Who traditionally Pays for the Wedding? Here’s a Clear Answer!

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Planning a wedding can be both exciting and overwhelming. One important consideration for couples is determining who traditionally pays for the wedding. Traditional wedding etiquette outlines specific expectations for who covers wedding expenses, but these lines have become more blurred in modern times. This Viva Wedding Photography article will explore the breakdown of wedding expenses and provide insight into modern wedding etiquette.

Who Typically Pays For What In Wedding Costs?

Family Of The Bride-To-Be

Who Pays For A Wedding Traditionally - Bride's Family
Who Pays For A Wedding Traditionally – Bride’s Family (Source: Good Morning America)

The bride’s family was traditionally responsible for covering a much more significant portion of the wedding’s expenses than they typically do today. Everything from the bridesmaids’ hotel rooms to the invitations and stationery (save for the rehearsal dinner invitations) should be considered.

The bridal gown, accessories, and the bride’s hair and cosmetics are all included. You can pay for your dress yourself or accept an offer from a doting grandma. Costly elements like a wedding planner, the bride’s bachelorette party, and the reception are also covered by the bride’s family (music, guest favors, rentals, etc.).

To answer the question of who traditionally pays for the wedding, the family of the bride will be responsible for the following:

  • Wedding Gown (including veil and accessories)
  • Engagement Party
  • A Wedding Planner or Coordinator
  • Invites, save-the-date cards, wedding programs, and other paper goods
  • Photography and filming
  • Arrangements for the bridesmaids’ travel and lodging.
  • Pre-nuptial Party
  • Event Type: A Ceremony or Reception
  • Decorations/Flowers
  • A wedding cake
  • The Morning After Brunch.

Family Of The Groom

Who Traditionally Pays For The Wedding - Groom's Family
Who Traditionally Pays For The Wedding – Groom’s Family (Source: Jac & Jules)

The marriage license and officiant’s price, the rehearsal dinner (location, food, drink, decorations, entertainment, and yes, invites), and the groom’s family and groomsmen’s lodging and transportation costs are all the responsibility of the groom’s parents.

In the past, a honeymoon would be planned and paid for by the groom and his family, but these days, it’s increasingly common for the couple to work together on the details (and sometimes even use crowdsourcing to cover costs).

To help pay for their special trip, some newlyweds create a “honeymoon fund” at their reception, while others use a “honeymoon registry” on their wedding website to collect gifts in exchange for items such as airfare, hotel stays, tours, and more.

Who traditionally pays for the wedding – Here is the groom’s family responsibility:

  • Romantic Getaway (Honeymoon)
  • The price of a marriage license and the services of a licensed religious leader.
  • Provide transportation and lodging for the groomsmen.
  • Wedding reception drinks and DJ
  • The Rehearsal Dinner
  • Flower arrangements, such as the bouquet, boutonnieres, and corsages, for the bride.

>>> Recommend reading: How to save money on a Wedding? – 51 Tips To Fit Your Budget

The Bride-To-Be

Who Typically Pays For A Wedding - Bride-To-Be
Who Typically Pays For A Wedding – Bride-To-Be (Source: One Fab Day)

The bride traditionally foots the bill for the wedding band for the groom and any gifts for the bridesmaids. A wedding organizer, flowers, and other decorations are just a few examples of the various expenses often split between the bride and her family.

The advice is that you should follow the budget if you set one. Don’t make an unrealistically small budget for things you know will cost more. Think like a normal person. Know that the more people you invite, the more money you will need to spend on the wedding. That isn’t true in every circumstance, but it is something to consider if money is tight.

Related to who traditionally pays for the wedding costs, the bride is accountable for the following:

  • Wedding band for the groom
  • Presents for her bridesmaid, the groom, and the newlyweds’ parents
  • Her hair and makeup.

Mr. Groom

Who Traditionally Pays For The Wedding - The Groom
Who Traditionally Pays For The Wedding – The Groom (Source: Chelsea Abril)

Tradition suggests that the groom should pay for the bride’s engagement ring and wedding band. It is customary for the man to purchase or rent the wedding suit. However, it is not unheard of for the groom’s family to help with this expense. The groom is also the one who usually foots the bill for his groomsmen’s and the bride’s gifts.

The groom must provide the bride with the following:

  • An engagement ring and wedding band
  • Dress for the groom
  • Presents for bride and groomsmen
  • The honeymoon, unless the groom’s parents pay for it.

Who Traditionally Pays For The Wedding: A Few Things To Bear In Mind

First, Talk About Your Priorities

Although you would believe so, the first step in wedding preparation is not budgeting. Getting your priorities in line is crucial since it will determine how you spend your money.

Think about the aspects of your wedding that are most significant to you. Do you desire an opulent estate setting? Do you desire an energetic dance party hosted by a musician who plays until midnight? Do you wish to provide your visitors with a memorable culinary experience? Highlighting the essential components you want for your special day can help you determine where to spend the most money and where you may cut costs.

>>> Recommend reading: How Much To Tip Wedding Vendors: Tips For Brides And Grooms

Know Your Financial Limits

Determine Your Budget For The Wedding
Determine Your Budget For The Wedding (Source: Hitched)

It’s essential to be practical about your financial constraints when you explain your priorities. Even if you envision an extravagantly decorated location filled with flowers, it may be out of your price range.

While planning your wedding budget, thinking about several ways to save money can be good. You should include a safety net in your budget while settling on the final figure; this will help you avoid debt in the event of unforeseen expenses or last-minute additions.

The budget is a guiding north star, and I advocate throwing in a buffer to accommodate for items that can come up or you might forget. You can also look into payment methods to help spread out wedding costs over time.

The best approach to keep track of your wedding budget and prevent overspending (or getting into debt) is to be realistic from the outset of your planning journey, as uncomfortable as it may be to talk about money.

You Can Ask Family Members To Help Out Financially If Comfortable

It is customary for the bride and groom to share the cost of the wedding with their parents or in-laws, so you may want to approach them for monetary assistance. The sooner you start talking about it, the better.

You can raise money issues early to set reasonable expectations and create a routine for discussing money. It can be embarrassing to rely on your family’s approach to finance. Still, it’s better to understand what you’re dealing with early than after you’ve started paying for things or when you get emotionally involved.

Some additional advice? Initiate contact to discover whether or not they have anything to add to the discussion rather than jumping to the conclusion that they will.

Rather than assuming that your family will contribute following the standard wedding budget breakdown, you may ask if they would be willing to pay any particular costs or make a general contribution. With this method, parents can feel good about contributing instead of being like a drain on the system.

>>> Further reading:

Although there are some standard norms concerning who traditionally pays for the wedding, the couple must keep an open mind. These days, it’s not unusual for the bride and groom to pay for most of the wedding themselves, with financial contributions from both families. The pair should sit with their respective families and figure out how to split the wedding costs fairly.

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