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Split the Cost — Not the Marriage

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Sheryl asks: “My son is getting married. His father and I are divorced from each other and have both remarried. We are expected to pay for half of the rehearsal dinner — I just received an email from my ex-husband with the quote from the caterer attached. He’s assuming my husband and I are paying without any communication about this. What’s the etiquette for this situation? If his dad and I were still married, he would not expect ME to pay half. I’m not sure how to deal with this situation.”

Dear Sheryl: There is a “tradition” about who pays for what for a child’s wedding, but these are just guidelines and there are no wedding police to enforce the division of costs. The proper way to deal with wedding costs is for all the parties to sit down together, discuss, and work out the details to everyone’s satisfaction. It’s inappropriate to be sent costs that you are then told to pay.

Please note that my sources say that the groom’s site paying for the rehearsal dinner is optional. If you can’t all get together, then maybe you should have a heart to heart with your son and explain to him what you can — and are willing to — contribute to the wedding, and to what degree, if any, you want to be included in the way the money is used. It seems quite clear that someone in your family needs to open and clear the lines of communication. I hope this helps and wish you much good luck!

For complete information about “Your Budget and Budget Issues” and “Who Pays for What,” visit HudsonValleyWeddings.com’s budget guide article.

To submit a question to “The Wedding Guru,” e-mail it to judy@hvmag.com, or add a comment in the box below.

wedding gift with dollars signs around it
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