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Who Pays for What During the Wedding Celebrations

I Now Pronounce You Paid In Full: Who Pays for What During the Wedding


There’s no two ways about it: weddings are expensive. Paying for every detail is enough to drain

any family’s financial coffers and – even worse – leave them wrestling with debt. Especially for new

couples paying their own way during the wedding, the expenses quickly add up.
The following is a traditional guide to dividing expenses equally and fairly among the four major

participants in planning the four main parts of the wedding celebration: rehearsal dinner, ceremony,

reception, and honeymoon. These are guidelines more than rules, and are intended to show tradition more

than carved-in-stone etiquette.

The Bride’s Family

There’s a popular misconception among the unmarried of the world that the bride’s family foots the

entire bill. That’s not entirely true, though unfortunately it may feel that way for the father of the

bride! Traditionally, the bride’s family finances the reception dinner with all its facets: the food,

drink, venue, service staff (including tips), flower arrangements, wedding favors, and any other miscellany.
The bride’s family also pays for many of the necessities leading up to the ceremony: these usually include

the bridal gown, the wedding

and save-the-date reminders, as well as the engagement and wedding photographs.
Finally (!) the wedding ceremony costs, the photographer and videographer fees, the cost of the ring bearer

and flower girl accessories, the transportation costs and bridesmaids bouquets are all picked up by the

bride’s family. Honestly… if you’re the parent of a young girl, start saving right now.

The Bride

Compared to her family, the bride gets off relatively easy. Brides traditionally pay for the

groom’s wedding band, gifts for her

, the bridesmaids’ luncheon, her blood test fees, and the wedding day lingerie. In the

strictest traditional sense, the bride should also pay for her out-of-town bridesmaids accommodations.

The Groom

Okay, guys. Time to pony up. Following the engagement ring (that two-month’s salary guideline is passé, by

the way) you’ve still got a few things left to buy. You’ll pay for the honeymoon, the marriage license, and

gifts for your groomsmen. The gentleman

groom, however, also pays for the bridal bouquet and corsages for your mother and your new mother-in-law.

You’ll also pick up the boutonnieres, ties, and accessories for the groomsmen, and finally the bride’s

wedding ring. Gifts for the ushers and for your parents go the extra distance to showing your class. You

should also pay the honorarium for the judge, justice of the peace, or clergyman who officiates the

ceremony, too.

The Groom’s Family

Besides their own attire, the groom’s family is responsible for the rehearsal dinner and all its


The Maid of Honor

Bachelorette parties and wedding

are the responsibility of the maid of honor. This includes all the details, top to bottom.

The Best Man

The best man is master of ceremonies and godfather of the bachelor party, from the planning to the

execution to pouring all the guests into cabs at the end of the night. It’s a dirty job, but someone’s got

to do it.

The Groomsmen and Bridesmaids

Most of the attire – for example, the tuxedo rental and costs of the gown – are the responsibility

of the individual wedding party member. They also give a gift to the newlyweds. Groomsmen arriving from

out-of-town are also expected to pay for their accommodations.

My Wedding Favors has a complete selection of elegant yet

inexpensive wedding favors to fit any taste and style. We also carry a complete selection of groomsmen and

bridesmaids gifts. Visit us online at

to browse our complete catalog.

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