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Wedding Expenses - Who Pays for What?

The following list indicates the traditional division of expenses. Normally the bride's family pays for the largest share of the expenses. Today however, the couple and/or the groom's parents may offer to share in the wedding expenses. The question of who pays for what normally comes down to who is most willing and able to pay. When you are planning a budget remember to be courteous, realistic, and communicate with everyone involved.

  • Wedding attire for themselves.
  • Any traveling expenses.
  • Wedding gift for the couple.
  • Showers given by the maid/matron of honor or bridesmaids.
  • Bachelor party given by best man or groomsmen.
  • Wedding ring for the groom.
  • Wedding gift for the groom.
  • Gifts for the bridal attendants.
  • Personal stationery.
  • Accommodations for her out-of-town attendants (optional).
  • Attendants' dresses (optional).
Bride & Groom
  • Gifts of appreciation for parents or others who helped with the wedding.
  • Expenses of items desired which have exceeded the original budget.
Bride's Family
  • Engagement party (optional).
  • Bridal consultant.
  • Cost of ceremony (location, musicians, rentals, flowers, and decorations).
  • Entire cost of reception (food, beverage, gratuities, wedding cake, rental fee, rental items, decorations, music, lighting and flowers).
  • Wedding gift for the couple.
  • Bride's wedding attire and accessories.
  • Bridesmaids' bouquets.
  • Flower girl bouquet or basket.
  • Wedding invitations, save the date cards, announcements, enclosures, and mailing costs.
  • Wedding programs.
  • Transportation for the bridal party to the ceremony and the reception site.
  • Engagement, wedding, and reception photographs.
  • Bridesmaids' luncheon.
  • Gratuities for those directing traffic, valet parking, and coat checks.
  • Personal wedding attire.
  • Rehearsal dinner (optional).
  • Engagement and wedding rings for the bride.
  • Wedding gift for the bride.
  • Marriage license.
  • Gifts for best man and groomsmen.
  • Groom's wedding attire.
  • Bride's bouquet and going-away corsage.
  • Mothers' and grandmother's corsages.
  • Boutonnieres for all men in wedding party.
  • Accommodations for his out-of-town attendants (optional).
  • Groomsmen wedding attire (optional).
  • Attendants' gloves, ties, ascots, vests (optional).
  • Fee for the ceremony officiant.
  • Honeymoon.
  • Bachelor dinner (optional).
Groom's Family
  • Personal wedding attire.
  • Travel and hotel expenses they incur.
  • Wedding gift for the couple.
  • Bachelor's dinner (optional).
  • Rehearsal dinner.
  • Traveling expenses.
  • Wedding gift for the couple.
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