Money stands up straight and tall on our list of awkward conversations to have with anyone, ever. Let alone, during wedding planning. The wedding budget talk can be something that causes the first burst of stress and chaos in your journey down the aisle. The best thing you can do, as a couple, is have the conversation early on with your families, separately. The tradition of the bride's family covering the tab for the entire wedding is something that's going out of style — more and more couples are paying for the wedding themselves or both families are splitting paying for the affair equally.
But if after you have that conversation with your family members and find out that only the bride's family is going to contribute to the wedding, it may be time to take a step back and reevaluate the scale and the scope of your nuptials.
Once you know how much the bride's family can contribute, see how much you as a couple can add to your wedding budget. Once you have the budget set, you can then go back to the groom's family and see if they wouldn't mind paying for certain items, vendors, or extra events — like the rehearsal dinner. That way, if they are going along with the tradition of having the bride's family pay, they may feel less overwhelmed and caught off guard if you ask them to pay for something specifically.
The other thing you'll need to deal with is resentment. Often times this will come from the bride's family who may get upset with the groom's family for not chipping in. It's important to chat with your family members to make sure that even if they have bad feelings about the money situation, they don't let this take over the entire wedding planning mood.
In the end, weddings join families together. Money often tears them apart. Try to not let this happen before it's time to walk down the aisle.
Jen Glantz is a "Professional Bridesmaid" and the founder of Bridesmaid for Hire. She's the author of All My Friends Are Engaged and frequently wears old bridesmaid dresses to the grocery store and on first dates.