Who Pays For What: The Dollars & Cents

This comprehensive guide helps specify the financial responsibility of everyone involved in your wedding.

The bulk of many wedding etiquette questions center around financial issues. In past generations, the bride's family paid for the majority of the wedding expenses. The groom's lucky family got off with just the rehearsal dinner, and the groom himself paid for the honeymoon, the bride's rings, and assorted other small expenses.

That was then. Nowadays, with the costs of weddings growing and many couples marrying later when they are more likely to have careers and incomes of their own, more brides and grooms are contributing to, or even picking up entirely, the cost of the wedding. And the parents of many grooms are also contributing more than in the past; a popular option is to have the bride's family, the groom's family, and the couple each contribute one-third.

Bride's family pays for:

 Engagement party (optional)

 Wedding invitations and other stationery (announcements,          thank-you notes, etc.)

 Services of bridal consultant

 Wedding gown and accessories

 Flowers for ceremony and reception sites

 Bouquets for bridesmaids






 Bridal party transportation to ceremony and reception

 Family's wedding attire



Bride pays for:

 The groom's ring

 The bridesmaids' luncheon

 Gifts for the bridesmaids

 Wedding gift for the groom



 Attendants pay for:

 Bachelor and bachelorette parties

 Gifts for the bride and groom (can purchase individual

                 gifts or chip in on a group gift)

 Wedding attire and accessories

 Transportation to and from wedding town or city         


For reference, the following is the traditional breakdown of expenses:

Groom's family pays for:

 Engagement party (optional)

 Rehearsal dinner

 Their own wedding attire


Groom pays for:

 The bride's rings

 The marriage license

 Officiant's fee

 His formalwear

 Personal flowers: the bride's bouquet, boutonnières for wedding party, corsages for mothers and grandmothers

 Gifts for the groomsmen

 Wedding gift for the bride

 Gifts for parents


 Transportation to the honeymoon