If you're planning a wedding, you may be wondering who pays for what. On average, the bride's parents usually contribute 44 percent of the total budget, while the couple contributes 43 percent and the groom's parents keep around 12 percent. But this isn't a hard and fast rule; couples and their families often split wedding expenses equally. According to The Knot Real Wedding Study, couples paid approximately 48% of the total cost, while their parents paid the remaining 52%.
Ten percent of married couples paid for everything themselves, while nine percent spent nothing at all. It's important to discuss financial obligations with both sets of parents early on in the wedding planning process. If the groom's parents are better off financially, they may offer to pay more than the bride's parents; typically, they are expected to pay for the rehearsal dinner and honeymoon. The bride's family is usually responsible for the wedding day attire and accessories, as well as any events leading up to the wedding.
It's not uncommon for both sets of parents to contribute to wedding expenses. Ly, a search engine that helps brides-to-be save costs, explains: “Weddings create a lot of expectations and social pressure for parents; telling them exactly how much your partner's family can afford can be very difficult.” If both parents donate about the same amount, or if one parent is determined to pay something, it's okay to break with conventions and divide costs as you see fit. The groom's family is also responsible for paying for the groomsmen's accommodations, either in a hotel or on Airbnb. Some parents can pay for the entire wedding, while others can only contribute a certain amount to cover the cost of flowers, catering, music, or photography.
Heath says it has become more common for some parents to contribute to wedding costs and provide funding to help the couple buy their first home. About a third of surveyed parents admitted to having spent more than expected on their children's wedding, and about 20% paid for the ceremony and reception with credit cards. If young couples budget carefully, they may be able to save enough money to pay a down payment on a home or to pay off some of their college loans.