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Who Pays For What?


Have you ever wondered what the rules of etiquette say about who should pay for what at the wedding? It can be a very touchy subject. Of course, anything involving money always is.

The division of expenses depends on the financial ability of the bride, groom, and their respective families. Sit down and discuss the type of wedding you want to have and use the following list of items so participants can choose what they would like to pay for. Remember that the reception can sometimes amount to 50% or more of your total expenses. If your costs need to be reduced, you may want to change to a less formal reception.

The bride and her family's expenses traditionally include:

  • the wedding gown and accessories
  • invitations and personal stationery
  • flowers for the church, reception, and wedding attendants
  • photographs
  • video
  • reception, including room charge, food, beverages, wedding cake and food servers
  • music
  • transportation for wedding attendants to church and reception
  • gifts for bridesmaids
  • accommodations for bridesmaids, if necessary
The groom and his family's expenses are normally:
  • groom's wedding attire
  • the clergy or judge's fees
  • the marriage license
  • all honeymoon expenses
  • bride's bouquet and going-away corsage and both mothers' corsages
  • boutonnieres for groomsmen
  • groomsmen gifts
  • rehearsal dinner
  • accommodations for attendants, if necessary
The wedding attendants' expenses are:
  • wedding attire
  • traveling expenses
  • wedding gift