Wedding Budget: Who Pays for What

Creating your budget is one of the most crucial aspects of planning a wedding—but before establishing a bottom line for your wedding day, you’ll need to figure out who will pay for what. Certainly, there’s the traditional approach to wedding budget planning, but in this new era, there are millions of ways to designate costs. Oftentimes, couples opt to pay for everything on their own, or some families will divide up the budget evenly.

Here, our etiquette experts outline the traditional cost breakdown of a wedding for your reference. Please keep in mind, though, that this all depends on your particular financial and family situation.

Bride pays for:
  • Groom’s wedding ring
  • Wedding gift for groom
  • Gifts for the bride’s attendants
  • Thank you gift for parents
  • Bridesmaid’s luncheon
  • Transportation for bridal party to wedding
Bride's family pays for:
  • Engagement party
  • The bride’s wedding gown and accessories
  • Invitations, announcements and stationary
  • Wedding planner
  • Limousine for the bride and family to wedding
  • All reception expenses
  • Ceremony expenses except officiant’s fee
  • Wedding Vendors such as ceremony/reception venue, cake, catering, photographer, videographer, music, and florist etc..
  • Their own attire
  • Gifts for the couple
Groom pays for:
  • The bride’s engagement and wedding rings
  • Wedding gift for bride
  • Gifts for the best man and groomsmen
  • Marriage license
  • Officiant’s fee and travel expenses
  • Wedding attire
  • Honeymoon trip
  • Bridal bouquet
  • Boutonnieres for groomsmen, fathers, and grandfathers
  • Corsages for mothers and grandmothers
  • Transportation for groomsmen to wedding
  • Limousine expense leaving reception
  • Wedding night accommodations
Groom's family pays for:
  • Rehearsal dinner
  • Alcohol at the reception (optional)
  • Their own wedding wear
  • Gifts for the couple
Wedding party pays for:
  • Their own attire and accessories
  • Best man and groomsmen host the bachelor party
  • Maid of honor and bridesmaids host the bridal shower and bachelorette party
  • Gifts for the couple
Wedding Guests pay for:
  • Their own attire
  • Transportation
  • Their own accommodations and travel expenses
  • Wedding gifts for the couple

Featured Image: Joshua Aull Photography

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