedding party and guests. This can become a wonderful and hilarious bonding experience, have a kitchen full family cooking your wedding feast together and indulge in long afternoons cutting and pasting your wedding invitations with friends. Doing it yourself brings a down to earth and personal element to your wedding and it can really help to involve everyone in your wedding experience as they wouldn’t otherwise be.
  • Instead of hiring or buying your wedding utensils, borrow items from friends and family to bulk out your hoard of glasses, trays and plates.
  • You could cut back on the guest list, keeping it to nearest and dearest for the full blown wedding.
  • Decorate strategically. Leave out what isn’t essential and deck out areas of focus.
  • Create homemade invitations and save on postage by simplifying them so that they will only require one stamp to mail.  
  • Choose in- season wedding flowers.
  • Utilize the talents and contacts of the bridal party or guests! If you have an aunt with a catering company or a cousin who’s a DJ, reap the mates-rates shamelessly- you’ve got to work with what you have!!
  • Marrying in the ‘off-season’- between April and October will chop your prices considerably if you are happy to brave a little cold.
  • Have your ceremony on public grounds- while there is usually a cost it is considerably less them hiring a church or other venue.  
  • Avoid Saturdays- the most popular and expensive wedding day- and your bills should come down a little.
  • Go vintage on your wedding dress. What could be lovelier then wearing a re cut version of your mothers or grandmothers wedding gown?  
  • Morning ceremonies are a great way of fending off the extra costs as they are usually lighter on alcohol (other then an essential bottle of two of bubbly for you to crack) and they simplify the menu to manageable pastries and fruits.