Basically, there are no set guidelines these days. Expenses can be separated in the way that is most harmonious for the couple. The exact opposite thing you require is pressure and frowning over cash splitting to put a dampener on the special day.
Take a look at the traditional cost-splitting basics, then work out a budget that works best for you and your loved ones. Again, serving as suggestions only due to the individual dynamics of families as discussed already.
In Bangladesh, this strategy is used in many ways. The most common one is for the bride’s side to host one ceremony; the wedding and the groom’s side hosting the grand reception as an equaliser.
However, in the case of a joint program which is more common nowadays, whether it’s the holud or the wedding event itself, splitting down the middle is a common practice.
In addition to a 50/50 split between each family, the cost can also be shared by the bride and bridegroom paying half as a couple, and the remaining half being made up collectively by their two sets of parents.
Sharing through item allocation
According to tradition, certain items are covered by certain persons. It’s still a shared model, but it needs more detailed negotiation. What it does mean is that if there’s an area within your remit where you want to splash out a little extra, you can do so without forcing others into additional expenditure.
Customarily, the bride’s family paid for many areas of the wedding, and while some still hold to this tradition, many couples these days wish to split the costs of the wedding more equitably amongst the bride, bridegroom and their respective families as seen fit.
An item wise breakdown of cost looks like this:
• Bride and family pay for venue and so on.
• Groom and family pay for marriage registration and Kazi Office expenses.
• Bride and family pay for bride's dress, veil, accessories and groom and family pay for groom's outfit in christian weddings.
• In Muslim weddings, the opposite happens. The groom’s family bear all costs of dressing the bride including jewellery and the bride’s family dresses the groom.
• All attendants who are family members pay for their own clothing, or receive clothing from the sides they belong to.
Flowers and decorations
• Bride and family pay for floral arrangements for the wedding ceremony and for reception, the groom’s family covers the decoration cost.
• In many Christian weddings, Groom and family pay for the bride's bouquet, boutonnieres for men and corsages for mothers and grandmothers.
• The new “husband” or his family pay for the complete honeymoon.
• Traditionally, the bride and family pay for all wedding photos and videos.
• Groom and family pay for any photo during the reception.
• Bride's or bridegroom's family plans and hosts the engagement party; if there's more than one, the bride's family hosts the first one.
• Groom's family plans and hosts the rehearsal dinner.
• Maid of honour and bridesmaids host the bridal shower and bachelorette party.
• Best man and groomsmen host the bachelor party.
• Friends may throw additional engagement parties or showers.
• The bride’s family pays for her Gaye Holud.
• The groom’s family pays for his Gaye Holud.
• In Christian weddings, Bride and family pay for all professional services, including food and decorations and groom's family pays for the DJ or band, and liquor.
• In Christian weddings, Bride and/or her family pay for the groom's ring and groom and/or his family pay for both of the bride's rings.
• The opposite is the case for Muslim weddings. Each party’s ring is purchased by the other.
• Bride and family pay for invitations, announcements and wedding programs.
• Bride and family pay for wedding transportation of the wedding party to and from the ceremony and reception.
• Denmohor or Mahr is a practice originally intended to provide the bride economic security and limit the bridegroom's arbitrary use of unilateral divorce. It is paid by the bridegroom or his father.
Paying the reasonable proportion
Sometimes, one family might be wealthier than the other. This can be uncomfortable to explicitly acknowledge but, if you can get past that hurdle, it makes sense to share the expenses in a way that doesn’t bankrupt one side. This system works better if the family who’s financially better off takes the lead to have the conversation.