Customarily, the groom's parents contact the bride's parents after the engagement. They may host an engagement party (after the bride's parents do). They provide a list of guests to the couple - hopefully sticking to an agreed-upon number. They consult with the bride's parents on attire. They host the rehearsal dinner on the evening before the wedding, and they may contribute to some wedding expenses.
In the past, the bride's parents usually had the dubious privilege of footing the bill for the majority of wedding expenses. Today costs are likely to be distributed among the bride's parents, groom's parents and the couple themselves, but there are still certain responsibilities the bride's parents hold.
Who Does What?
It's time to gather the troops! Find out what the traditional roles are for everyone.
Bride and Groom
The bride and groom's big responsibility is to get married, of course, but here are myriad planning decisions to make first. Ideally the bride and groom work together on these decisions, to share the workload and to make sure both are happy with the plans. A small list of basics:
- Set budget
- Choose date, style and site for wedding
- Meet with ceremony officiant to discuss details
- Coordinate invites, flowers, photographer, etc.
- Shop for wedding bands (each pays for the other's)
- Write wedding vows if they choose
- Send thank-you notes for all gifts.
- In addition to their joint responsibilities, the bride and groom each traditionally handle certain details on their own, including each making sure his or her family compiles a guest list.
The bride chooses her bridesmaids and honor attendant. She plans and hosts the bridesmaids' luncheon and gives her attendants thank-you gifts, and buys a gift for groom.
The groom chooses his groomsmen and best man and picks their attire. He buys thank-you gifts for his attendants and for the bride. He arranges and pays for the marriage license and the officiant's fee, and he reserves a block of hotel rooms for out-of-town guests.
What You Should (And Shouldn't) Post About Your Wedding on Facebook
All-new wedding rules for the online bride.
Are you the type of person who likes to shout her good news from the mountaintops? Nowadays that mountaintop usually comes in the form of the status update, comment box, Tweet field or group page on your social networking site of choice. Although you might like to share good news when it comes to job offers or scoring that fab pair of shoes, it can cause trouble when your news is about your wedding. Here, the dos and don'ts of social networking to help you avoid any pre-wedding blunders.
Do inform family members about your engagement before posting it on Facebook.
We call this rule number one in wedding netiquette! Once you've told your nearest and dearest in person or via phone, there's no harm in posting pictures of the ring or even the actual proposal to share your excitement.
Top 7 Wedding Don'ts
Adhere to these guidelines and make sure your wedding is a hit for you and your guests.
Of course you want to have a fabulous big day, so you must plan accordingly to avoid any potential pitfalls along the way. Take a look at these all-too-common “please don'ts.” (Psst! They're all avoidable.)
Remember: Forewarned is forearmed!
1. Don't Be Superbride.
You're smart, you're focused, you're energetic. But you're still one woman. Superbrides—those engaged gals who devote every waking hour to wedding planning, brushing aside all offers of help—eventually run out of steam and end up near the big day with favors unassembled, invitations unstamped, shoes undyed, heads uncounted. How to avoid this fate? Call in your trusty sidekicks before you're really scrambling. Here's a little secret: People want to help. So do yourself a huge favor and accept their kind offers. Then, once you've got a cadre of pals stuffing your envelopes, sit back and have your toenails polished. You deserve it.
Your sister is jealous, and your parents don't like his parents. Here, some smart ways to handle these sticky issues.
When you’re busy planning your dream wedding, the last thing you want to deal with are family feuds. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for familial ties to fray a bit during this emotionally charged time. If you want to preserve those precious relationships, you’re going to have to face the problems head on. Our top solutions for messy situations.
“My sister pouts and whines when I talk about my wedding plans, and it’s driving me crazy!”
Believe it or not, your sister may be acting out because she feels sad. This is a tough emotion for some people to express, so jealousy, hurt and anger often serve as a mask. Put yourself in her shoes: What she sees is that “all of a sudden, you're putting your husband-to-be first and your entire family second,” explains Allison Moir-Smith, founder of Emotionally Engaged. And if your sister isn’t married yet, she could also be feeling a lack of self-confidence and concern about her own life.
Few things make a bride and groom more anxious than thank you notes—there are just so many of them to write out for different gifts, favors, and assistance with the wedding plans. Many couples worry about coming up with wording that is genuine and truly expresses their gratitude.
Tackle this last wedding task with confidence by avoiding these common blunders:
1. Getting the names wrong. Nothing is worse than writing a thank you note to guests you don’t know very well and spelling their names wrong! If their names aren't clear on the wedding gift card, check back to your master invitations list and contact a loved one who can provide the correct spelling.
2. Forgetting about the children. If a gift comes from a family with kids, be sure to list all of the childrens' names in your thank you card. If their wedding card doesn't include all of them—sometimes guests are informal and write "...and family" or "and the girls"—call a parent or friend for the full list and correct spellings. Every family (especially large, extended families) has an in-the-know relative with all of the details.
Q. What should couples consider about their finances before tying the knot?
A. Before you get married, each of you should prepare a statement of what you own and what you owe and share it with your spouse-to-be to ensure you both understand the financial union you are entering into. Talk about what your expectations are for each other in terms of sharing paychecks, paying on car or student loans, merging bank accounts, paying bills, balancing bank statements, etc. Newlyweds have enough adjustments to make so now is the time to talk and tackle any challenges as a couple.
Q. What tips can you share for merging bank accounts?
A. Generally it is easier for one of the partners to be in chargeof the account and ideally that person should be the “number cruncher” of the couple. The account should be balanced monthly in order to ensure that all checks, ATM withdrawals, debit card transactions, car payments, etc. are entered into the check register. The current account balance should always be known in order to avoid making charges against insufficient funds. Overdraft fees are not only expensive—they can hurt your credit rating.
Jetting off to somewhere for your destination wedding the morning after your wedding sounds romantic. But a better plan is to schedule your departure for a day or two later. After the whirlwind of the big day, this will give you time to get some rest and accept the fact that the wedding you spent so many months planning is actually over. "We left for our honeymoon early on the morning after our wedding," says Megan McDonnell, from New Fairfield, Connecticut, regretfully. "We went from this amazing feeling of having so many people around us the night before to being alone. If we'd stayed an extra day, we could have enjoyed being with our family and friends a little longer and relived the fun of the wedding with them. The finality of it would have felt less abrupt and harsh."
Too often brides compare their ups and downs to the pictures of pure ecstasy they see in the magazines and
conclude there's something wrong with them. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Wedding jitters happen
The emotional cocktail can be stressful and confusing, even though you have probably experienced it many times before. If you ever have moved or changed jobs, you are familiar with the wide range of feelings that accompany any major transition. This is because all transitions create gains and losses.