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A Couple's Guide to Wedding Expenses: Who Pays For What?

As traditional wedding customs change and become more modern, the customs pertaining to who finances the wedding has changed over time as well. It is no longer mandatory that the couple's parents must pay for certain aspects of the wedding. In fact, many couples are paying for their own wedding, or holding non-traditional weddings such as destination weddings.

However, here are the traditional rules for paying for a wedding can be broken down as such:

The Bride

The bride usually pays for a luncheon, party or bridal tea for her bridesmaids and also purchases gifts for her Maid of Honor and her bridesmaids. The bride also pays for the groom's ring and a gift for her future husband. She also is generally expected to pay for lodging for any out of town wedding party attendants.

The Groom

The groom normally purchases the engagement ring, his future bride's wedding ring, and a wedding gift for her. Additionally, the groom normally pays for any fees for the marriage license or other legal documents needed, and the clergy or officiant fee. Like the bride, the groom is generally expected to pay for lodging for any out of town wedding party attendants. Additionally, it is customary for the groom (or the groom's parents) to pay for the honeymoon.

The Maid of Honor and Bridesmaids

The Maid of Honor and the bridesmaids, generally pay for the bridal shower, the bachelorette party, their gowns and their accessories.

The Best Man and Groomsmen

The Best Man and the groomsmen normally pay for the bachelor party and for their formal wear and accessories.

The Parents of the Groom

The parents of the groom normally pay for the rehearsal dinner and the after wedding brunch. They also may provide corsages for mothers and grandmothers, boutonnieres for the groom's attendants, and the bride's bouquet and corsage. Additionally, they normally provide a generous wedding gift to the couple.

The Parents of the Bride

The parents of the bride traditionally pay for everything else: everything needed for the ceremony and reception, including decorations, invitations, photography and the photographs, videographer, transportation, music, flowers, wedding favors, hotel accommodations, the reception facility, food, bar costs, and anything else. They also buy their daughter her wedding dress, pay the gratuities and they normally give a generous gift to the couple. Any other wedding expenses not listed here, the parents of the bride also normally pay for.

However, these are merely general, traditional guidelines. Your own personal finances and budget should dictate what type of wedding you should have. Who pays for these expenses should be decided between both families and discussed with the engaged couple before wedding planning commences. Knowing who is paying for what expenses and what your overall budget is, will help relieve much stress during your wedding planning. Remember, these are only general rules and many of today's modern couples absorb many of these expenses.

Article Copyright 2007, Erica Tevis, Little Things Wedding Favors

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