Location: Phoenix, AZ
How much did your wedding cost? About $165,000 (£148,200) for marriage prep and church-related costs, ceremony, and reception (including fireworks!)
What was the payment breakdown?
“My parents paid for basically everything. I paid for a few little ‘extras,’ like my bridesmaids’ gifts, but I lost my job a month after getting engaged, so I didn’t have an income for about half of the time I was wedding planning. I would have liked to contribute more, but it just wasn’t in the cards, and my parents were very generous. My husband paid for my engagement ring, our engagement trip to Canada, his tuxedo and groomsman-related items, and his portion of the bachelor party. My husband’s mum paid for and hosted our rehearsal dinner for 75 guests. My husband’s dad gave us $5,000 (£4k) toward our honeymoon. Everything else my parents paid for.”
How did you feel about it?
“It was just always understood that my parents would be paying, but I still often felt guilty about how much everything cost. But my parents, my husband, and I all agreed very early on that we wanted a big, fun wedding, and that’s just expensive! I am incredibly grateful that they were about to give us such a wonderful day, and really a wonderful ten-month engagement full of showers, wedding-dress fittings, a bachelorette party, etc. Since I wasn’t working, I would have had to forgo a lot of that stuff in the moment, and they made it possible for me to just enjoy it and not worry about the cost.”
Who do you think is responsible for paying, and why?
“I am incredibly lucky that my parents were willing and able to foot the bill for our entire wedding and beyond (engagement photos, etc.). If they hadn’t been able to, our wedding probably would have looked a lot different, and probably would have been postponed. My husband and I are aggressively paying back his six-figure student debt, so a lavish 200+ person wedding would not have been in the cards. I don’t think it is anyone’s responsibility, and I also don’t think that you should go into debt for it. If you can’t afford a big party, don’t have one. It’s the marriage that is important, not the wedding. (I know, I know, easy for me to say, I got both.)”
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