Ask Carley: Rules more fluid today about who pays what in wedding


Q: My fiance's parents and my parents have agreed to split the cost of the whole wedding and reception (yay!). Now how do we figure out who pays for what? Are there wedding rules we should follow?

A: In days of yore (OK, as recently as the 1980s), the rules about who pays for what were much stricter. The bride's family footed the bill for the invitations, announcements, wedding consultant, gown and accoutrements, reception (including site, food, flowers, photographs, videographer and music), and transportation for the wedding party. The groom's family paid for the marriage license, officiant, bride's bouquet, boutonnieres, rehearsal dinner and honeymoon. Today, the division of financial duties is far more fluid. Maybe one side feels strongly about the flowers, while the other side feels strongly about the band -- so go ahead and split it up that way. See what's on your agenda, then find ways to make it even. Feel free to come up with a game plan that works for you.

(Carley Roney, co-founder and editor in chief of The Knot, the nation's leading wedding resource, advises millions of brides on modern wedding etiquette at


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