Wedding Expenses: Who Pays for What?
As traditional weddings change and become more modern, the tradition of who finances the wedding has changed over time as well. It is no longer mandatory that the bride's parents must foot the entire bill or that the groom's parents pay for the rehearsal dinner. In fact, many couples are paying for their own wedding, splitting some costs with their parents 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 Usually Pays For:

  • The bridal luncheon, party or bridal tea for her bridesmaids
  • Bridesmaid gifts
  • The groom's ring
  • A gift for her future husband
  • Lodging for any out of town bridesmaids
  • Transportation for her bridal party to wedding

The Groom Usually Pays For:

  • The engagement ring
  • The bride's wedding ring
  • A wedding gift for his future wife
  • Groomsmen gifts
  • The marriage license (groom or groom's parents)
  • Legal documents needed (groom or groom's parents)
  • The clergy or officiant fee (groom or groom's parents)
  • Lodging for any out of town groomsmen
  • Transportation for his bridal party to wedding
  • The bridal bouquet, boutonnieres, and corsages (groom or groom's parents)
  • The Honeymoon (groom or groom's parents)

The Maid of Honor and Bridesmaids Pay For

  • The bridal shower
  • The bachelorette party
  • Their attire and accessories
  • Gifts for the couple

The Best Man and Groomsmen Pay For

  • The bachelor party
  • Their formal wear and accessories
  • Gifts for the couple

The Parents of the Groom Pay For

  • The rehearsal dinner
  • The after wedding brunch
  • Liquor at the wedding
  • The band or DJ
  • Their own wedding attire
  • Gift for the couple

The Parents of the Bride

  • Purchase the wedding dress
  • Wedding planner
  • Wedding decorations
  • Wedding invitations
  • Event venue location
  • Photography
  • Videographer
  • Transportation
  • Any other vendors including wedding favors
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Gift for the couple
  • Their own wedding attire

Wedding Guests Usually Pay For

  • Their own attire
  • Their own transportation
  • Their own hotel suite if needed
  • Gift for the couple
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.
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