Weddings: who’s paying the bill?

Beaverbrooks rings
Diamond engagement and wedding rings, from a selection, Beaverbrooks

It’s a long-standing, but antiquated tradition that when a man’s daughter decides to get married, he is expected to foot the bill. Now, fathers of the bride can step off the savings gas as a poll carried out by jewellers Beaverbrooks has shown that a sizeable 81% of weddings are now being paid for by a mixture of the bride, groom and family members. Only 18% of parents now pay for the full shebang, while 42% of couples stump up for their big day themselves.

Paying the bill also seems to have become more balanced, with the parents of both the bride and groom wanting to chip in. The poll had some surprises up its sleeve too, revealing that on average, grandparents contribute £1390 to the wedding kitty.

Over 2000 married women were questioned as part of the survey, and more than half revealed they had never expected their dads to pay for their weddings seeing it as an outdated tradition. Anna Blackburn at Beaverbrooks says, “The days of the father of the bride paying for everything are becoming increasingly uncommon, not only because it’s a huge financial burden for him, but also the groom’s parents want to play a part too – which is understandable.”

Although splitting the cost of weddings is now pretty common, 14% of brides still managed to fall out with their parents over costs. One in ten couples said there was awkwardness and tension over the finances of their big day and a third of brides said they got less money than they were expecting. In contrast, 29% said they felt overwhelmed by the huge sum their parents wanted to pay towards their wedding and felt like they couldn’t take it.

The poll found that while a plain gold band is still the most popular choice for brides, Beaverbrooks has seen a trend in couples plumping for white gold and platinum diamond-set wedding rings, and luckily 73% of the women asked said they love their wedding ring just as much now as they did when they first got it!