Who Pays for What?

Back when dowries were in vogue, the bride’s family was responsible for the entire cost of the wedding ceremony — complete with all the trimmings – that blended two families into one. These days, the rules for weddings are more flexible. Modern couples commonly pay for all, or at least some, of the expenses of their special day, especially if they are older and well established. It’s also appropriate for families to split the expenses down the middle, or three ways with the engaged couple.

Once the date is set, sit down with those who would like to contribute and develop a budget that will realistically pay for the day of your dreams without breaking the bank. With the modern view of wedding finances in mind, here’s the traditional breakdown of who pays for what, but remember, rules are made to be broken!

• The bride and her family pay for the groom’s wedding ring.

• The groom and his family pay for the bride’s engagement and wedding rings.

Pre-wedding Parties:
• Either the bride or the groom’s family may host the engagement party.

• The maid or matron of honor and bridesmaids host showers. If it is a co-ed shower, the Best Man and Groomsmen may co-host.

• Friends may throw additional engagement parties or showers.

• The Bride hosts the bridesmaid’s brunch or lunch.

• The Groom hosts the bachelor’s dinner.

• The Maid or Matron of Honor hosts the bachelorette party.

• The Best Man and Groomsmen host the bachelor party.

Invites and Stationery:
• The Bride and her family pay for invitations, reply cards, announcements, note cards, stationery, and programs as well as the associated postage. Reply cards should have postage attached.

Favors, Wedding Day Accessories and Gifts:
• The Bride pays for gifts for her attendants and her Groom.

• The Groom pays for gifts for his attendants, ushers and his Bride.

• The Bride and her family pay for the wedding favors, sign in book, monogrammed cake server and toasting glasses and any printed items such as napkins or matches.

Clothing and Grooming:
• The Bride and her family pay for the Bride’s dress and accessories as well as any clothes needed for the reception and honeymoon.

• The Bride pays for her hair and makeup.

• The Groom and his family pay for his clothing.

• The Attendants pay for their own clothing.

• The Bride and her family pay for the ceremony venue arrangements as well as the reception. They also are responsible for the bouquets for the female attendants.

• The Groom and his family pay for the Bride’s bouquet and going away corsage, boutonnieres for the groomsmen, fathers and grandfathers and other male attendants as well as the corsages for the mothers and grandmothers.

• The Bride and her family pay for the wedding photos and video.

Rehearsal Dinner:
• The Groom and his family pay for the rehearsal dinner including food, invitations, decorations and music.

• The Bride and her family pay for the venue, any rentals, music, and transportation to and from the reception and ceremony.

• The Groom and his family pays for the marriage license, any necessary tips for transportation and/or escorts and the fee for the officiate.

• The Bride and her family pay for catering, Wedding Cake, bar, décor, any rentals, and music.

• The Groom and his family pay for the Groom’s cake.

Travel Expenses:
• Each side pays for their own travel expenses including transportation and hotel.

• The Groom and his family pay for all honeymoon expenses except for the Bride’s clothing.

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