You're Engaged! Now who pays for what?

As a wedding planner, one of the most frequent questions I get asked is who should pay for what. Some people think the responsibility falls completely on the bride. Others argue that the bride and groom should pay for a wedding themselves.

With the traditional rules constantly changing, I wanted to help out the modern bride and groom to know who is expected to pay for what!

The old rules lay out that the bride’s family determine the size and style of the wedding and reception and carry the full responsibility of paying. The groom’s family may pitch in to make the wedding bigger, but most of costs come out of the bride’s parent’s pockets. Today, the rules have changed a bit and allow for a more flexible division of costs. Both families can contribute to the total expenses and work together with the bride and groom to pay for the wedding. Ages of couples getting married is rising which allows the brides and grooms to pay for more or all of their wedding. Read the fine print though, these rules only apply for first weddings.

Second weddings and beyond, you are on your own for the entirety of the expenses. With a mix of the old and new rules, each couple will have their different opinions on this topic. Here is a general list based on new wedding etiquette to help you lose the stress and figure out who is pulling out their wallets for what-

The Bride’s Family:

  • Ceremony and reception venues
  • Catering of food and beverages
  • Cake and dessert
  • Security and insurance
  • Lodging for out-of town bridesmaids or arrangements with friends
  • Limousine for the bride and family to church, cars for transportation
  • Music for the ceremony and reception
  • Wedding planner
  • Invitations
  • Bridal Attire
  • Engagements, Bridals, Ceremony and Reception Photography

The Groom or His Family:

  • The bride’s engagement and wedding ring
  • Marriage license
  • Officiant’s fee and travel costs
  • Rehearsal dinner
  • Lodging or arrangements for out-of- town groomsmen
  • Wedding flowers, including bride’s bouquet, boutonnieres, corsages and décor
  • Ties for the groomsmen
  • Wedding gift for the bride
  • Limousine for leaving the reception
  • Wedding night accommodations
  • Groomsmen gifts
  • Shipping of wedding gifts to bride and groom’s home
  • Honeymoon

The Bride:

  • Groom’s wedding ring
  • Groom’s gift
  • Gifts for bridesmaids
  • Thank you gifts for parents

Other Expenses:

  • Engagement parties by each set of parents
  • Bachelor dinner or party

As you can see, there is a lot to be paid for and a lot of different ways to slice it! What it comes down to is finding a split that makes the bride, the groom and their family feel comfortable and involved. The rule that is the most important to follow is just that, make your own rules!

Original Blog Post: New Wedding Etiquette Who Pays For What?