Who Pays For What? A Guide to Paying for Your Wedding

Traditionally, the parents (and family) of the bride have been expected to help plan and pay for the majority of the wedding, but these expectations are quickly shifting as couples begin to marry older and wedding price tags continue to climb. Your total wedding cost is typically based on how extensive you want your wedding to be.  So ultimately, you have full control on how much is spent.  If you are a new bride-to-be and want to better understand the traditional expectations of who pays for what for a wedding, please keep reading.  

 

  • CEREMONY

 

    • Venue = Bride’s Parents/Family
    • Decor = Bride’s Parents/Family
    • Officiant (including travel, accommodations, etc)  = Groom
    • Marriage License & Certificate Fees = Groom
    • Transportation to Venue (both wedding parties) = Groom’s Parents/Family
    • Other Misc. Rentals & Professional Services = Bride’s Parents/Family

 

  • RECEPTION

 

    • Catering = Bride’s Parents/Family
    • Decor = Bride’s Parents/Family
    • Entertainment (band, dj, etc.) = Groom and/or His Parents/Family
    • Drinks  / Bar = Groom and/or His Parents/Family
    • Cake = Bride’s Parents/Family
    • Party Favors = Bride’s Parents/Family
    • Other Misc. Professional Services = Bride’s Parents/Family

 

  • HONEYMOON

 

    • Wedding Night Accommodations = Groom’s Parents/Family
    • Honeymoon = Groom’s Parents/Family

 

  • PARTIES

 

    • Engagement Party = Bride’s Parents/Family
    • Bachelor Party = Best Man
    • Bachelorette Party = Maid of Honor
    • Bridal Shower = Bride’s Parents/Family and/or Bridesmaids
    • Rehearsal Dinner = Groom’s Parents/Family

 

  • PHOTOGRAPHY/VIDEOGRAPHY
    • Photographer = Bride’s Parents/Family
    • Videographer = Groom’s Parents/Family

 

 

  • ATTIRE
    • Bride (dress, shoes, veil, etc.) = Bride’s Parents/Family
    • Groom (suit/tux, shoes, tie, etc.) = Groom
    • Wedding Party = Participants pay for their own items, unless Bride and Groom are feeling generous.

 

 

  • RINGS
    • Engagement Ring(s) = Person proposing (Bride or Groom)
    • Groom’s Wedding Ring = Bride
    • Bride’s Wedding Ring = Groom

 

 

  • STATIONARY
    • Announcements = Bride’s Parents/Family
    • Wedding Invitations = Bride’s Parents/Family
    • Wedding Program = Bride’s Parents/Family
    • Other Misc. Stationery = Bride’s Parents/Family

 

 

  • FLORAL
    • Reception = Bride’s Parents/Family
    • Ceremony = Bride’s Parents/Family
    • Bride’s Bouquet = Groom
    • Bridesmaids & Flower Girls Bouquets = Bride’s Parents/Family
    • Groomsmen & Ring Bearer Boutonnieres = Groom
    • Mother of the Bride Corsage = Groom
    • Grandmother of the Bride Corsage = Groom
    • Mother of the Groom Corsage = Groom
    • Grandmother of the Groom Corsage = Groom

While these costs are based on one specific model of a wedding, for more modern couples not interested in following these traditions, it is often reasonable to split the costs 50/50 between families. As millennials begin settling down and marrying later in life, they are more capable of paying for their own wedding expenses. But if you end up needing extra financial assistance, check out The Knot’s helpful budget calculator to determine how much to budget for each essential part of your wedding. And no matter how you decide to split up the costs, don’t forget to bring Life Event Films along to document every step of celebrating the journey®!