Here’s an email I just received from a friend:
My son just got engaged. They are planning a wedding for next October out of town, where his fiancee’s mother lives. So my son asked me if it is common — or expected or proper — for him to offer to have us share the cost of the wedding. I told him I thought it would be odd and could perhaps be offensive. But I thought you would be a good source of information on this.
And here is my reply:
It is very common for the groom’s parents to pay for part (or sometimes all) of the wedding. It is not unusual in the least!
It has historically been the groom’s family who pays for a rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding and possibly a brunch the day after the wedding.
But things have definitely changed.
Having said that, the issue of the finances is often difficult. One way that I have seen it more comfortable for all is if, rather than handing over a check to the bride’s family, the groom’s family pays for particular details… say, the band, and/or the flowers, and/or the alcohol. You get the idea. Sometimes each side pays for their own guests, or at least the groom’s side offers to pay for the guests that are over the original count they were “given” by the bride’s family.
And sometimes the groom’s family pays for half of everything for the wedding. Anything goes! But it is pretty customary to have the groom’s side involved financially.
And sometimes the couple contributes too.
In short… it all depends!
photo courtesy of Joy Moody Photography