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Wedding bell dues

Father of the bride no longer expected to pay, poll finds Add to ...

Either he's broke or you're too old to be asking for the money: When it comes to weddings, the father of the bride rarely pays any more, skirting a tradition that was commonplace into the 1960s.

Just 17 per cent of fathers foot the bill for the big day, versus 44 per cent four decades ago, according to a poll conducted by The Wedding Inbox, an online directory.

More common now is both families splitting the cost. And, as couples settle down later than they used to, many are paying for the festivities themselves.

"It's a pride thing," says Catherine Lash, creative director of The Wedding Co. in Toronto.

"Their parents don't pay for anything any more. It's not like they're 18 - they've got money in the bank. … A lot of them live together. Some of them have kids already."

Ms. Lash thinks couples who budget their wedding together stand a better chance: "If talking about money is really hard, you should really consider if you're going to marry this person."

And since many brides and grooms now pay for their own parties, parents have less and less say in how it all goes down.

"That's why you're seeing a lot of really unique weddings happen," says Ms. Lash, pointing to restaurant weddings and smaller parties. "It's not a reflection of their parents or their dad. It's a reflection of who they are."

The survey of 5,000 married adults reveals that several traditions are dying, including tying cans to the back of a car (deemed too noisy by many modern couples) and the honeymoon - it's now more likely to be a mini-moon taken weeks after the ceremony.

Another tradition on the way out is men asking fathers for their daughters' hands in marriage. If he's not paying, why bother?

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