Wedding Etiquette – Who Pays For What?
Weddings can be very expensive and as you begin planning for your wedding day you will start to wonder who will bankroll this major event in your life. Traditional wedding etiquette lays down the ground rules on who pays for what, but these days it is no longer unusual for the bride and groom to share expenses, or for both sets of parents to more or less evenly share wedding-related costs.
The Bride And Her Family
In the past the father of the bride paid for the wedding and reception, but today the bride’s family is no longer expected to pay for the entire cost of the wedding. However, the bride and her family are still traditionally expected to shoulder the following expenses:
- Costs related to the ceremony
- Costs related to the reception
- The wedding dress
- The groom’s ring (this is paid for by the bride)
- Wedding invitations
- Wedding favors and gifts for the bride’s attendants
- Fees for the bridal consultant
- Wedding decorations
- Photographer and/or videographer
The Groom And His Family
According to wedding etiquette, the groom and his family are expected to pay for the following:
- The bride’s rings (the groom pays for the bride’s engagement ring and wedding ring)
- Groom’s attire
- Marriage license
- Fee for the clergyman or judge
- Rehearsal dinner and related expenses
- Flowers for the bride
- Corsages for the mothers and grandmothers
- The honeymoon
Bridesmaids And Groomsmen
The attendants are responsible for their wedding attire. Aside from paying for their wedding clothes, bridesmaids and groomsmen should pay for their own travel expenses. Bridesmaids would buy a gift for the bride and they may choose to host a bridal shower party at their expense. The groomsmen would buy the groom a gift and hold a bachelor party for him.
The list given above only serves as a guideline and you may veer away from the traditional wedding etiquette for who pays for what. The bride and groom may decide to pay for all expenses for themselves, or their families can agree to split the cost of the wedding in the most convenient way for them. The important thing is to work out the details and determine who pays for what. This should be done soon after you announce your engagement.
Regardless of how you decide to pay for the wedding costs, make sure your wedding budget is reasonable. Don’t plan on an elaborate wedding that doesn’t fit your budget. With a little creativity you can always find economical substitutions that are just as nice.
Follow the correct wedding etiquette, or come up with a way of splitting the costs that will be to everyone’s satisfaction and your wedding day will always be a happy memory for you to treasure.