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Wedding Planning Tips:
Who Pays For What During The
Wedding Celebrations

There’s no doubt about it: weddings can be – and usually are – expensive. Paying for every last item can be a financial drain and even leave you in debt – especially for young couples who insist on paying their own way during the wedding.

Who pays for what is entirely flexible. The following is a traditional guide showing how the wedding expenses are divided in planning the four main parts of the wedding celebration: wedding rehearsal dinner, wedding ceremony, wedding reception, and honeymoon.

Keep in mind that these are guidelines rather than rules, and are intended to show tradition rather than carved-in-stone etiquette.

Also be mindful of people’s personal budgets and the costs involved in traveling to the wedding and accommodation.

The Bride’s Family

There’s a popular misconception that the bride’s family pays the entire bill.

That’s not true, although it may seem that way to the father of the bride!

Traditionally, the bride’s family finances all facets of the wedding reception dinner: the venue, food, drink, service staff (including tips), flower arrangements, wedding favors, and other miscellaneous items.

The bride’s family also pays for many of the necessities leading up to the wedding ceremony. These usually include the bridal gown, the wedding invitations and save-the-date reminders, as well as the engagement and wedding photographs.

The wedding ceremony costs, the photographer and videographer fees, the cost of the ring bearer and flower girl accessories, transportation costs, and bridesmaids bouquets are all paid by the bride’s family.

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The Bride

The bride traditionally pays for her groom’s wedding band, gifts for her bridesmaids, the bridesmaid’s luncheon, and her wedding day lingerie. In the strictest traditional sense, the bride would also pay for her out-of-town bridesmaids accommodations.

The Groom

The groom pays for the honeymoon, the marriage license, and gifts for his groomsmen.

The gentleman groom also pays for the bridal bouquet and corsages for his mother and his new mother-in-law.

The groom will also pay for the boutonnieres, ties, and accessories for the groomsmen, as well as his beautiful bride’s wedding ring.

Buying gifts for the ushers and for the groom’s parents go the extra distance in showing a touch of class.

The groom should also pay the honorarium for the judge, justice of the peace, or clergyman who officiates the ceremony.

The Groom’s Family

Besides their own attire, the groom’s family is responsible for the costs associated with the rehearsal dinner and all its details.

The Maid of Honor

Bachelorette parties and wedding showers are the responsibility of the maid of honor. This includes all the details, from beginning to end.

The Best Man

The best man, who can also be the Wedding MC, oversees the bachelor party – from the planning to the execution to seeing the guests into cabs at the end of the night.

As Wedding MC, the best man will also be responsible for ensuring the wedding reception runs smoothly as part of his (or her) Wedding MC Duties.

The Groomsmen and Bridesmaids

Most of the attire for example, the tuxedo rental and costs of the gown are the responsibility of each wedding party member. They also give a gift to the newlyweds. Groomsmen arriving from out-of-town are also expected to pay for their own accommodation.

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