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It Takes A Village To Pay For A Wedding

Illustration for article titled It Takes A Village To Pay For A Wedding

The only thing that stresses me out getting married is how much a wedding costs. And apparently, reports The New York Times, paying for the celebration often falls on the bride, the groom, their parents and grandparents.


The Times claims that the average American wedding costs just "north" of $28,000. That's a lot of money — for a young couple, or parents, or grandparents. Traditionally, it's the bride's family who takes care of everything except the rehearsal dinner. But, Abby Ellin writes, a shift toward sharing costs "has been quietly under way for a number of years." Parents and grandmothers on both sides, as well as aunts, uncles and cousins, are all chipping in.

On the one hand, in this era of economic uncertainty, a family dropping lots of cash on a celebration (one wedding mentioned in the article had a $125,000 budget for flowers) doesn't make much sense — the couple could probably use a house, or a vacation, or, you know, cash.


But on the other hand, if getting married means making a non-blood-related person part of your family, it's something you should celebrate with your family. The question is: Does that mean your family should help pay? Part of me says no: Dues are paid in the raising of a child. Once that child is grown, the least she could do is buy those villagers dinner and a cocktail. Of course, the other part of me is broke. Still, I don't know that asking for financial help for a wedding is classy. (But accepting funds to make the day great? That's just polite!)

Burden of Paying for Wedding Bells Shifts [NY Times]

[Image by Arve Bettum/Shutterstock]

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Here's the thing with wedding costs, Dodai. Yeah, if you want even kind of a traditional wedding (which I did) it costs a shit-ton of money. But there's a whole lot of costs factored in there that "they" make you feel like you need to spend money on and no one, not even you, notices if those items are not purchased. Champagne flutes for the first toast? Special cake cutter for when you cut the cake? Specialty garter with his football team's logo on it? Printing ceremony programs? Out of town guest gift bags? Chair covers? First night together lingerie? Air-brushed make-up? Monogrammed EVERYTHING?

None of these very new developments are necessary to pull of the traditional day you've been looking forward to. There's a lot of middle ground between a princess party and a rolling-around-in-mud-before-going-to-town-hall-in-sweatpants-just-to-show-how-unimportant-weddings-are-day.