Have a wedding that you can afford

Tendai Mbirimi

Never make your wedding budget from other people’s pockets, or assume that your parents will foot the entire bill, or worse still, ask for financial assistance from your guests.

If your financial position is not permitting, do not rush to wed, wait for the opportune time; otherwise you will live to regret it.

Most people believe that 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 but do not rely on contributions entirely.

Bride of the Month
Bride of the Month

The engagement party

Traditionally, the bride’s parents would throw an engagement party for their daughter and her husband-to-be (although anyone can host), for the express purpose of welcoming him into the family and introducing him to their friends and family.

Although this is not 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.

Roles for the bride and her family

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 at the reception.

The bride personally pays for the flowers and gifts for her attendants, the groom’s ring, and a present for

Bride of the Week
Bride of the Week

him.

The wedding reception

The bride’s parents’ are the hosts at the reception. This is their honour as traditionally, they pay for part, if not all, of the festivities. As such, their names have historically gone at the top of the invitations, and they play a special role at the reception, making the guests feel welcome and ensuring that everything runs smoothly.

Traditional roles for the groom and his family

The groom’s family is responsible for the acquisition of attires for immediate members of both families, the lodging of the groom’s attendants (if you have offered to help pay for this expense), and sometimes the costs of the rehearsal dinner.

Cake of the week
Cake of the week

The groom is expected to pay for the marriage licence and officiant’s fees, and buy the bouquet for his “date” (the bride), as well as her engagement and wedding rings and a gift. He should also purchase gifts and boutonnieres for his attendants. The honeymoon expenses are classically his, as the head of his new household.

The rehearsal dinner

The groom’s parents are expected to organise (and pay for) the rehearsal dinner. This can range in size from a small occasion for members of the wedding party only to a grand soirée (never to outdo the wedding, of course) that includes half or more of the wedding guests.

Cake of the month
Cake of the month

But they should never be expected to pay for a larger event than they are comfortable with. In some circles, the groom’s family offsets reception expenses by purchasing the alcohol; in others, the groom’s family pays for all the floral expenses.

However, way you work it out, make sure each party is comfortable with its contribution.

 

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