• Events By Elena
  • Events By Elena
  • Events By Elena

 ©  2018 by Events By Elena 


December 4, 2017


As a little girl you dream of the most amazing day of your life.  You envision yourself wearing the white dress, you can see the decor and even smell the flowers as you walk down the aisle. It like a movie playing in your mind of how everything will flow that day... but stop the tape... who will pay for what? Below we explain the age old traditions of who pays for what when it comes to the wedding as well as a modern approach to give you a brief guideline of the options you have when it comes to this touchy subject.


The question as to who pays for the wedding will vary from culture to culture as different traditions and etiquette are respected on their wedding days. Also couples who have two different cultures coming together will have to take into consideration both cultures values and decide how to proceed in respecting both families.


The traditional approach to who pays for what

Traditionally the bride's family would pay for the wedding.  Nowadays with the weddings being a very costly en devour this tradition is fading away. My advice for couples is to figure out their wedding budget (see previous post for tips on How to create a wedding budget) and delegate on a spreadsheet template who will pay for what.


What the bride's family traditionally pays for:

  • Reception costs, including food, music, decorations, rental fees and entertainment

  •  Ceremony costs including rental fees and decorations

  • Flowers for the ceremony and reception

  • The bride’s wedding dress and accessories

  • ​Invitations, announcements, programs, and mailing costs

  • Favors

  • Photography

  • Transportation

What the groom's family traditionally pays for:

  • Reception costs, including food, music, decorations, rental fees and entertainment

  •  Ceremony costs including rental fees and decorations

What the bride traditionally pays for​:

  • The groom’s wedding ring

  • A wedding gift for the groom

  • Her hair, makeup and beauty treatments

  • Gifts for her attendants​

  • Sometimes accommodation for any out-of-town bridesmaids

What the groom traditionally pays for:

  • The bride’s engagement ring and wedding ring

  • Marriage license 

  • The honeymoon

  • A wedding gift for the bride

  • The bride’s bouquet

  • Gifts for his attendants

  • Corsages for the mothers and grandmothers

  • Boutonnières for men in the wedding party

  • Sometimes accommodation for any out-of-town groomsmen

  • Fee for the officiant

Modern wedding payment options


Splitting it three ways

In this scenario the bride's family, the groom's family and the bride and groom each pay for one-third of the wedding budget.  This option is nice because it lessens the financial burden on the couple, however you have to give into the wishes of your parents on certain aspects since they are paying for a portion of the wedding.


Having a discussion with both sides of the family to establish what each party is comfortable with contributing is a great way to begin the planning your budget. Some will say they can contribute to paying for one aspect of the wedding only such as the limo, attire or decor.  Having the parents pay for an aspect of the wedding is also a good way to go about this if you do not want family weighing in on your decision making. No matter who is paying for what it is very important to be on the same page with contributing parties.  If everything is discussed in detail and established right at the begin of the wedding process you will avoid conflicts and start off on the right foot!


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