Who Pays For What in a Wedding

We're way past the age where we have to stick to certain outdated rules when it comes to weddings, such as the bride's parents footing the bill for most of the whole wedding. This tradition stems from the times when parents had to include a dowry to make the bride more attractive, since she won't be able to earn income. These days, many couples are splitting the costs evenly among themselves, with and without their parents.

Take a look at the traditional cost breakdown of a wedding for reference. But keep in mind that no one is required to follow these rules — it all depends on your own situation.

Bride pays for:

  • Groom's ring
  • Wedding gift for groom
  • Gifts for bridesmaids
  • Bridal party luncheon
  • Transportation for bridal party to wedding

Groom pays for:

  • Engagement ring and bride's wedding ring
  • Wedding gift for bride
  • Gifts for groomsmen
  • Marriage license
  • Officiant's fee
  • Wedding wear
  • Honeymoon
  • Boutonnieres for groomsmen, fathers, and grandfathers
  • Bridal bouquet
  • Corsages for mothers and grandmothers
  • Transportation for groomsmen to wedding

Bride's family pays for:

  • Engagement party
  • Invites
  • Wedding planner or coordinator
  • Wedding dress
  • Bridal party transportation to wedding
  • Reception
  • Vendors
  • Ceremony
  • Their own attire
  • Gifts for the couple

Groom's family pays for:

  • Rehearsal dinner
  • Alcohol at the reception (optional)
  • Their own wedding wear
  • Gifts for the couple

Wedding party pays for:

  • Their own attire
  • Best man and groomsmen host the bachelor party
  • Maid of honor and bridesmaids host the wedding shower and/or bachelorette
  • Gifts for the couple

Guests pay for:

  • Their own attire
  • Transportation
  • Gifts for the couple

Photo by Ashlee Raubach Photography via Style Me Pretty

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