Return to Getting Started (Wedding)

The Big Picture

~ The "edge pieces" of the wedding puzzle ~

Things to Consider

  • The date
  • The location
  • The guest list
  • Who pays and how they pay
  • The budget
  • Hosting
  • The style
  • The theme and colors
  • Who does what

The Date

  • When to decide: start thinking about the date as soon as you are engaged. You will need to know the date before you finalize the location and hire any vendors (a few possible dates will work best while you research). Your potential attendants will need to know before they can commit to being in your wedding.
  • Factors to consider:


    • Your schedules and the schedules of immediate family members.
    • The schedules of any "must attend" friends or relatives. Take school and college schedules into account.
    • Community, town, or city events.
    • Weather–both for the wedding and for travel.
    • Holidays–stores will be more crowded around some holidays, some things will be more expensive around holidays, and guests might not want to travel to a wedding during certain holidays.
    • Money–off-season will be cheaper, except for holidays. In-season flowers are usually cheaper.
    • Style and theme–outdoor weddings demand warm, but not hot, weather. An evening wedding by candlelight requires an early sunset (unless it's a very late evening wedding!).

Who Pays and How They Pay

  • The traditional way is for the father of the bride to pay for most of the wedding, the groom's parents to pay for the rehearsal dinner, the groom to pay for a few things, and the bride to pay for a few things (that is a summary ~ I recommend Emily's Post's Wedding Etiquette, 5th ed. if you want more details).
  • The contemporary way is for the bride and groom to pay for almost everything.
  • But there are options that aren't exactly traditional or contemporary. If, for example, the bride's family and groom's family both host the wedding (which they often do, now), then both families share the cost.


  • Traditionally, the bride's parents host the wedding.
  • These days, both sets of parents may host.
  • A modern trend is for the couple to host their own wedding.
  • Other arrangements than these may be made if all parents are deceased or do not wish to host.

Who Does What

If you don't have a book on etiquette, do a little search for "traditional" and "contemporary" ideas of who does what. Then, make a personalized list for you and your families.


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