Today, the financial burden for the wedding usually falls onto the couple since they're getting married later in life when they're more financially stable, says Remer. They also make the wedding decisions.
If the parents offer to pay, he suggests couples discuss whether there are any conditions attached with the money.
"A clear budget needs to be established," says Remer. "Without a budget you cannot proceed."
Pat White, the executive director of Credit Counselling Canada, reminds couples that they should be realistic and prioritize their expenses.
"There's lots of ways to save," she says. "If there is a priority item that's more expensive then get that, but consider alternative options for things that are a lower priority," she says.
Couples should avoid going into debt to cover wedding expenses, White adds, but they should think outside of the box when planning.
This can mean:
The average cost of being a bridesmaid is $1,695, which includes the cost of the dress, accessories, travel expenses, wedding gifts and more, according to a recent survey by "WeddingChannel.com".
Typically bridesmaids pay for their wedding attire and any parties thrown for the bride-to-be. Sometimes the bride will offer to pay for hair and makeup. If the bride has any unusual outfit requests, they should offer to cover the cost, says Remer.
Jeanne Fleming and Leonard Schwarz, who write the "Money Manners" column syndicated by King Features, which appears in the "Toronto Star," agree that if the bridesmaid knows there might be some financial issues, she should address this with the bride.
"Have a heart-to-heart with the bride about how much things are likely to cost," says Schwarz. "Then, if being part of the party sounds too pricey for your pocketbook, tell her right away."
It's dropping out of a bridal party that can be painful, adds Fleming.
Bridesmaids shouldn't skimp out on their friend's wedding, but one way to save money is splitting the cost of a pricier gift with members of the bridal party, says White.
Guests are responsible for the cost of the wedding gift, their outfit and sometimes the price of their drinks if there's a cash bar. The cost of the wedding will vary depending on your connection to the couple. If you're a close family member, you may need to purchase gifts for the engagement party, wedding shower and wedding, but if you're a work associate you'll likely spend less.
If the couple chooses to have a destination wedding, guests should ask how much the wedding is expected to cost before accepting the invitation. If they're unable to attend, guests should politely reject the invitation and send a wedding gift, says Remer.
Common sense and practicality should be your guiding principles in tackling any financial issue that pops up, he adds.
"This is a milestone for the lives of this young couple. It's their wishes that should be first and foremost in the minds of everybody involved."
Josephine Lim is a writer and editor in Toronto.
|-- Posted: July 13, 2012