Weddings are expensive, there is no doubt about it, from food, dresses, and even entertainment. These days, it is not cheap to get married – regardless of how you decide to do so. Traditionally, the bride’s parents paid for weddings, but things have certainly changed. It naturally begs the question; is there an age limit to when they tend to stop? Do they still pay for all of the wedding, or contribute altogether? Well, here is all you are going to want to know and consider.
So, at what age do parents not pay for a wedding? There is actually no set age when parents will no longer pay for their child’s wedding. In fact, regardless of age, it is up to the parents and their discretion as to whether they pay anything for a wedding at all. Some may contribute a little, others a bit more, and some may still decide to take on the full cost.
If you are planning your wedding and wondering if you are too old to ask your parents to help with the costs, you’ve come to the right place.
If you are not sure if it is acceptable to ask for financial help towards your big day, I’m here to help. I’ll be walking you through the norms and expectations.
So keep reading to find out all you need to know.
Does The Bride’s Parents Always Pay For The Wedding?
The bride’s parents do not always pay for a wedding. Traditionally the bride’s parents did typically pay for their daughter’s wedding, but as times have gone on, this tradition has become less commonplace and more optional.
Nowadays, it is much more common for the parents of the bride to chip in a little rather than pay the full costs of the wedding.
However, this is only if they can even financially afford to help out.
Only a short few decades ago, couples would get married relatively young, and because of their age, they probably would not have the funds to pay for a wedding.
These days, most couples fund their weddings themselves.
This is for a few reasons.
Many couples get married a lot older than before and usually have more than enough funds to cover a wedding themselves.
Also, many of us are earning a lot more money a lot younger than before.
So, even if you are getting married young, it is likely you will be able to afford to fund or at least save for a wedding yourself.
The great thing about this is that you don’t feel as though you have to sacrifice on dream elements of your wedding because you are not asking someone else to pay for it.
How Much Do Most Parents Give For A Wedding?
Between 30% and 50% is a general guide for how much parents are giving their children for their weddings in more recent years. However, this number is not a hard and fast one. Some parents may still opt for the majority, others are only able to afford a small amount, and some won’t be able to afford anything. It depends on the parents’ personal and financial circumstances.
When we consider that the average wedding costs around $30,000, even 30% of that comes to a whopping $9000, that is a lot of money to ask your parents to gift you. Some parents may not even earn that in a year (they could be retired).
It has become more and more common for brides and grooms to pay for an entire wedding by themselves without any help from their parents.
So, be prepared that you may be expected to foot the entire bill yourself.
If you are lucky enough to have parents who are willing to help with the costs of your wedding, don’t put any expectations on how much you should receive.
This is a gift from your parents and not a requirement. Unless they explicitly tell you they expect you to pay it back.
How Much Should Parents Pay Towards A Wedding?
There is no set amount for how much parents should put towards their child’s wedding. In fact, your parents are not required to pay anything toward your wedding. So, be prepared for them to say they cannot help you at all.
Parents who do pay something towards their child’s wedding can pay anywhere from a couple of hundred bucks to thousands.
There are still a few parental units out there who will quite happily foot the entire wedding bill.
This is where a conversation is extremely important before you even start planning your big day.
Firstly, be realistic when it comes to talking about your parents paying for your wedding.
If they are civil servants barely cracking $80,000 between them, you certainly should not expect them to pay for your entire wedding.
You can always craft up a small list, like a business plan for your wedding, that includes roughly what you are hoping to have and how much each individual thing will cost.
This way, you can allow your parents the freedom to pay for individual items on your wedding list rather than feeling pressured to hand over a large wad of cash, not knowing where it is going.
Also, be prepared that some parents expect to be involved in the planning of a wedding they are paying for.
These opinions can sometimes even force you to deviate from the wedding you have dreamed of to the wedding your parents dreamed of, and it could leave a sour taste in all of your mouths.
Other Ways To Pay For A Wedding
If you cannot ask your parents to help you pay for your wedding, you may be wondering if there are other ways you can pay for your big day.
Here are some of the common ways that people pay for their weddings.
Yourself As The Bride And Groom
It is becoming far more common for a bride and groom to pay for the entirety of their wedding.
Many people will save up for years to fund their dream day.
Not only does it mean you can avoid that awkward money conversation with your parents, but you also do not have to consider anyone else’s opinions for your big day.
It may seem like a lot of money, but there are ways to make it far cheaper paying for your own wedding is the only way of making sure you get what you want on your wedding day.
A family inheritance, although usually coming from a sad event, is one way that many couples can fund their weddings.
If they do not make enough money from their occupations, it can be incredibly hard to squirrel away any cash to pay for a wedding.
A family inheritance can help fund a wedding you never thought you would be able to afford.
However, be careful that your inheritance does not come with any stipulations.
You may have a few rules set by who you are receiving your inheritance from that can scupper some plans.
There is also a way of receiving a family inheritance without anyone having to actually pass away.
If a family member has saved up money for inheritance purposes, they may be quite happy to let you have it a little bit early.
Gifts From Friends Or Family Members
If you are struggling to pull together the funds needed for your dream wedding, nothing is stopping you from asking a few friends or family members if they would be willing to gift you some money.
This could be in place of a wedding gift, or it may be on a loan basis.
If a friend or family member is willing to loan you the money, make sure you have a written agreement that schedules how and when it will be paid back.
The last thing you want is any animosity over payment expectations.
Are Your Parents Paying For Your Wedding?
If you are considering the possibility of your parents helping with your wedding costs, you are in a slowly dwindling minority, but it will be an incredible help because weddings are not cheap.
If you are sitting down with your parents, make sure you give them the room to let you know how much they can afford to help you with and whether they expect you to pay it back.
If this cash is on a loan basis, make sure you have a written agreement about how and when your parents expect their money to be paid back.
This means you can avoid awkward conversations in the future, and you all know where you stand when it comes to the money being paid back.
If the money is a gift, make sure you find out whether your parents would like an opinion when it comes to your wedding planning.
This may actually turn out to be the very thing that has you refusing their help, especially if they have different ideas from you and your partner.
Other guides you may want to check out:
- Who Pays For Hotel Rooms For Wedding Guests? [Is It The Couple?]
- Who Pays For Wedding Bands? [What Does Tradition State?]
- Cost Of An Open Bar At A Wedding [Should You Even Have One?]
- Wedding Flower Cost Calculator
- How Much Do Wedding Sparklers Cost? [What Is a Fair Price?]
Hey, I’m Allison – a recent bride, an expectant mother and the chief editor here at Everlasting Occasion. Here I document all the knowledge and experience I accumulated while researching and planning my dream wedding and ahead of our new baby. Here, I try to answer those many questions couples have when planning their dream wedding, while equally, helping expectant parents ahead of their new arrival!