Who Pays For What?

13 Apr

As a wedding planner some of the most common questions I get is “Who pays for that?!” or “How much will everything cost?” Both are relative. A wedding can be a simple and personal affair or an elaborate, break-the-bank extravaganza! It all depends on creativity, proper planning and being realistic with what you want. I believe that you can have it all, with a little help!

Budgets are tricky. Money is hard to discuss openly and not knowing what is “traditional” can make it even more frustrating. Add to the mix that most couples have no clue what wedding-related things cost, and a poor economy and before you know it, you are seriously considering eloping. I completely understand ….. been there, done that!

Well times… they are a changing! Gone are the days where the Bride’s father pays for everything. With couples being older when they marry, they are able to contribute, or even pay for the chunk of it themselves. Families are getting creative and contributing their creative talents on top of what they can afford financially.

Each wedding is different and circumstances are unique. I did want to offer up how the wedding budget is traditionally broken down… but rules are made to be broken… so if you have an Aunt that is a baker, why not let her bake your cake as a wedding gift? I find it much easier if you have the conversation with those you love early and honestly so you know what you can expect, if anything, and make the proper plans.


•    Bride and family pay for church or synagogue, sexton, organist, etc.
•    Groom and family pay for marriage license and officiant’s fee.


•    Bride and family pay for bride’s dress, veil, accessories, and trousseau
•    Groom and family pay for groom’s outfit.
•    All attendants pay for their own clothing (including shoes).


•    Bride and family pay for arrangements for church (including huppah if a Jewish wedding ceremony) and reception, plus bouquets and corsages for bridesmaids and flower girls.
•    Groom and family pay for bride’s bouquet and going-away corsage, boutonnieres for men, and corsages for mothers and grandmothers.


•    Groom and family pay for complete honeymoon.


•    Bride and family pay for all wedding photos and video.

Prewedding Parties

•    Bride or groom’s family plans and hosts engagement party; if there is more than one, bride’s family hosts the first one.
•    Groom’s family plans and hosts the rehearsal dinner.
•    Bride plans and hosts bridesmaids’ luncheon.
•    Groom hosts and plans bachelors’ dinner.
•    Maid of honor and bridesmaids host shower.
•    Best man and ushers host bachelor party.
•    Friends may throw additional engagement parties or showers.


•    Bride and family pay for all professional services, including food, drink, decorations, and music.


•    Bride and/or her family pay for groom’s ring.
•    Groom and/or his family pay for both of the bride’s rings.


•    Bride and family pay for invitations, announcements, and wedding programs.


•    Bride and family pay for  wedding transportation of bridal party to and from ceremony and reception.


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