In keeping with what I said in the last post, my husband, David, and I came to the realization that we had to be more careful about insisting on our own ideas for the wedding when our daughter and her boyfriend didn’t like them. Also, in terms of looking for a venue for the wedding, we decided that it would be good for the couple to go out and look at the rest of the sites by themselves so they could have more privacy to discuss openly, how they felt about each place. Then David and I would visit the places that were the final contenders. Before they went looking, though, the four of us got together to do the very important task of determining how much we would spend on the entire wedding and how much to allocate for each part of it.
This allocating of funds is one of the first things you should do. It brings clarity to all of your plans. I wish we had done this before looking for wedding sites because some of the places we looked at were clearly out of our price range. Once you settle on an amount, make that clear to the bride and groom. Money spent on a wedding is a very personal thing and, of course, differs with each family. Couples who’ve been working for awhile and have a healthy savings account, for instance, are in a position to pay for at least part of the wedding. And what about the parents of the groom? What should their contribution be? There are no hard and fast rules on this, so the best thing you can do is to get together with them to find out how they want to help and what they feel should be included in the ceremony or reception. They will be grateful to you for including them.
The next step is to divvy up this money. But how? We found several wedding sites online that helped us with this (more about these sites in the next post). We found a difference of opinion here, but most of them weighed in close to the following estimate:
Reception site, rentals, food, drink, cake 50%
Bride and groom’s attire 10%
Flowers and decorations 10%
Photography and video 10%
Gifts and favors 03%
Ceremony and officiant 03%
Of course, you can move money around as you wish, but this will at least give you a place to start. Also, note the following caveat: You should factor in 5-10 percent for taxes, tips, and extras. And, of course, the honeymoon, a wedding consultant and rehearsal dinner are not factored in.