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Zhay Estabillo
I’m an SEO, a ONE OK ROCKer, a wandering traveler, a blogger and a dreamer...^_^
9 Women Share Who Paid For What At Their WeddingsFrom the Pinterest-inspired dream venue to that rustic tablescape (what's a table without bundles of lavender bound with twine?) to a DJ who plays just the right amount of your playlist while still appeasing the parents with enough oldies — weddings can be expensive AF. According to the latest survey from Hitched, the average wedding in the UK now costs over £32k — and that's excluding honeymoon expenses. So who exactly is footing these bills?First, we asked six millennial women how much their weddings cost, and now we're getting into the nitty-gritty. Ahead, we asked ten more millennial women: Who paid for what at your wedding, and how did you feel about the payment breakdown?Name: EmilyAge: 29Location: Phoenix, AZHow much did your wedding cost? About $165,000 (£148,200) for marriage prep and church-related costs, ceremony, and reception (including fireworks!)What was the payment breakdown?"My parents paid for basically everything. I paid for a few little 'extras,' like my bridesmaids' gifts, but I lost my job a month after getting engaged, so I didn’t have an income for about half of the time I was wedding planning. I would have liked to contribute more, but it just wasn’t in the cards, and my parents were very generous. My husband paid for my engagement ring, our engagement trip to Canada, his tuxedo and groomsman-related items, and his portion of the bachelor party. My husband's mum paid for and hosted our rehearsal dinner for 75 guests. My husband's dad gave us $5,000 (£4k) toward our honeymoon. Everything else my parents paid for."How did you feel about it?"It was just always understood that my parents would be paying, but I still often felt guilty about how much everything cost. But my parents, my husband, and I all agreed very early on that we wanted a big, fun wedding, and that’s just expensive! I am incredibly grateful that they were about to give us such a wonderful day, and really a wonderful ten-month engagement full of showers, wedding-dress fittings, a bachelorette party, etc. Since I wasn’t working, I would have had to forgo a lot of that stuff in the moment, and they made it possible for me to just enjoy it and not worry about the cost."Who do you think is responsible for paying, and why?"I am incredibly lucky that my parents were willing and able to foot the bill for our entire wedding and beyond (engagement photos, etc.). If they hadn’t been able to, our wedding probably would have looked a lot different, and probably would have been postponed. My husband and I are aggressively paying back his six-figure student debt, so a lavish 200+ person wedding would not have been in the cards. I don’t think it is anyone’s responsibility, and I also don’t think that you should go into debt for it. If you can’t afford a big party, don’t have one. It’s the marriage that is important, not the wedding. (I know, I know, easy for me to say, I got both.)"Name: MollieAge: 29Location: Saint Paul, MNHow much did your wedding cost? $42,000 (£33,702)What was the payment breakdown?"My now-husband and I already had combined finances. My mom paid for most of my dress and the fee for the church rental. My dad paid the catering bill for his side of the family (nine people at $121 [£97] a person). My husband and I picked up extra work shifts and paid for everything else. We put roughly $5,000 (£4k) on credit cards and just busted our butts to pay the rest."How did you feel about the payment breakdown for your wedding?"I feel like if we did it again, I would have had a smaller wedding at a less trendy place. But I feel fine with the breakdown."Who do you think is responsible for paying, and why?"I think the bride and groom should always pay. If you're responsible enough to get married, you should be responsible enough to budget and pay for it. I’m a grown woman, and I don’t need my family to financially support me."Name: KrishnaAge: 29Location: Philadelphia, PAHow much did your wedding cost? About $5,000 (£4k)What was the payment breakdown?"My lengha (Indian bridal dress) cost about $900 (£7,223), and my husband's sherwani was $200 (£160) (ugh, hand embroidery/sexism). We bought beer and wine to our BYO venue that cost us about $300 (£240) for 35 people. We also purchased a cake from a local baker for about $150 (£120). Our ceremony venue was free, given that it was at a public courthouse. I spent about $50 (£40.13) on a blowout, $50 on a mani/pedi (which my aunts covered), and about $200 (£160) on mehndi for myself and my aunts and girl cousins. I also catered pizza and salad for the mehndi artists for about $75 (£60). I did my own makeup with my best friend/MOH's help. We spent about $3,000 (£2,407) on the reception venue — a local Italian restaurant. My grandmother paid for $500 (£401) of my dress, and I used gift cards from my sweet and generous coworkers for the alcohol. My husband's family ended up stealthily footing the bill for the reception/dinner, which was entirely unexpected and way too kind. In sum, this wasn't all out-of-pocket from my husband and me alone (though we intended it to be when we were planning)."How did you feel about it?"Phenomenally. My husband and I were getting really nervous about the mounting costs of the wedding, because we initially felt pressured to host a three- to five-day Indian/Pakistani (Desi) wedding in keeping with tradition and our families' wishes. I discussed the matter with my family members, and they urged me to do whatever I felt comfortable with. My husband and I discussed the matter a couple of times before deciding on an 'elopement' in the courthouse. It was intimate, affordable, and relatively stress-free."Who do you think is responsible for paying, and why?"I think it depends on the people and their families to make that decision. Ideally, it's a group effort. In Desi weddings, for example, there are typically several events, and different sides of the family host depending on which event it is. Ultimately, if the cost is shared across two people and their families, it's less of a burden on any one person. It takes a village."Name: NicoleAge: 29Location: Los Angeles, CAHow much is your wedding going to cost? We are still finalising the wedding, but it's looking like it's going to cost around $15,000 (£12,000).What's the payment breakdown?"My partner's parents were kind and gave us $10,000 (£8,026) toward the wedding. My parents are not in the same financial situation and offered to give money, but we ultimately turned it down. Any additional costs will likely be paid by my partner as he has more savings, but I will help where I can."How do you feel about it?"I feel guilty about not contributing more, but in the long run, we will be sharing an income and I make more money than he does. It's our money now, not his versus mine."Who do you think is responsible for paying, and why?"It should be a shared decision and responsibility — if it's all going into the same pot after you're married, it doesn't really matter who spends the most."Name: EmilyAge: 24Location: Phoenix, AZHow much is your wedding going to cost? Hopefully under $10,000 (£8026)What's the payment breakdown?"We are paying for pretty much everything. My mum and grandma bought my dress, and my fiancé's mom is paying for the bar, which is amazing because none of them are wealthy. My dad and his wife say they are going to pay for the venue, but they didn't give us a budget to work with and now can't seem to remember offering to pay for it. We saw this happening, though, and picked a place we could afford on our own. They have flaked on paying for things they've promised in the past, so we didn't want to get in over our heads if they did, which it looks like they will. We also refuse to go into debt for this day, so everything we have paid for has been in cash."How do you feel about it?"I feel okay about it. I wish my dad would have followed through with helping, but I didn't ever really think that was going to happen."Who do you think is responsible for paying, and why?"I feel like we are responsible for paying. We want a nice wedding and don't want anyone holding the fact that they paid over our heads to get what they want. So other than the few very generous things our moms are doing, we are covering everything. If my dad does come through paying for something, then great, and if not, we are planning on fully paying for everything."Name: KarenAge: 27Location: Los Angeles, CAHow much did your wedding cost? ~$15,000 (£12,039)What was the payment breakdown?"My parents paid around $10,000 (£8,026). This covered the venue and decor. We had our wedding in a backyard and put up a huge tent. The tent alone was around $5,000 (£4,013). (We had just under 230 guests.) The rest of my parents' budget went into table and chair rentals, flowers, fancy cups that I insisted on having, table covers, table runners, etc. My husband and I paid around $5,000 (£4,013). We covered the photographer, which ended up being only $2,100 (£1,685) after a very generous friend discount. My dress was only $1,000 (£802), purchased off a bride on Tradesy who didn't end up wearing her dress. Food for our wedding was only around $2,500 (£2,006), due to the fact that we served tacos! I absolutely hate traditional wedding food, so my husband and I decided on tacos, and everyone loved it! My husband's tux was around $100 (£80) (through a friend discount). Our honeymoon was paid for by my in-laws. My sister-in-law paid for our invites, and my husband's aunt, who owns a bakery, made our wedding cake as a gift to us."How did you feel about it?"I felt it was fair, considering I wanted to elope, but my parents insisted on me having a bigger celebration. Both my parents and my in-laws were very generous."Who do you think is responsible for paying, and why?"I think the couple is responsible for paying for the type of wedding that they want. If a couple has a small budget, then their wedding should be planned according to that budget. My husband and I didn't expect our families to help pay for things, but we accepted every offer that came our way. "Name: AshleyAge: 34Location: Chicago, ILHow much did your wedding cost? $120,000 (£96,313) (includes honeymoon)What was the payment breakdown?"My mom contributed approximately $22,000 (£17,657), and my husband's family contributed approximately $27,000 (£21,670). The rest was paid for by my husband and me. The money was kind of pooled into a general fund, and we paid for things as they came up. The only traditional things where our parents paid directly were my wedding dress (my mom paid) and the rehearsal dinner (my husband's parents paid). Otherwise, we just asked our parents for money as the bills started coming in."How did you feel about it?"I thought it was extremely generous of my husband's family to contribute as much as they did, even though it may not be customary for the groom's family to pay. We definitely spent a little too much on the wedding, but it was an amazing day, and we're very lucky our parents were so generous."Who do you think is responsible for paying, and why?"There's no right answer to this. I think that it's based on the family situation. If everyone is able to contribute, then I don't see why traditional norms should prevent that. My in-laws were happy to contribute because it was their guests just as much as it was ours. I think age plays a role as well. We were in our 30s when we got married and were established in our careers making good money, so we spent quite a bit of money ourselves. Our parents insisted on helping, and we greatly appreciate that, but we could have paid for it on our own."Name: MaryAge: 29Location: Greensboro, NCHow much is your wedding going to cost? $40,000 (£32,104)What's the payment breakdown?"We had $30,000 (£24,078) from my family (inherited specifically for a wedding — the joys of being the only grandchild!), which was an amazing start, and we've put that toward the big purchases: venue, food, and booze. My fiancé has some savings and is willing to help pay, so he's been put in charge of buying my dress and his suit, and I'm paying for most other little things. As of right now his family hasn't offered to help, but we also haven't asked. (He's one of four boys, and I don't feel comfortable expecting his family to pay for anything.)"How do you feel about it?"I'm fairly happy with it. I know I'm extremely lucky to have a family that has that kind of money and is willing to spend it on me. I'm definitely feeling some guilt for spending this much on a wedding, but it helps that my fiancé and I are also putting some money down for things that we really want."Who do you think is responsible for paying, and why?"I think whoever in the wedding who has the highest expectations is responsible for paying! If the two people getting married just want to have a city hall wedding, and the parents (or grandparents, or friends!) of either of them want a big bash, then those people should be the ones offering to pay. And of course, vice versa. Also, while I love a great party, I don't think anyone should go into debt for a wedding."Name: CaitlinAge: 27Location: San Jose, CAHow much did your wedding cost? $40,000 (£32,104)What was the payment breakdown?"My husband and I paid for $15,000 (£12,039), my in-laws footed the bill for a mere $5,000 (£4,013), and my parents paid the rest of the wedding tab."How did you feel about it?"It was a bit unequal. My parents were forced to pick up quite a bit of unexpected payments, but it all came together to be a happy occasion. My in-laws ended up throwing us an unexpected rehearsal dinner party, so it smoothed a bit of the tension."Who do you think is responsible for paying, and why?"I think we as the bride and groom should be responsible for the bulk of the wedding payment, but we’re so lucky that our parents ended up covering many of the wedding costs to give us the winery wedding of our dreams."Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Money Diary: A 22-Year-Old Living In Amsterdam On €40kHow To Make Your Work Enemy Your Secret WeaponLGBTQ+ Workers Earn £6,703 Less Than Their Colleagues In The UK Today