By Nadia Anderson, CPA with Virginia Grace Events

Sometimes, parents or other family members offer to pay for the ceremony or reception entirely. Other times, they will cover the cost of a specific service like the wedding planner, photography, music, etc. It is certainly helpful to have loved ones make a financial commitment to assist with your big day. Follow these steps to be sure you and your fiancé are clear on what’s being contributed.

Schedule a convenient time to talk to your loved ones. Let them know that you’re grateful for their support and that you want to talk specifically about your wedding budget. No one wants to have a surprise conversation about money.

Share photos and price quotes from the vendors that you’re considering to set expectations about the price range. Family members may not have a current idea of the cost of the service that they’ve offered to cover.

Ask the specific dollar amount that they would like to contribute and when you can expect to receive it. Explain any deposit or payment arrangements that are specific to the vendor in case that impacts the timing of their contribution.

Understand their expectations BEFORE you accept their generous offer. It will be helpful to know if they want to choose the vendor, attend the meetings, add guests to the list, or if they have any conditions for making the contribution. Be sure that you and your fiancé can agree to those conditions.

Express your gratitude at the time of the gift, throughout the wedding planning process, and after the celebration.

Nadia S. Anderson is a CPA, certified wedding and event planner, and the owner of Virginia Grace Event Management. To learn more about how she can assist in creating your stress-free wedding memories, please visit