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Laura Hunt

Ask the Experts


Question: I am the father of the bride... I say that with love, pride and fear. I am going to ask the simplest question that has the biggest impact... Who pays for what? This weekend my wife and I are driving up the coast to meet with the future "in-laws". We have met them before and really like them. We have agreed because of their large family, to have the wedding somewhere around Ukiah, Ca. After that, everything is up in the air. So the question asked is very important. Thanks for your help.

Answer from Johanna
By Recommendation Only
Traditionally the family of the bride pays for the wedding, the family of the groom for the rehearsal dinner, the groom for the ring, the honeymoon, and the bride's bouquet. The idea was that the family of the groom paid for the education of the groom and the bride's one for the wedding and the
dowry. Today, with highly educated brides, everything goes. You can split the costs right in the middle, or sometimes, his parents pay for beverages and music. Sometimes the groom's family pays for everything, because they are the ones with money to spend. I would put into consideration how many guests come from either family. However, I think it is a good idea to talk to the couple and his parents, to determine the budget before couple goes shopping. I also think the bride and groom can participate too, particularly if the parents paid for an expensive education, or if they have very sophisticated tastes. I hope this helps!

I was wondering if you would be so kind as to tell us how we can ask for money instead of gifts in a tactful way? We already have most everything we need as far as home furnishings, etc.... Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated.

Answer from Tosca Clark, Wedding Planner
Tosca Productions
The acceptable way to let your guests know you prefer cash in lieu of wedding gifts is to have your family and wedding party spread the word. It is not proper etiquette to print it on your wedding invitations.

Our daughter is getting married this Saturday. The reception is being catered and is "finger foods" mainly. The bill is $1,200 total, with another $100 for the servers. Here's my question - What is the appropriate tip?

Answer from Johanna
By Recommendation Only
If you think the service was very good you might want to tip the severs 20% to 25%. Some people also tip the caterer for an exceptional job.

Question: I am unsure if I have gotten a fair price from my florist. For all flowers, 6 bouquets, boutonnieres, centerpieces, church flowers and all the price she quoted me is $1200. Is this the average price range? The centerpieces are seasonal flowers and the bouquets are roses. Any way I can check on this?

Answer from Johanna
By Recommendation Only
I think this quote is pretty fair. Prices for flower designs depend on many different factors. The flower prices vary during the course of the year. The are particularly expensive on Valentine's Day, Mother's Day or in winter. Garden roses are more expensive then smaller varieties. Lilies of the Valley can cost $16 a stem. Then there is the price you pay for the flower design, and the prep work that needed to be done; of course a good designer charges more. If you don't know if you can trust this vendor ask for references. " How did the flowers held up during the wedding/" Is an important question to ask.

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