Deciding Who Pays for What When Planning Your Wedding

The topic of “who pays for what” at a wedding is always one that is slightly blurred. There are certain traditions and certain sayings that are widely known, but what is the true breakdown for the wedding costs? The truth is that it can all differ between the couples, the cultures, and the specific traditions of each family.

Although there is not one set of guidelines, there is a common way that most couples decide to pay for their wedding. If you or someone you know is having trouble divvying the wedding costs, keep reading this article for the traditional solution!

Traditionally the bride and her family would have to foot most of the bill, while the groom and his family had much less of a burden. Now the costs seem to be split slightly more evenly with the bride still carrying the heavier end.

The expenses for the bride and her family traditionally include paying for: the wedding venue, the wedding planner or coordinator, the organist/wedding music, the wedding dress and accessories, all flower arrangements in the wedding and reception, all wedding photos and videos, the engagement party, the bridesmaid’s luncheon, accommodation for all of the bridesmaids, all professional services at the reception including food and decoration, the groom’s ring, the wedding invitations, and lastly transportation of the bridal party to and from the events.

On the other hand, the groom and his family traditionally pay for: the marriage license, the officiant’s fee, the groom’s outfit, the bride’s bouquet and going away corsage, the corsages for the mothers and grandmothers, the boutonnieres for the men, accommodations for the groomsmen, the complete honeymoon, the bachelor’s dinner, the DJ and music for the reception, the liquor if any, and both of the bride’s rings.

Although this is the traditional way that couples may pay for their wedding, feel free to split up the costs however you wish! This should not be a time of stress or burden. Your wedding planning should be a happy time, so you can always split it 50/50 to completely eliminate the need to feel stuck to a guideline! Happy wedding planning to you all!

Amber Bentley
Social Media Manager/Event Assistant
Devoted to Your Event, LLC

Budgeting for the Wedding — Who Pays for What? (n.d.). Retrieved November
27, 2015, from

Frankfort, L. (2014, November 14). The Traditional Breakdown of Whose
Family Pays for What. Retrieved November 27, 2015, from

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