Planning a Wedding? Don’t Break the Bank: Here’s Who Pays for What


Wedding Expenses: Here’s What You Need to Know

Congratulations on your engagement! As you start planning your wedding, one thing you’ll soon discover is that weddings can be expensive. From the flowers to the venue to the dress, costs can add up quickly.

Who Pays for What?

Traditional Expectations

In the past, it was expected that the bride’s family would pay for the majority of the wedding expenses. This includes the ceremony, reception, and the bride’s attire.

The groom’s family, on the other hand, would typically pay for the rehearsal dinner and the honeymoon. However, times have changed, and it’s becoming more common for the bride and groom to pay for the wedding themselves or to share the costs equally with both families.

This shift is due in part to young couples being more financially stable and wanting to start their married life debt-free.

New Age Ways of Sharing Expenses

If you’re planning on footing the bill yourself, there are plenty of options to help spread the cost. A joint wedding loan or a wedding credit card can help you finance your big day.

And don’t forget about the honeymoon registry, where guests can contribute towards your dream vacation instead of buying you traditional gifts.

Splitting the Costs

Whether you’re splitting the costs equally or sticking to more traditional expectations, it’s important to have open and honest conversations about the budget early on. Decide on what’s most important to you and allocate your budget accordingly.

Specific Wedding Expenses and Payments

When it comes to specific wedding expenses, there may still be questions about who pays. Here’s a breakdown of some of the most common wedding costs:

Wedding Ceremony

The costs of the wedding ceremony typically include the venue, the minister or officiant, and any decorations, music, or programs. If you’re hosting the ceremony at a place of worship, there may be additional fees or donations required.

Wedding Planner

If you’re hiring a wedding planner to help with your big day, the cost can vary depending on your location and the services you require. Typically, wedding planners charge a flat fee or a percentage of the total wedding budget.

Rehearsal Dinner

The rehearsal dinner is usually hosted by the groom’s family and covers the cost of the meal for the bridal party and close family members. However, there’s no hard and fast rule, and the dinner can be hosted by anyone willing to foot the bill.

Wedding Reception

The reception is usually the most expensive part of a wedding. Costs include the venue rental, food and drink, decorations, music, and photography.

Depending on your budget, you may need to make some trade-offs when it comes to the quality and quantity of these items.

Dress and Clothing

Traditionally, the bride’s family pays for the wedding dress, while the groom’s family pays for the groom’s attire. However, as with many wedding expenses, this can be split or paid for by the couple themselves.


The engagement ring and wedding rings are traditionally paid for by the groom, but modern couples may choose to split the cost or choose less expensive options.

Minister or Officiant

The cost of the minister or officiant can vary depending on the location and their experience. You may also need to cover travel expenses if they’re coming from out of town.


The cost of the wedding cake can vary depending on the size, complexity of the design, and the bakery you choose. Be sure to book your cake well in advance to ensure a spot with your preferred baker.

The Changing Expectations

As society continues to change, so do our expectations of what a wedding should look like. It’s becoming more common for weddings to be paid for equally by both families, and for the father of the bride to contribute financially to the wedding.

The important thing is to have open and honest conversations with your loved ones about your expectations and budget. In conclusion, weddings can be expensive, but it’s possible to make it work no matter your budget.

There are traditional expectations and new age ways of sharing wedding expenses. It’s important to have open and honest conversations about the budget early on, decide on what’s most important to you, and allocate your budget accordingly.

Remember that your wedding day is about celebrating your love and commitment, so don’t let the costs overshadow this special day. In conclusion, understanding the traditional and new age ways of sharing wedding expenses is crucial to planning a successful and memorable wedding.

Whether it’s determining who pays for specific costs like the venue, attire, and cake, or deciding on new ways to finance your special day, clear communication and budget management is key. While weddings can certainly be costly, ultimately, it’s the love and commitment between two people that’s truly priceless.

By being aware of the various financial options available, you can celebrate your union without breaking the bank.

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