Weddings are wonderful moments that happen only once in life and will be remembered forever. The only more important day(s) in your life will be the one(s) that you have a child. It is typically believed that a wedding day is the “bride’s day” but, fingers crossed, your groom doesn’t view it in the same manner because he is just as excited and anxious to be your spouse as you are his. However, whether the two of you are paying for your day on your own or are getting help from family, the financial responsibility is not solely yours. Therefore, in a certain way, there are two separate budgets for your wedding, although it is a single one at the very end.
There are obvious things that a bride or a groom is expected to cover the expenses for, such as the groom paying for the engagement and wedding ring for you as well as you paying for your dress and his ring. Things such as those go without saying but there are many costs incurred that future brides are not aware of who is responsible for. There are also items that neither of you have any responsibility for whatsoever.
If the two of you are paying for your big day on your own, chances are that you, like most couples, have yet to combine your financial accounts (and may never), which leaves two options in terms of payment and budget. One option is to follow how things traditionally go with you handling what’s typically expected of a bride and your fiancé doing the like. Otherwise, you could have a conversation where each of you says “I have X amount to contribute” and combine the funds in reference to all aspects of your wedding. That would mean that, no matter what cost what, you would not go over the agreed upon amount at the end of the day. You may find a $5,000 gown that you must have but if you’ve agreed on a $20,000 budget, you have to be willing to scrimp in and/or eliminate other items.
Whether your families are helping or it’s just the two of you footing the bill, the cost breakdown is pretty much status quo. Without going in to each item individually, aside from the following, any unmentioned items are primarily your responsibility: boutonnieres for the groomsmen, corsages for mothers and grandmothers, your bouquet, the marriage license, any officiant fees, rehearsal costs and honeymoon.
Obviously, that leaves a great deal to you from the invitations, photography, ceremony, reception and the list goes on. However, it will all be well-spent and make for wonderful memories years down the line. Thankfully for you, these days, typically the cost of the attire for your wedding party is their own. That is something to keep in mind when making your selections as, while groomsmen can typically rent a tuxedo or suit for a reasonable price, the bridal party has to actually purchase their dresses. Therefore, you need to be respectful of the cost and, although you may find the most flattering and amazing dress for $400, that’s probably not practical and you can certainly find something just as beautiful for much less.
Keep in mind that because your family many not be able to contribute or your fiancé can’t give as much as you, that doesn’t mean it is any less important to any of them. There are many brides who have to go without some things they would like to have. At the end of the day, you could get married by a friend who became a minister online in your backyard and the meaning would be the same. Wedding starts with WE in the sense of finances but, more importantly, because it signifies the end of “you” and “me” and the beginning of “we.”