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  • Ammie Gaylor

What To Expect Series: Who Pays for What?

Updated: Feb 23

Not your favorite topic, you say? But you still want to discover what may be "ideal" or simply "what is done." As with everything, the cost of the wedding included, it all drills down to what you and your soon-to-be-spouse's family will agree upon. That being said, there are levels of tradition you may choose to embrace, especially if you are a younger couple, marrying for the first time. Who Is Responsible? The Cost of the Wedding

It’s the sticky key, am I right? Preparation and planning can include several awkward conversations, or you and your fiancé may simply share this list. This article will answer two questions:

1. Who will pay for my dream wedding?

2. And more importantly, what is considered traditional when splitting the cost of the most common elements included in a wedding?

You’ve heard so many things, and keep in mind, this is simply a guideline. You and your future spouse can take on as much or ask for help for as little as you choose, but this article will spell it out for you without question.

First – The Bride

  • Bride’s personal stationary and calling cards

  • Attendants’ bouquets and headdresses

  • Presents for the bride’s attendants

  • Gift for the Groom

  • Wedding ring for the Groom

  • Bridesmaids’ luncheon

Then – The Bride’s Family

  • Fees for ceremony musicians or DJ

  • Aisle carpet, ribbons and church decorations


  • Bride’s wedding dress or outfit, veil and accessories

  • Bride’s trousseau

  • Newspaper and/or social media announcements

  • Engagement, wedding and reception photography

  • Transportation for the bridal party to the church and to the reception

  • Entire cost of the reception

Then there’s - The Groom

  • The engagement ring and wedding rings

  • Gift for the Bride

  • Bride’s bouquet and going-away corsage

  • Pastor, clergyman or other presiding officiant’s fees

  • Flowers for the two mothers

  • Boutonnieres for the men in the wedding party

  • Gloves, ascots or ties for groom’s wedding party

  • Gifts for the groom’s wedding party

  • The marriage license

  • Gifts for the parents

But what about, The Groom’s Family - ?

  • The engagement party

  • The rehearsal dinner

  • The honeymoon – although more and more couple choose to take on this cost for themselves

And then – The Bridesmaids

  • Purchase of dress and accessories

  • Contribution to a gift from all the bridesmaids to the Bride

  • Individual gift to the couple

  • A bridal shower and/or luncheon for the Bride

  • If from out of town, transportation to the wedding site in time for the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner

And finally - The Groomsmen

  • Rental of wedding attire

  • Contribution to a gift from all the groomsmen to the Groom

  • Individual gift to the couple

  • If from out of town, transportation to the wedding site in time for rehearsal and rehearsal dinner

  • Bachelor party

As shared previously, more and more modern couples choose to pay for their own weddings and same-sex marriages, this tradition has been overtaken. My recommendation? Have a conversation with your family about how you will finance your wedding and decide on terms.


Happy planning, and: Congratulations on your upcoming wedding celebrations!

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