There are no rules on who pays for what. Traditionally, the bride’s family has paid for the majority of the expenses. However, today with the increased cost of weddings, this obligation depends upon the individual situation.
It is best to discuss the subject with both families in order to work out the best solution for everyone. Couples who are older and financially able are often paying for their own, or part of their own, wedding
New Ways to Divide the Expenses
Expenses shared by all Divide the entire cost of the wedding in thirds; the bride’s family, the groom’s family, and couple each pay one-third.
Bride & Groom pay for the entire wedding Today more brides & grooms are paying for their own weddings, especially among the older couples and when second marriages are involved.
Split expenses between the Bride’s and Groom’s families The traditional expenses normally paid by each side can be combined, then one-half paid by each family. The bride & groom would still be responsible for their own traditional expenses.
Assign various expenses One example might be that the Bride’s family pays for all ceremony costs, and the groom’s family pays for all reception costs. Other options might be: to specify individual costs that each family pays. The groom’s family might pay for the cost of flowers, liquor and music, while the Bride’s family pays for the ceremony cost and reception food, and each family pays for their own photographs.
The bride & groom could pay for certain expenses; thereby reducing the obligation of their families.
Each pays for their own guests All of the expenses for the ceremony and reception can be added together to arrive at a per person cost and then both sets of parents pay for their own guests. Or, they may decide to pay for their traditional expenses along with a per-guest cost for their invited guests.
Divorced parents When the bride’s parents are divorced, the wedding expenses can be paid for by the father, the mother, or they may each pay a portion, depending upon their financial ability. Many times the wedding is hosted by the parent who raised the child.
Groom’s family pays for entire wedding This may happen when it is a first marriage for the groom and a second wedding for the bride. The groom’s family may want to host an elaborate event to celebrate the wedding of their son. A bride’s family doesn’t usually host a second wedding.
Including the Groom’s Family
The more the groom’s family contributes to the various costs, the more input they should have in the planning or decisions in those areas.
The groom, and never the bride, should be the one to approach his parents with regard to them sharing the wedding expenses.
Some groom’s parents may offer to help finance the wedding right from the start, but many parents don’t realize this is becoming more acceptable.
The final decision as to whether or not to accept an offer from the groom’s parents to help finance the wedding and possibly give up some of the control lies with the bride’s parents, or the couple, if they have planned to host the wedding themselves.
If the bride’s parents still prefers to host the wedding on their own, they may suggest the groom’s parents host a subsequent reception to which a majority of their friends would be invited.
When both sets of parents are hosting the wedding and reception, both sets of parents’ names should be included on the wedding invitations.
You can also have family members read a poem or scripture, include them in the unity candle lighting ceremony, make them part of the processional or part of the wedding party.
Other important jobs include tending to the gift table or the guest book, and handing out the programs at the wedding ceremony.
Wedding ring for the groom
Wedding gift for the groom
Gifts for the bridal attendants
Medical exam and blood test
Accommodations for out-of-town attendants
Bride’s engagement and wedding rings
Wedding gift for the bride
Gifts for the best man & ushers
Bride’s bouquet & going away corsage
Boutonnieres for attendants & fathers
Medical exam & blood test
Bachelor dinner (if not given by the best man, optional)
Engagement party (optional)
Ceremony cost: location, music, rentals & related expenses
Transportation for bridal party from bride’s home to the ceremony site
Photography (groom’s parents may pay for the pictures they would like)
Personal wedding attire
Special items they may wish to purchase—toasting glasses, ring, pillow, etc
Rehearsal dinner party
Personal wedding attire
Travel & accommodations for groom’s family
Wedding gift for the bride & groom
Special items they may wish to purchase—toasting glasses, ring pillow, etc
Any general expenses they may wish to contribute
Wedding attire for themselves
Any travel expenses
Wedding gift for the bride & groom
Showers given by maid of honor or bridesmaids
Bachelor party given by best man or ushers
Bride & Groom
Gifts of appreciation for parents or others who helped with their wedding
Expenses of items desired which have exceeded original budget allocations
Attendants’ dresses are traditionally bought by each bridesmaid, but may be purchased by the bride or her family
Bridesmaids’ luncheon is generally given by the bride’s family, but may be given by the bride
Bride’s bouquet has traditionally been a gift from the groom, but may be purchased by the bride’s family, along with the other flowers
Corsages for mothers and grandmothers have been the responsibility of the groom, but the bride may opt to pay for her own mother’s and grandmothers’ corsages, or the bride’s family may pay for them all
Rehearsal dinner is usually hosted by the groom’s family; however, it may be hosted by the bride’s family or a close friend
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