Gold wedding rings, tiered cakes with icing, the long, white gown—all are traditions we associate with modern weddings. However, these traditions have roots in practical, romantic and odd ancient customs.
For example, the sweet, iced wedding cakes served today spring from more humble, flat “grooms-cakes” made by a family member. As young unmarried girls left the reception, they took a piece of grooms-cake displayed on the table and wrapped in a piece of bridal veil. The single lady then placed the cake under her pillow at night and dreamed of her future groom!
Dowries no longer exist in our culture. Also long gone by the wayside is the old notion that the bride’s family is financially responsible for the entire cost of the wedding and reception. Having your parents bear the entire expense of a wedding and reception is not a birthright. Their contribution is a gift and, with the skyrocketing cost of weddings, is has become commonplace for both sets of parents and the bridal couple to share in this major expense.
When setting your wedding budget, start by asking what amount, if any, your parents are willing to contribute. They may wish to cover some, if not all, of the services and items on your list. Modern tradition still observes the following financial allocations.
Beautiful weddings don’t have to be costly. How much fun can it be to have a fabulous wedding and then worry how to pay off the debt? Anyone can have a lovely wedding within their means by setting aside some money, planning ahead and prioritizing their choices. These money-saving tips can also help you stretch your dollar, without sacrificing quality.
One of the biggest hurdles for parents planning a wedding is that thirty years may have passed since they last planned a wedding. To say things have changed in that time is an understatement. Back then, brides were often unaware of the costs and the mother of the bride often made all the plans.
To give perspective, I often tell couples and their parents to consider the cost of medium-priced cars then and now. Then, a car cost about $3,500, the same as the cost of a wedding. Today, a wedding with all the trimmings still costs the same as a mid-priced new car, which can be around $25,000 to 50,000, depending on the locale.