Ask The Wedding Guide: My parents want to help pay for the wedding so that my fiancee and I can have a nicer ceremony. We really appreciate the help but aren't sure what to ask them to pay. We don't want to step on toes or ask too much to we thought about asking them to buy the wedding flowers. Is that appropriate? ~ Jesse J. from Fountain, Colorado.
The Wedding Guide: Jesse, great question! I love discussing wedding etiquette so I was thrilled when I came across your question. The simplest answer is that it is fine to ask your parents if they would like to provide the wedding flowers. It's not uncommon in modern weddings for many different people to have a hand in payment. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when the wedding is being paid for by more than just the couple.
First, consider your parents temperament. I say this first because of your concern for stepping on toes. It's easy to do even by accident in matters this large. You know your parents well and very likely know how to best approach them with this subject. Simply be respectful when the subject is brought up. Understand that you and your bride may have to forgo certain features in favor of compromise.
If they ask to pay for more than the wedding flowers, discuss it with your fiancee before agreeing or declining. Then again, your parents may not want to foot more than the wedding flowers. It's always a good idea to discuss this with your bride first. If you want to know about some other options, here is a recent blog about whose family pays for what under traditional wedding etiquette standards. Not to bead a dead horse or bore you with a longer answer, you may also enjoy this checklist about the roles of brides, grooms, bridesmaids and ushers in paying for the wedding.
I hope you figure out a compromise. I'm sure you'll walk the aisle of a great wedding ceremony! Don't forget to let me know how it turns out. Thanks Jesse!