Wedding Etiquette: Who Pays for What?

Weddings are a costly expense and it can be a gray area when it comes to who pays for what. Many people have decided to stray away from the traditional set up of who pay for what when it comes to the wedding expenses. Money can be a hard topic to discuss for many families so keep this in mind when approaching your parents about how much, if anything, they are willing to pay. One great way to approach your parents about how much they are willing to chip in is to ask them, “How would you like to be a part of the wedding” Then if they don’t bring up money in the conversation you can ask, “Are you be able to contribute financially to any part of the planning?” This way you know what they can and can’t pay for before you being planning.

There are many different ways to split up the costs between the bride, groom, the bride’s family, and the groom’s family. Here is the traditional way to split up the cost:

Bride’s Family-

  • Church/location of the ceremony
  • Gown + accessories
  • Flower arrangements: bridesmaid’s bouquets, and floral decorations
  • Photos/Photographer
  • Food and decorations for the reception
  • Invitations
  • Engagement party

Grooms’ Family

  • Marriage license and Officiant fees
  • Tux + accessories
  • Flower arrangements: Boutonnieres, corsages for the mothers and grandmother, bride’s bouquet
  • Honeymoon (sometimes paid by groom himself)
  • Rehearsal dinner
  • Alcohol

Many couples feel as though they should be more financially responsible for their wedding so they opt to split up the costs another way. Here are some other popular ways to pay for the wedding:

  • All expenses are split 3 ways between the bride’s family, the groom’s family, and the bride and groom
  • Bride and Groom pay but both families chip in what they can
  • Bride and Groom pay for all expenses


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