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Who Pays for What?

Tradition states that the bride’s parents are responsible for fronting the bill for the wedding reception.  While still a popular option, as the cost of weddings increase, so does the number of people paying for them. Nowadays, the bride’s parents, groom’s parents, and the couple themselves all often contribute to the wedding pool. 

That said, it helps to come to the budgeting table prepped with the traditional list of which side pays for what.  These conventional “rules” can then be adjusted according to your financial situations: 

Bride and/or bride’s parents:

  • Ceremony rental fee
  • Bride’s dress and accessories
  • Ceremony flowers and décor
  • Bouquets for bridesmaids and flower girl
  • Photography and videography
  • Engagement party
  • Bridesmaids’ luncheon
  • All vendor services for reception, including food, beverages, décor, and entertainment
  • Groom’s ring
  • Invitations and stationery
  • Transportation for bridal party to and from ceremony and reception

Groom and/or groom’s parents:

  • Marriage license and officiant’s fee
  • Groom’s attire
  • Bride’s bouquet, boutonnieres for ushers, and corsages for mothers and grandmothers
  • Honeymoon
  • Rehearsal dinner
  • Bachelors’ dinner
  • Both of the bride’s rings


  • Their own attire, including shoes and accessories
  • Bridal party hosts shower/bachelorette party
  • Groom’s party hosts bachelor party

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