There are many traditions surrounding who pays for what in a wedding. Ultimately, there needs to be a conversation with the bride, groom, and the two families about expenses and who is going to pay for what. Not all of today’s weddings are paid for in the traditional way. In this article, we will dive into which wedding experiences are (traditionally) whose responsibility.
Who Pays For The Wedding: The Bride’s Family
Traditionally, the bride’s family pays for the majority of the wedding. This typically includes but is not limited to:
- Wedding Planner
- Wedding Dress and Accessories
- Hair and Makeup (bride sometimes also pays for this)
- Florals (ceremony, reception, and any bouquets EXCEPT the bride’s bouquet)
- Reception Catering
- Wedding Invites, Announcements, Wedding Program
- Wedding Cake and other desserts
- Morning After Brunch (if there is one)
Who Pays For The Wedding: The Groom’s Family
The groom’s family traditionally has fewer expenses to pay for when it comes to the wedding. This normally includes:
- The Groom’s Outfit
- The Bride’s bouquet
- Rehearsal Dinner
- Boutonnieres & corsages
- Marriage License
- Reception (Music & Alcohol)
There are a few others costs that may go to other people involved in a wedding. These include:
Engagement parties / bridal showers – usually whoever is hosting an engagement party will pay for that party. Engagement parties can be hosted by the Bride or Grooms family, a different relative, or even a friend! There can be multiple engagement parties or bridal showers for the couple. If you are wondering what an engagement party is, you can check out our article here.
Bridal Party Gifts – the groom or bride will usually pay for gifts for each of their groomsmen or bridesmaids.
Bachelor/ Bachelorette Parties – Usually the cost and planning of the bachelor of bachelorette fall on the bridal party as well. The best man or maid of honor usually plan and pay for these, and the other groomsmen or bridesmaids help out. The bride or groom usually does not pay for any part of their party.
Mother of the Bride / Groom gifts – the bride or groom will pay for the gifts that are given to their parents.
Gifts for the bride and groom – Some couples traditionally buy each other gifts on their wedding day as well as write a letter to their soon-to-be spouse. The bride is responsible for the groom’s gift and the groom is responsible for the bride’s gift. Other people will also purchase gifts for the couple off of their wedding registry. Wedding gifts are usually given at bridal parties and not at the actual wedding.
Bridesmaids Dresses – “Generally speaking, bridesmaids are expected to pay for their own dresses and accessories, as well as potentially hair and makeup appointments and transportation to the wedding (Brides.com).
Groomsmen Attire – Groomsmen are expected to pay for their own attire.
Remember, these are only the traditional forms of paying for the wedding. There is absolutely nothing wrong with straying away from this tradition! Remember: It’s your wedding! You make the rules, including the financial ones.