Let’s Talk Money: Wedding Gifts, Who Pays for What & More

Ian RamirezWedding Planning, Wedding Tips

Let’s talk about money! It’s not always the easiest topic of discussion to have, but there’s also no denying that money is a component heavily involved in the entire wedding planning process. From establishing a budget early on and deciding who will pay for what to guests thinking about the appropriate amount of money for wedding gifts, it’s something that will always be discussed. 

If you’ve been following along on some of our prior blog posts, you likely know that we like to cover every single aspect of planning your dream wedding. That could mean providing inspiration from previous weddings held at our venue. It could be planning tips to ensure you avoid any unnecessary stress. Or it could even revolve around the pros and cons of deciding between different times of the year for your big day. The one common theme throughout is making your entire wedding planning experience as stress-free and seamless as possible.

In any case, this week’s blog will take a deeper look at how money plays a role in so many different aspects. With that being said, let’s hop right in and talk money!

The photo in the thumbnail is courtesy of Jason Smelser Photography.

Wedding Gifts

We’ll kick off this week’s blog from the perspective of those attending the wedding as a guest. We have all been there before. You’re going to a wedding, but unsure of what to get as a gift. The couple has a registry online, but then you also question how much you should actually spend on the gift. Should you just do cash or pick something off their registry? All of these are valid questions and are ones that plenty of people ponder, so if you find yourself in this position, don’t worry!

Long story short, wedding gift etiquette is a bit of a gray area, as there truly is no right or wrong answer. After all, there is no set amount that is recommended to give, but rather it’s more about the thought. Having said that, find something within your budget that you think the couple could use. Additionally, another rule of thumb you could go by is based on your relationship to the soon-to-be newlyweds. You’ll find yourself being more generous for a direct family member tying the knot, as opposed to someone that you’re not as close with. In the end, there’s no exact answer to this question, as it really is the thought that counts!

Who Pays for What

Just as there’s no “set in stone” rules for buying wedding gifts, the same can be said about paying for the actual wedding itself. There are certainly some traditional rules that have been around for quite some time, but that doesn’t discount the fact that plenty of couples are making up their own rules based on what fits them best. For the sake of simplicity though, in this blog post, we’ll analyze finances from a few different perspectives, as the actual options for the cost breakdown could easily be endless.

Traditional Approach – As I mentioned above, there is certainly a traditional approach to the finances that has been around for decades. Does every couple follow this same pattern? Not necessarily, but there’s no denying that it is still quite common. While you’re likely aware of the general breakdown with this approach, here are some brief details. Traditionally speaking, the bride’s family covers the bulk of the cost, including the wedding venue, catering and various other vendors, such as photographers and videographers. Meanwhile, the groom’s family is largely responsible for the rehearsal dinner.

Couple Covers the Cost – Another approach that’s been used involves the couple (getting married) covering the cost of the wedding. This could be a good fit for couples that have already established their professional careers and would like to control every aspect of their big day, as well as those that may be having their second marriage.

Split Costs – While every couple’s situation is different, a third possibility is a mixture of the two listed above. Whether it be an even 50-50 split or possibly a 25-75 split, this approach would have the couple paying part of the bill with the parents doing the rest. 

To sum it up, is there one perfect strategy for dividing up the costs? Not quite, as it is always largely going to be dependent on every couple’s individual situation. The best piece of advice we can give would be to discuss it with each of your families and do what makes the best sense for everyone involved. Just as we discussed with the wedding gifts, there really is no one right answer.

Establishing a Budget

Without a doubt, planning out each individual detail of your big day can be such an exciting process. Likewise, when you get down to it, you’ll also quickly realize just how many different components are involved in wedding planning. And unless you’ve been through this process before, it can quickly become a little overwhelming. This is a major reason why we always emphasize the importance of staying organized and establishing a budget early on. With a finalized budget in-place, you’ll know exactly how much you can spend in various areas. You’ll know which venues fit within your price point, which caterers to meet with, which photographers to consider, and so on. In addition, just as we mentioned above with deciding who’s paying for what, this will also ensure that everyone is on the same page and that there’ll be no surprises when the bills start coming in.

As a side note, when you’re establishing this budget, make sure to remember all of the smaller costs that can easily get lost in the shuffle. For example, it’s generally expected for couples to provide tips to some of the various vendors included in the celebration. Failure to account for some of these details can result in the wedding quickly flying by the previously estimated budgetary numbers. 

Still Looking For Your Dream Wedding Venue?

Even though the money talk is never the easiest conversation to have, it’s simply one of those discussions that will always be relevant for wedding planning. You’ll need to divvy up the various costs associated with the big day, establish an overall budget and start planning the different components. We hope this blog post helped provide some clarity when it comes to financial implications and hopefully eased some of your concerns for your own wedding planning.

Just as you’ll want to finalize your budget early on in the planning process, not too long after that will be the time for you to lock down your dream wedding venue. Based on the budget you’ve established, you should have a pretty good idea of which nearby venues will fit. For those unfamiliar with our wedding venue, Madera Estates is a luxury event space located in Conroe, TX, just north of Houston and The Woodlands. We offer all-inclusive wedding packages, as well as venue-only rentals. Since day 1, our mission has always been to create dream weddings, while doing so in a stress-free manner. If you’re ever interested in checking out our venue for your own wedding, we encourage you to book a tour through our online calendar. You’ll have the opportunity to meet with one of our wedding professionals, see the venue in-person and ask any questions you may have. To select a time that works best for you, feel free to click HERE. We look forward to working with you!