If you’ve been keeping up with the news lately then you’ve probably come across the recent headline story in which the bridegroom and bride are asking for a contribution towards their wedding at Knockerdown Cottages from the guests.

Basically the bridegroom has asked guests to pay £150 each to attend their wedding, as they are short of money having just bought a house.

wedding planning

Always set a wedding budget

What the guests are paying and what the couple are paying?

The payment of £150 a person includes accommodation at Knockerdown Cottages, food, drinks and use of a spa. The couple themselves are paying for the wedding registrar, the suits, the food and the dresses.

Cheeky or realistic?

This has basically started a whole furore with some people thinking that the bride and groom are being cheeky asking guests to pay to attend a wedding, while others are applauding the bridegroom’s practicality. Guests would have had to pay for accommodation in any case and this way they are helping the bride and groom.

wedding favours

Think carefully about your wedding favours – they can bump up wedding costs

What costs are you generally expected to cover at your wedding?

We thought it would be a good idea to write a quick guide on who is expected to pay for what at a wedding.

Back in the day when your grandparents got married, it was unusual for a couple to live together before they tied the knot. Traditionally the bride’s parents footed the bill for the wedding with the bridegroom taking responsibility for the engagement ring, wedding rings, transport and the honeymoon.

It’s unusual for this to happen nowadays. Couples are getting married later and often have some children between them.

But just in case you want to see how things are traditionally, here is our handy list. Bear in mind that the average cost of a wedding is about £20,000 so you can see why it’s good to have as much help as possible.

wedding flowers at reception

Maybe you could ask a generous relative to sponsor your wedding flowers as a wedding gift?

What the bride’s family pay for

  • The wedding dress
  • Wedding venue
  • Flowers
  • Photography
  • Stationery
  • Entertainment
  • Wedding cake
  • Wedding planner

The bride pays for

  • Bridesmaids’ presents
  • The groom’s ring
  • Hairdressing and makeup

The bridegroom’s parents pay for

  • Suit hire for the bridegroom, best man and ushers

The bridegroom pays for

  • The engagement ring
  • Bride’s wedding ring
  • The honeymoon
  • Marriage licence and officiant fee

Okay so we know what you’re thinking

You’re probably reading this and smiling, thinking: “If only”. The fact is that a 2016 survey found that 10% of couples paid for everything themselves.

So really, the list above is just a guideline.

Some ideas

If your husband-to-be has only brothers, you may find that his parents are happy to contribute some of the costs of the wedding, as they haven’t had to fork out for daughters!

If that is the case or if they offer to help with something, you could ask them to pay for the wine and drinks at your wedding. Your other half can work with them to choose what is suitable and that’s one less thing you have to budget for.

wedding range rover

Range Rover by cupidcarriages.co.uk

Think about what you can realistically DIY

Wedding cars – if you have a friend or a family member with an amazing classic car or something eye-catching, then why not ask them to chauffeur you to and from the venue? This would save a lot of money in transport costs and also adds a really personal touch to your wedding day. You could supply large ribbons to tie onto the car to make it look suitably bridal and your friend will be playing a really big part in your day. Maybe they’d like to make it their wedding present to you?

gold wedding cake

Ask a friend to make your cake and have it professionally iced

Your wedding cake – maybe you have a friend who is a really, really good baker, then you could ask them to make your cake. Then you could have it professionally iced.

Alternatively, you could buy a plain white ready iced cake from a good quality supermarket (Waitrose have some excellent choices) and decorate it with flowers for your big day. This would also save you a lot of money.

Read more about what to DIY and what not to DIY here.

One thing is for sure, when you’re organising your wedding make sure that you negotiate a good accommodation rate for your guests locally. You don’t have to charge them for coming to your wedding though like the Knockerdown Cottages wedding story!