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Who Pays for What in a Wedding?…



You are finally engaged and starting on one of life’s biggest adventures. As you start to choose your wedding theme and colors, what style dress you like, and choose your bridal party, you may start to wonder, “Hm, who is going to pay for all of this?”

It’s not uncommon to dread the money questions, especially those questions directed at the future in-laws. But lucky for you, there is an etiquette to the money-madness that is wedding planning. Remember, just because it’s common for the bride’s family to pay for one thing, and the groom’s family to pay for another, doesn’t mean that it has to be that way.

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‘She said yes! Now they say I Do, please pick any seat, we’re now one family, not two!’

Depending on your particular financial and family situation. The line of which who pays for what today is blurred. From a traditional standpoint, the bride’s family pays for a huge foot of the bill.


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From the dress to the venues, the bride’s family is the first to write the check.  This rarely applies today, but it’s interesting to think that the bride and her family were held responsible for that. Including the obvious things like wedding dress, accessories, and gifts to the bridesmaids and groom.

A lot of the big ticket things were on that list too, such as a wedding planner, stationery, hair and makeup, florals, ceremony, reception, photography, videography, the groom’s wedding ring, music, any rentals and even transportation.

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As for the groom, the traditional expenses were less of a burden. These costs include the engagement and wedding ring, grooms attire, gifts to the groomsmen and bride, all boutonnieres and corsages, officiant’s fee, marriage license, and the rehearsal dinner including the food.

All families are different and don’t necessarily stick to the traditional ways of paying for things. There is no “right way” to paying for a wedding and there are many different alternatives to getting your wedding day paid for. For example, if the parents of the bride and/or groom don’t want to pay for the wedding, then it is up to the bride and groom to pay for the wedding themselves.

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This is usually the case when the bride and groom are older and more established, or simply want to pay for it all themselves. One of the most common ways to pay for a wedding in today’s day and age is splitting the budget in half. In this scenario, it is important to keep a full list of the budget open for everyone paying to avoid conflict and confusion.

Most families agree on an overall budget and split it in half and pay for whatever comes next on the list. This ensures that not one family pays more than the other and that all is paid for in the end.

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No matter what you decide about who is paying for your wedding, it is important to be on the same page with any contributing members.

Setting expectations early and confirming all the details will keep everyone on the right track!

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