If you are a bride and/or groom-to-be in the stages of planning for a wedding, then this article is for you. It can be very confusing trying to figure out who should pay for what at your wedding if you don’t know the well-established traditions. I’m going to make this simple by going over the basics of establishing a budget for a wedding.
Keep in mind as I go over this traditional list of who pays for what at your wedding, that these rules are not set in stone. Even if they were set in stone, some rules are made to be broken. Every family’s circumstances are different. One side of the family may be wealthy, while the other is barely hanging on. No one should have to go broke while paying for a wedding. Be flexible and do what works for your unique situation.
Flowers and Decorations
The bride and her family are responsible for paying for the floral arrangements at the ceremony and reception. This will include bouquets and corsages for the bridesmaids and flower girls. However, the groom and family should pay for the bride’s bouquet, boutonnieres for the men, and the corsages for the mothers and grandmothers.
The parents of the bride will pay for the bride’s dress including the veil and accessories. The groom’s family will pay for the groom’s suit. Usually the attendants will pay for their own clothing including footwear.
The bride and her family are in charge of paying for the groom’s ring. The groom should pay for both the engagement and wedding ring of the bride.
The groom and family are responsible for paying for the honeymoon. If the honeymoon is going to be extremely costly and exotic, sometimes the bride and groom will chip in and pay for part of or all of the honeymoon.
The maid of honor and bridesmaids are in charge of hosting the bridal shower along with the bachelorette party. Sometimes the mother of the bride or an aunt of the bride may also step forward and volunteer to host the bridal shower.
If there is to be an engagement party, either the bride or groom’s family can pay for it. But, if there is more than one engagement party, then usually the groom’s family will pay for one of the parties while the bride’s family pays for the other. If there is only one engagement party, the bride’s family pays for and hosts the first one. Friends may also throw additional engagement parties and pay for them.
It is a long-standing tradition that the groom’s family shall pay for the rehearsal dinner. However, this is often a huge expense that couples often offer to help pay for.
The bride’s family is in charge of paying for the rental of the establishment where the ceremony will take place along with the organist if there is to be one. The groom and his family are to pay for the marriage license and also the officiant fee.
The bride and her family are in charge of paying for invitations, announcements, and wedding programs. Some brides like to save on this wedding expense by making their own stationery.
The bride and her family are in charge of paying for the food and decorations at the reception. The groom and his family are to pay for the DJ, band, and alcohol.
The bride and her family are in charge of paying for the wedding photos and videos. Sometimes a friend of the bride and groom will step in and do this task as a gift for the newlyweds. It’s important to remember that these are only suggestions instead of hard and fast rules.
Some couples opt to give their guests welcome gifts that they normally leave at each guest’s hotel room. This expense is to be covered by the couple. Many times, local products or personalized gifts are given as welcome gifts.
I’ve gone over the traditional wedding budget breakdown of who pays for what at a wedding. However, these rules are not set in stone. Brides and grooms can choose to use this as a guide and deviate from when needed, or throw the whole traditional budget away and do what works for their families. The important thing to remember is that you can have a perfectly lovely wedding that won’t leave you broke. Best of luck on your wedding planning!