4 secrets to wedding budgeting for the mother of the groom

4 secrets to wedding budgeting for the mother of the groom

The ever moving target of who pays for what can cause confusion when the mother of the groom approaches wedding budgeting. Occasionally, expenses are shared for in the traditional manner: the bride’s parents pay for the wedding and reception and the groom’s parents pay for the rehearsal dinner and may help with the groom’s expenses. Occasionally, leaning toward rarely.

It may be safer to say that there is no typical arrangement in weddings today. The couple and parents may share expenses in every creative way you can imagine. The bride and groom may foot the entire bill themselves. Parents may pay for more or less than what was once customary. Sometimes one set of parents may pay for everything, or either or both sets may make a financial contribution toward the event that the couple may use however they choose. And it’s a family affair, too. Grandparents, aunts and uncles, siblings, and more can be involved as well. Anything goes, really, in wedding budgeting.

Before this event burns a hole in your mother of the groom wallet, and perhaps before you know who is paying for what, here are four things to do to manage your budget and maintain your sanity during your son’s engagement and wedding.

Estimate your own expenses

Your personal costs associated with the wedding may include:

  • Clothing
  • Transportation, and if airfare is involved remember you may be making more than one trip
  • Accommodations
  • Food and other expenses associated with hosting out of town guests
  • Gifts, for showers and more
  • Extras. There may be gestures you want to provide that make the occasion nice for the couple, other family members or out of town guests. Whatever you think you may spend here, double it.
  • Unexpected expenses. As with the “extras,” plan more than you think you’ll spend.

Manage expectations

Next, talk to the bride and groom specifically about wedding budgeting.  Remember: good communication will grease the wheels of the entire wedding process and the future relationship.

If you are able to help, let them know how much you can contribute, and ask where and how they would most appreciate your assistance.

If you are not able to help, be clear about that and don’t feel guilty about it. This is hard for moms, I know, but don’t. Just don’t. Everyone’s circumstances are different and to further complicate the matter, they change. This is reality and what better time than before they are married for a couple to learn to accept and deal with the real world.

Know the traditional expenses covered by the groom and his parents

Despite the evaporating traditions, it is still helpful to know what expenses are typically covered by the groom or his family.

The groom customarily pays for:

  • Engagement and wedding rings
  • Marriage license fee
  • Officiant’s fee
  • Corsages for immediate members of both families
  • The bride’s bouquet
  • Groomsmen’s accomodations, transportation to and from the reception and ceremony, gifts, boutonnieres, ties and accessories not included with tuxedos or other rental packages
  • Bachelor party or dinner, unless hosted by the groomsmen
  • His own tuxedo
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • DJ or band for the reception
  • Gift for the bride
  • Honeymoon

The groom’s parents traditionally:

  • Host the rehearsal dinner and pay all expenses associated with this
  • Pay for their own housing, attire, transportation
  • Help the groom with expenses as they are willing and able

Keep wedding budgeting in perspective

The most important thing to remember, and this applies to everything associated with the wedding, is that it’s one day. Only one. However wonderful it may be, the future holds unending opportunities for you to help your children, and perhaps your grandchildren, establish themselves in life. Keep this in perspective and your pocketbook will remain in tact.