Traditionally, the bride’s parents (although anyone can host) will throw an engagement party for their daughter and her husband-to-be, for the intention of welcoming him and introducing friends and extended family to the groom and his family and friends. Although this isn’t required, it can be a great way to get future wedding guests together to establish a rapport before the event — familiar faces always make for a more convivial affair.
The Rehearsal Dinner
Both the groom’s parents traditionally organize (and pay for) the rehearsal dinner. This can range in size from a small occasion for members of the wedding party only to a grand soiree (never to outdo the wedding, of course) that includes half or more of the wedding guests. But they should never be expected to pay for a larger event than they are comfortable with.
Traditional Roles for the Bride and Her FamilyThe bride and her family are responsible for all planning expenses, the bride’s attire, all floral arrangements, transportation on the wedding day, photo and video fees, travel and lodgings for the officiant if he/she comes from out of town, lodging for the bridesmaids, and all the expenses of the reception. The bride personally pays for the flowers and gifts for her attendants, the groom’s ring, and a present for him.
Traditional Roles for the Groom and His FamilyThe groom’s family is responsible for corsages and boutonnieres for immediate members of both families, the lodging of the groom’s attendants, and sometimes the costs of the rehearsal dinner. The groom is traditionally expected to pay for the marriage license and officiant’s fees, and buy the bouquet for his bride, as well as her engagement and wedding rings and a gift; he should also purchase gifts and boutonnieres for his attendants. The honeymoon expenses are classically his, as the head of his new household.
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