Who Pays for What?


Before you pick the venue, decide on flowers, or even find your dress, sit down and talk with your partner. (But let’s be honest, you already had those secretly picked out anyway!) The two of you should decide on major items that determine the majority of the cost (venue, # of guests, etc.) and figure out how much each of you can contribute BEFORE you approach your parents. Make a basic plan and what you would like to be involved.

Sit down with parents and discuss the budget, but don’t surprise them with it. Give them time to talk it out before they meet with you, and consider sending them the proposed budget with estimated costs to review 7-10 days before your meeting. Always be aware of parent’s expectations before you accept their contributions. How involved will they be and do they have any requirements for your wedding are things to consider.

Here is a basic guide to who traditionally pays for what aspect:

    Bride/Bride’s Family

  • Wedding Venue
  • Wedding Gown/Accessories
  • Floral—Ceremony & Reception Décor & Bridal party flowers [see exceptions in Groom’s area]
  • Reception (food/décor/professional services)
  • Stationary
  • Transportation
  • Photography/Videography
    Groom/Groom’s Family

  • Groom pays for Bride’s ring(s)
  • Groom’s attire
  • Bride’s bouquet, boutonnieres for groomsmen, corsages for mothers & grandmothers
  • Marriage License & Officiants Fee
  • Rehearsal Dinner (Planned & paid for by Groom’s family)
  • DJ/Band/Bar

The Honeymoon, though traditionally the responsibility of the groom/grooms family, is now paid for by both bride & groom. All other attire (whether purchased or rented) is paid for individually by those involved. All bachelor/bachelorette parties and showers are paid for by those holding them, traditionally the bridal party and the groomsmen share the burden of their respective parties.

Although money can be stressful, with a thought out budget and a plan, the rest will fall perfectly into place! There are several online resources and budget generators, as well as the budget in the GonnaGetWed planner to help you along the way!

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