Who Pays for What at a Wedding?

When it comes to weddings there are many traditions and expectations that come with planning your big day. Learn who pays for what when it comes to traditional wedding costs.

Who Pays for What at a Wedding?

When it comes to weddings, there are many traditions and expectations that come with the big day. One of the most common questions couples have is who pays for what? Traditionally, the bride's family is responsible for the majority of the wedding expenses, while the groom's family pays for certain pre-wedding events and honeymoon. However, with modern couples taking on more of the financial burden, it's important to understand who is responsible for what when it comes to wedding costs. The bride herself typically takes care of the wedding flowers, bridesmaid's gifts, the groom's ring and a gift for the groom.

Traditionally, the groom's family pays all expenses related to the rehearsal dinner, honeymoon and wedding day, transportation and officiant. If an engagement party is planned, it is usually organized and paid for by the groom's family. The rehearsal dinner is another pre-wedding event that is typically paid for by the groom's family. The bride and groom should be involved in the planning process, and the bride's family should contribute to the guest list.

The cost of a marriage license is usually not very expensive, but it is a nice gesture if the groom's parents pay for it if they don't feel comfortable contributing a lot of money to the wedding. The parents of both the bride and groom are responsible for organizing and paying for the wedding dinner. This includes food, beverages and venue rental costs. The groom's family also has control over how the rehearsal dinner is prepared.

This event serves as an opportunity for family members to celebrate before the wedding day. If it is a couple's second wedding, they will most likely pay 88% of the wedding expenses, while their parents contribute 10%.

The tradition of having the groom's family pay for the honeymoon is still in place but ultimately at their discretion.

It is important to have a conversation with them in advance about any expenses they may be responsible for. The groom's family is also typically responsible for paying for groomsmen accommodations in a hotel or Airbnb.

The bride's parents are usually responsible for paying rental rates associated with ceremony and reception locations, as well as expenses associated with officiant travel if coming from out of town. The bride and her family are traditionally responsible for paying all wedding planning expenses, bridal attire, flower arrangements, transportation on wedding day, photo and video fees, travel and accommodation of officiant if coming from out of town, lodging of bridesmaids (if offered) and all reception expenses. According to a recent study by WeddingWire and Grow by Acorns + CNBC, 72% of couples receive some form of financial support to pay for their wedding. Before any reception plans are made, it is usually up to the bride's parents to send (and pay for) engagement announcements to local newspapers.

According to WeddingWire newlywed report, parents pay 52% of wedding expenses while couples pay 47% (the remaining 1% is paid by other loved ones). This means that if parents are paying a large part of the event, they should have input on guest list, venue selection and suppliers. Many couples show their gratitude to guests by giving gifts at or before wedding weekend celebrations begin. Everyone's financial situation is different so there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to who pays for what at a wedding. Use this breakdown as a starting point but remember that ultimately it depends on each couple's individual circumstances.

Greta Sorgente
Greta Sorgente

Lifelong analyst. Total bacon enthusiast. Passionate bacon trailblazer. Avid problem solver. Typical music junkie. Wannabe music evangelist.

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