Wedding budget tips for the mother of the groom

Wedding budget tips for the mother of the groom

The wedding budget is an ever-moving target of who pays for what. This is confusing for everyone, including the mother of the groom.

Traditionally, the bride’s parents pay for the wedding and reception and the groom’s parents pay for the rehearsal dinner. The groom’s parents may also help the groom with expenses. This traditional approach, however, is giving way to many new and creative approaches. I know of numerous ways people have cooperatively financed weddings. There may be no typical arrangements for how expenses are handled in weddings today.

For instance, the bride and groom may pay for the entire wedding themselves. Couples are marrying later in life, after establishing themselves financially. In some of these cases, the couple and their parents may share expenses. Sometimes one set of parents pays for everything. Sometimes parents contribute to the wedding budget and then the couple makes spending decisions.

It can be a family affair, too. Grandparents, aunts and uncles, siblings, cousins and more may help with wedding expenses. Anything goes, really, in who pays for what in a modern wedding budget.

So before this event burns a hole in your mother of the groom pocketbook, here are a few suggestions for your wedding budget. These will help you remain fiscally sound and sane during your son’s engagement and wedding.

Estimate your own expenses

Your personal costs associated with the wedding may include:

  • Clothing
  • Transportation. 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, I recommend you double it.
  • Unexpected expenses. As with the “extras,” your wedding budget needs some padding. Plan more than you think you’ll spend.

Manage expectations

Talk to the bride and groom specifically about the wedding budget.  Good communication will grease the wheels of the entire wedding process and the future relationship. This is a good thing to remember.

If you are able to help, let them know how much you can contribute. 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. This is hard for moms, I know. Remember that everyone’s circumstances are different. Moreover, they change. This is reality. And this is a particularly good time 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

For reference, here’s what The Knot has to say about this.

Keep the wedding budget in perspective

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