Welcome to the second post in The Casual Gourmet’s series of tips for newly engaged brides. You can view all the tips (once published) here or learn more about the author, Olive Chase (THE Cape Cod wedding expert) here. Check back often for more tips!

A wedding is a serious financial investment you should discuss as a couple and with your family. For many couples, other than buying a home, this will be the first significant purchase they make together.

The old rule of the bride’s parents paying for the wedding is no longer necessarily in effect. The average age for the bride and groom has risen in the last few years as many couples wait until they have stable careers and finances. The bride’s family may still be paying but the bride and groom pay for most of the wedding. We also see in many cases the groom’s family also pays a significant amount of the bill.

It is important for everyone involved to get together and discuss a reasonable and realistic budget. The best way to do this is to sit down with a pencil, paper and calculator and figure out what you want.

Sometimes the wedding of your dreams might be a bit out of your budget. Often, the most important elements of your wedding—those make or break details—can happen on any budget. Maybe you can’t have the reception at a castle but those firefly lanterns could still happen.

Finding the most important and least important elements can help craft an affordable wedding you will remember forever. Buffet instead of sit down, simpler napkins etc… —small elements like these can really help incorporate the wedding you have envisioned while still keeping within your budget.

Remember: The fastest way to control the cost of a wedding is to control the guest list, check out our last post for tips on your guest list!

The Expenses

The Knot put together a great list of a wedding’s largest expenses and who typically pays:
-The Ceremony
-Clothes
-Flowers
-Honeymoon
-Photography
-Pre-wedding Parties
-Reception
-Rings
-Stationary
-Transportation

Tools:

Budget worksheet