19 Aug 2016

Who Pays for What?

Who Pays for What?

Working out a budget for your wedding is one of the first things that should be done, once the date is set.  Will the ceremony be formal, semi formal or informal?  A formal wedding, of course, will be the most expensive and the informal, the least.  Nothing is set in concrete.  Who pays for what?  Unlike a decade ago, the lines are no longer rigidly drawn.  The burden of paying for the wedding has shifted in recent years from the shoulders of the father of the bride, to include the groom’s family.  Also, with many couples marrying later and having money of their own, they are sharing in the expenses.

There are no longer any hard and fast rules as to “Who Pays for What”, but a general guideline follows as to the traditional breakdown.

Traditional Breakdown of Expenses

Wedding Gown, Headpiece & Accessories The Bride’s Family
Wedding Ring for Bride The Groom
Wedding Ring for Groom  The Bride
Wedding Gift for Groom The Bride
Wedding Gift for Bride The Groom
Bridesmaid Gifts The Bride
Groomsmen/Usher Gifts The Groom
Bride’s Bouquet The Groom
Bridesmaid Bouquets The Bride’s Family
Mother’s Corsages The Groom
Grandmother Corsages The Bride’s Family
Groom’s Boutonniere The Groom
Groomsmen Boutonnieres The Groom
Usher’s Boutonnieres The Groom
Ceremony/Reception Flowers The Bride’s Family
Altar Baskets/Arches The Bride’s Family
Canopy/Carpet The Bride’s Family
Kneeling Bench/Candleabrahs The Bride’s Family
Rented Items for Wedding The Bride’s Family
Rented Items for Reception The Bride’s Family
Invitations/Announcements The Bride’s Family
Wedding Programs The Bride’s Family
Napkins/Matches/Printed Items The Bride’s Family
Marriage License The Groom
Medical Visit for Bride The Bride
Medical Visit for Groom The Groom
Church Fee The Bride’s Family
Clergyman/Officiant Fee The Groom
Musician/Soloist The Bride’s Family
Church Janitor The Bride’s Family
Reception Hall Fee The Bride’s Family
Catered Reception/Professional Services The Bride’s Family
Wedding Photography The Bride’s Family
Video Photography The Bride’s Family
Orchestra/Band/DJ The Bride’s Family
Wedding Cake The Bride’s Family
Wedding Favors The Bride’s Family
Groom’s Cake The Groom’s Family
Rice Bags The Bride’s Family
Rehearsal Dinner The Grooms Family
Bridesmaid Luncheon The Bride
Bachelor Party Best Man/Groom’s Attendants
Wedding Breakfast The Bride’s Family
Bridal Brunch The Bride’s Family
Bridesmaid’s Gowns Bridesmaid’s
Maid of Honor Gown Maid of Honor
Matron of Honor Gown Matron of Honor
Best Man Formal Wear Best Man
Usher’s Formal Wear Ushers
Groomsmen’s Formal Wear Groomsmen
Gloves/Ties/Ascots for Attendants The Groom
Father of Bride Formal Wear Bride’s Family
Father of Groom Formal Wear Groom’s Family
Children’s Formal Wear The Children’s Parents
Limousine Service The Groom
Honeymoon Arrangements The Groom
Travel Expenses to the Wedding The Out-of-town Attendant or Family Member
Accommodations for out-of town Guests The Bride
Gifts for the Couple Guest, Attendants and Family

Ourmarriage Consultant


  1. In your list of “Who pays for what?,” you mention the bride should be responsible for “Accommodations for out-of town Guests.”

    We are having a destination wedding. If your suggestion is followed, the bride would be responsible for all attendees’ hotel rooms. Could you please provide clarification? Also, what if bridesmaids are married or plan to bring significant others–who would be responsible for those accommodations?

    Any information you could provide would be appreciated!

  2. Billy Caudle Says: September 16, 2016 at 5:16 am

    Who all should be included as part of the rehearsal dinner?

  3. Marybeth Rearden Says: October 13, 2016 at 3:01 pm

    Who is responsible for the groomsmen accommodations?

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