Finance is never an easy topic, especially when the expenditure in question is a 200-person wedding with a budget-busting cake and five-star venue. Traditionally, wedding expenses are split between the families of the bride and groom, and the bride's side conventionally shoulders the brunt of the bill. However, mounting costs can yield increased animosity between two families who wish to avoid being saddled with unnecessary expenses. So how can a modern couple resolve finance-related fighting between two sets of feuding parents? Our etiquette experts weigh in on the art of compromise as it pertains to wedding costs.
To begin with, both sets of parents must determine if they wish to split the wedding costs according to a traditional breakdown, equally divide the total cost between both families, or determine a customized distribution of costs. While dividing the bill equally and adhering to nuptial tradition are the simplest solutions, one or both families might balk at the bottom line due to their financial situation. If a customized bill breakdown is the only feasible option, the best way to begin resolving the issue is by arranging a meeting with both sets of parents. Whether the friction has occurred from a misunderstanding over budget or a family's inability to pay their part, the underlying problems must be addressed.
Prior to the meeting, both families should calculate a maximum budget they feel comfortable paying for the wedding. The number should take into account all wedding-related bills. Alternatively, each family can create a list of wedding-related costs divided into sections for expenditures they are willing to pay, expenditures they might take or split if necessary, and expenditures they will not pay. After preparing for the meeting, the two families will be able to calmly and rationally discuss the wedding costs without confusion or anger entering into the equation, and hopefully alight on a solution that works for both parties.