Q. My granddaughter announced her engagement earlier this year. She graduated from college this past May and she has lived with her now fiancé for three years. They will soon move into their new condo and their wedding will take place a few months after they have settled into their new home. Since they will have lived together for an extended period of time prior to their wedding, are their parents still responsible for all the proper wedding expenses?
A. Traditionally, the bride’s family has been footing the bill for the majority of the wedding costs because that is the way it has been done. However, today it is not uncommon for both the bride’s and the groom’s family to share the costs of the celebration or for the bride and groom to pay for all or part of the expenses themselves. Modern couples are older and generally employed and independent by the time they get married, enabling them not only to plan their own weddings, but to pay for them as well.
When families are willing to share the costs, the bride and groom should consider the range of possibilities ahead of time and be certain that they are in agreement with one another before sitting down with their parents to discuss the budget. If they want financial help, they must be willing to compromise on some of their wishes for the wedding. Any conversation about money should be both dignified and candid. Your granddaughter’s best course of action is to sit down with your granddaughter and discuss what she is willing or able to contribute.