We have often heard distressed exclamations from our couples like,
“I just don’t know what tradition is!”
or “I’m afraid of doing it wrong.”
or “I don’t want to offend anyone.”
We have come to realize that this all touches on thoughts of etiquette. The crazy thing about etiquette is that it is both constantly evolving and maintaining long standing traditions. So we decided to create a series of blogs about some of the more complex or sticky, areas of wedding etiquette. In this one we focus on ideas of budget etiquette and how to best navigate those conversations. To be clear, a wedding budget is comprised of ALL the funds applied to the event, not just what the couple is contributing.
Emily Post talks about the three c’s and how they can help couples create the wedding of their dreams more easily. If wedding plans are approached with the intent to have consideration, communication, and the ability to compromise, the journey is much smoother. Considering all of your options as well as your fiance’s, family’s, or friends’ perspectives can help you find solutions or creative ideas of which you may never have thought. Communication with all parties involved is KEY! When you allow for open communication, you avoid misunderstanding or awkward situations later. And finally, you should try remaining open to compromises. This blending of ideas can often lead to some of the most unique and fun details of an event!
When it comes to budget, the traditional responsibilities of who pays for what have evolved a lot. Today, only 30% of weddings are still solely paid for by the bride’s family. Nowadays, wedding budgets can be covered by the couple themselves or a mixture of both sets of parents or even other family or friends entirely. It is very important when discussing who will contribute what to the wedding that you are extremely clear. It is common for people to overestimate what their contribution capabilities are. It is also common to underestimate the actual costs of goods and services. There are two ways of framing outside contributions clearly.
“We wish to pay for these vendors up to x amount.”
“I can contribute x amount of money to the event.”
The first allows for contributors to offer flexibility in their amount while the later gives a clear limit.
Traditional etiquette states that those paying for the event are those who are inviting the guests. This is why many invitations state:
“John and Jane Doe cordially invite you to the wedding of their daughter…”
Traditionally, this also means those paying have control of the guests lists and final decisions. We say “traditionally” because times are constantly changing and this is something to be discussed. Here’s where the three c’s are crucial. You want to make sure when family or friends offer to help pay for the wedding you and they are completely clear on expectations.
Before we go, one last bit of advice. While navigating the wedding planning journey, your best guide is your priorities. These will help you flow through the twists and turns of planning. For instance, when discussing budget keep in mind the “type” of event you wish to have. Formal or cocktail? Brunch or seated dinner? When planning a formal dinner, couples should allot for 50-60% of their budget to be applied to the “per-person fees”. More people equals more chairs, tables, linens, centerpieces, plates, flatware, not to mention food and beverages. We know a lot goes into this events, and you can feel overwhelmed at times. Those are the times to give your Certified Wedding Planner with Infinity Events a call! Don’t worry, we can help!
The Infinity Events Team