The Big Day – Who Pays For What?

When you are planning a wedding, the challenging topic becomes the budget. The biggest challenge of all is who pays for what. 

With all this new wedding etiquette, it is a good idea to know who is supposed to pay for what. These days, it is not unusual at all for the couple to pay for their own wedding expenses. Sometimes, the parents will offer to help, and sometimes, they will not. It is good to know how the expenses are traditionally divided up for the couple. 

The Bride’s Family – The tradition stands that the bride’s family pays for all the expenses involved with the actual wedding ceremony, the reception, videography, photography, flowers, stationery, and music. Exceptions to this are the rehearsal dinner (the groom’s family pays for this), the honeymoon (the couple pays for this themselves), the gifts purchased for the bridal party (the couple covers this cost) and the clothing and transportation for the wedding party members and out-of-town guests. Oftentimes, the couple will offer to help out with this if they are able. 

The Groom’s Family  

As tradition goes, the groom’s family is responsible for covering the cost of the rehearsal dinner. 

The Bride

Traditionally, the bride will pay for her own jewelry for her wedding day, if it is not a gift from the groom. She will pay for her wedding gown and accessories. Oftentimes, the family will offer to help her with this expense. She will pay for the cuff links for the groom and all the pre-wedding and reception outfits she wears. 

The Groom

The groom is traditionally responsible for the jewelry he wears on the wedding day if it is not a gift from the bride. He will pay for his tuxedo and accessories and his pre-wedding and reception outfits. He will pay for the blood tests and the marriage license as well. 

The Couple

The couple is traditionally responsible for buying each other’s wedding rings and wedding gifts to each other. Some couples do not exchange a wedding gift. They pay for any extra expenses on their honeymoon as well. 

The Bridal Party

Traditionally, the bridal party is expected to pay for their own wedding attire. This includes any accessories, hair appointments and makeup if needed. The bride or couple can offer to help with these costs, but it is not an expectation nor required. The parents of children involved in the wedding should pay for their own clothing as well. The bridal party should cover their own costs for travel and any overnight accommodations. 

Now that we are in the 21st century, many couples will fork out the money for their entire wedding themselves with no money from their parents. To simplify any budget discussions for the wedding, decide what you can afford, and stick with that type of wedding. Their are many budget-friendly options, such as affordable wedding favors and DIY decorations. If your parents or relatives offer to help, it is up to you to accept or decline. If you do not really need financial assistance for the wedding, it is proper to politely decline. 

Today, the thought of having the bride’s family cover everything for the wedding is gone. A couple should aim to have an affordable wedding and have it be a reflection of how they will spend the rest of their married days together.

Teresa Herring works with and enjoys nothing more than a beautiful love story. If she’s not in her office blogging away, she is most likely hunting for sales.