Financial Planning for Your Wedding: Who Pays For What

It can be difficult to decide who pays for what in the wedding budget. Traditionally, weddings have been when the bride and groom’s parents split costs 50/50, but this is no longer an acceptable arrangement. In today’s society, weddings are often more expensive than ever before, and it just doesn’t make sense for one family to foot the entire bill on their own. There are many ways people pay for weddings these days: splitting expenses with your partner. Having separate weddings (one at home and one abroad) or asking friends and family members to contribute financially.

Who Pays for What

The lines of who pays for what at weddings have changed. It is not clear who should pay for the dress, the rings, and the wedding band. First, we will say that there is no official rule about this. Traditionally, the bride’s family pays for the majority of the wedding. But our study has shown that more and more couples are also paying for their own weddings. More than half of all couples pay for it or contribute to it.

Work With Your Loved Ones

When you decide what to do about dividing up expenses, it is important to work with your family and spouse to figure out who will pay for things. You can make a budget before you meet with your families to know how much things will cost.

Your parents can help with the spreadsheet. They can tell you if they think your numbers are right, and they will volunteer to do something. This is helpful if divorced parents or other situations involve more than one parent. When it comes to how much it will cost everyone in the end, they’re all on the same page.

Requirements from Etiquette Experts

Suppose you want to cling to tradition or are simply curious about how things used to be. In that case, there are certain pretty tight requirements to follow. Here, our etiquette experts tell you who should pay for what according to old customs.

You are engaged, and you might want to get married soon. But before you make any other decisions, there is one thing that you need to decide: who will pay for the wedding? There are many ways that people can pay for a wedding these days. Many couples are now taking care of their own wedding money. 68% of people in the Wedding Academy said that many couples pay for most of the wedding themselves. However, some individuals still believe that the bride’s parents should contribute to the wedding costs. Like most weddings, costs may be split between the couple and other family members. One or both parents may be divorced or remarried in some situations. The grandparents might also help pay for the wedding by giving money. It all depends on each individual situation.

In other words, it is OK to decide who pays for the wedding. There are some traditions about it, but you do not have to follow them. It does not matter who pays—the parents, grandparents, or anyone else. But if you pay for the whole thing yourself, you have more control over how much money is spent on the wedding. It does not matter what way you share costs—each family and situation is different.

The bride’s family would pay for most of a wedding not long ago.

It is still so, but some people now prefer to pay for their own wedding or pay more than one family member. Other people may give money to the bride and groom for their wedding. It is important to think about who will pay for what when planning a wedding. It helps to look back at the old rules and how people share costs. Setting a budget and talking about it with people beforehand can help stop fighting.

Is it still appropriate for Mums and Dads to pick up the wedding tab? Is it required that the bride and groom pay for the wedding? We investigate several alternatives to consider when creating a wedding budget.

What to Do Before the Wedding

The three royal weddings in the last decade have sparked a lot of conjecture. People were wondering who would pay for what and how much. Happily, most couples do not have to worry about this as much as they can make their own plans without any problems. But sometimes people disagree on who pays for the wedding, or it can even be worse than that. Today, you can get your wedding etiquette right if you know what you will do before the wedding.

Wedding Cost and Budget

A wedding nowadays costs roughly $30,000 on average. For many couples, this is prohibitively pricey. The bride’s family generally pays for the reception, while the groom pays for the honeymoon. But there are other costs too: like transport and ceremony fees. These days, few couples play by these rules in their budget when they get married.

Some of your family members may want to help with the cost of your wedding. We have put together a list of what is traditionally paid for by different people. This way, you can see how much it will cost and let them know how much they can help with. It makes no difference who pays for it as long as you are satisfied with your selections.

Many questions about weddings are about money. The bride’s family paid for most of the wedding expenses in the past. The groom’s family had to pay for only one expense: the rehearsal dinner. The groom also needed to pay for other things like his wife’s rings and their honeymoon vacation.

In the past, people usually paid for their own weddings. But now, many couples are paying for their own weddings. With the cost of weddings going up, people are getting married later when they have jobs and money of their own. So people are often paying one-third of the cost. Sometimes there is a different plan where each family pays one-third.

Engagement Party

If you are getting married, your family might host an engagement party. The party is usually at the family’s house. People come to welcome the bride and groom to their families.


The church and the sexton and organist are paid for by the bride and her family. The marriage license and officiant fee are paid by the groom’s family. Tradition says that the bride and her family take care of the ceremony and reception.

Before the bride and groom talk to their parents about how to help with the cost, they should first have a private discussion. Rebecca Gardner, an event expert on the east coast, said that couples should discuss money upfront before talking with relatives.

Wedding Attire

The bride’s family pays for the bride’s dress, veil, and accessories. The groom’s family pays for the groom’s outfit. All of the attendants pay for their own clothes. This is not often the case these days, but it is interesting to think about how it used to be when everyone had to buy their own clothes. For your wedding day, the things you need include the dress, accessories, and hair and makeup. Some people might offer to buy it for you, or maybe you are paying for it yourself. A word of advice: don’t ask your bridesmaids to pay for your dress.

When it comes to the groom’s clothes, he is usually the one to foot the bill. It is thoughtful to give something to your bridal party if you can afford to do so. But this is not necessary. In addition, you can also plan a bridal shower to prepare and relax before your wedding day.

Don’t think that brides and grooms are not grateful. Quite often, they purchase thank you gifts. These are items such as jewelry, shoes, and ties that their attendants can wear at the wedding. The bride may also be responsible for the hair and makeup of all of her bridesmaids. It’s also common for her to organize an event like a bridesmaid’s tea or a fun outing to say thanks to them.

The bride and groom should consider their guests’ financial needs when planning a wedding. So, if most attendants have tight budgets, they will need to find inexpensive options. It might help if the couple planned for this by offering to contribute with things like travel or arranging cheap places where the attendants can stay while they are there.

The bride’s family usually pays for the dresses. But some people buy their own clothes, and it depends on your budget and what type of dress you want them to wear. You should talk about this with your friends early, so no confusion later.

Flowers and Decorations

The bride and groom pay for the flowers at the wedding. The bride pays for her own bouquet, and the groom’s family pays for his boutonnieres. All other flowers at the event, including a chuppah if it’s a Jewish wedding, will be paid for by the bride’s family. The bride and her family pay for most flowers and decorations at a wedding ceremony and reception. The groom and his family used to buy the bride’s flowers. This is because they were traditional. Now, people can do whatever they want for their wedding party. The bouquet is a present from the groom to the bride on their wedding day. They will also pick wildflowers for her bouquet. The bride’s family pays for the flower decorations for her side of the wedding party.

Traditional Costs for the Bride’s Family

The bride’s family begins to plan for the wedding before the day of. The bride’s parents host and pay for an engagement party. They want to welcome the groom-to-be and his family into their family by hosting this party. Besides, traditionally, the bride’s parents are in charge of hosting a reception after a wedding. The bride’s family’s job is to make sure that everything goes well at the party. They should buy clothes and travel for this. The bride’s family should also pay for these things:

  • These are typically items such as jewelry, shoes, or ties that their attendants can wear throughout the wedding. The bride may also be responsible for the hair and makeup of all her bridesmaids. Food, music, decorations, rental costs, and entertainment are all included in the reception.
  • The ceremony’s total cost, including rental fees and decorations
  • Wedding ceremony and floral reception arrangements
  • Wedding gown and accessories for the bride
  • Invitations, announcements, programs, and postage are all expenses
  • Favors for weddings
  • Fees for photography and videography
  • Travel and accommodation expenses for the official (if from out of town)
  • Accommodations for bridesmaids (if from out of town)
  • On the wedding day, the bridal party will be transported.

Traditional Costs for the Groom’s Family

The groom’s family is responsible for some of the expenses. They pay for their clothes and travel costs. They also host the rehearsal dinner, which can be casual or formal. The purpose of this event is to have an intimate occasion for both families and bridal parties to meet and mingle. The groom’s family is traditionally responsible for funding the following:

  • The entire rehearsal dinner, including food, invitations, decorations, and entertainment
  • A wedding gift for the couple
  • Corsages and boutonnieres for parents of both families
  • Lodging for out-of-town groomsmen
  • Though optional, sometimes the groom’s family pays for or contributes to the costs of alcohol served at the wedding reception

Old Wedding Etiquette Rules

In the past, the bride’s family paid for their wedding expenses. They got to choose how big and what style. The groom’s family might offer to pay for the reception. The bride’s family might agree if they want a more expensive wedding.

New Wedding Etiquette Rules

Both families may divide the expenses as they want, or each may contribute a set amount to the total expenses. The bride and groom may pay for this too. Today, many couples are married when they are older. They will choose their own wedding and celebration together. For encore weddings, the couple is always responsible for the costs.

To learn more about planning a wedding, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions About Who Pays for What in the Wedding Budget

At a Wedding in 2020, Who Pays for What?

Parents are responsible for 52 percent of the wedding costs. Couples are to blame for 47% of the cases. The final 1% is covered by other family members. So parents still pay a lot, but not all of it anymore.

In Today’s Weddings, Who Pays for What?

Rather than having one family pay for a wedding, it is common practice for both families to share the cost. Some popular options are that the bride and groom can each pay for half of the wedding.

How Are Wedding Costs Split?

Today, many people decide to pay for their wedding themselves. But many people also decide to do it with both families paying. If you want your family to pay, talk about it with them and make a plan together.

What Do the Bride’s Parents Pay For?

If you follow the rules of tradition, the bride’s family is expected to bear the cost of some things. The bride’s family will cover the cost of the bridal gown and the presents for the bridesmaids. They’ll also cover the cost of a wedding planner or coordinator, as well as invitations, flowers, and the reception. If they want photos, they may have to pay for them.

Who Pays for the Honeymoon?

The groom or groom’s parents usually pay for the honeymoon at these traditional weddings. The bride and groom should consider the financial needs of their guests when planning their wedding.

What Does a Wedding Budget Include?

A budget starts with a list of people you want to have at your wedding. You have to pay for their basic needs, like food and drink, so be prepared for that. The other costs are what you need to spend on the essential things like taking pictures and videos.

What Is the Maid of Honor Responsible for Paying For?

The maid of honor should pay for her wedding attire. This includes the dress, any alterations, shoes, and jewelry. The bride might also give the maid of honor money to buy accessories that she wants the maid of honor to wear.

Why Does the Bride Have To Pay for the Wedding?

Women were considered property, and a dowry was paid to get a woman out of her family’s hands.

Who Pays for the Bridesmaid Dresses?

According to etiquette, each person who attends the wedding is expected to pay for their own outfit. Even if the bride chooses what dress they wear, they are still expected to pay for it.

What Will the Typical Wedding Cost in 2021?

The average wedding costs $22,500. This is based on a survey of 7,600 couples by The Knot website. The cost varies due to other factors like location and what you want for your wedding.

Is 15000 a Good Wedding Budget?

If you have a budget of $15,000, you can still have an amazing wedding. But make sure to keep the guest list to 50 people or fewer. Other ways to save money include sending invitations through email or choosing the buffet package at the venue rather than a plated dinner.

What Amount of Money Should the Groom’s Parents Contribute?

The bride and groom’s parents give about $19,000 to the wedding. The bride’s parents give an average of $12,000, and the groom’s parents give $7,000. But only 1 in 10 couples pays for the wedding all by themselves.

What day is it unlucky to marry? Wednesday is the luckiest day for weddings, while Saturday is unlucky. This comes from a rhyme in English folklore: “Monday for health, Tuesday for wealth, Wednesday best of all, Thursday for losses, Friday for crosses, Saturday for no luck at all.”

Is Paying for a Wedding Considered a Gift?

According to the IRS, the person who gives money or property to another person is responsible for paying a gift tax. If you give someone your wedding gifts, it will not increase your tax obligation.

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