Weddings are family affairs and traditionally the expenses are split between the families of brides and grooms. While nowadays a lot of couples are taking on wedding expenses themselves, it is interesting to know who traditionally pays for what aspects of a couple’s wedding.
Simply put, the bride’s family generally foots most of the bill.
“There is a scene in the movie, ‘Father of the Bride’ when George, the character played by Steve Martin and the father of the bride, tries to process the slowly mounting costs of his daughter’s wedding,” Kate Winsor of the Bride Guide says. “He manages to escape before having a breakdown, but that scene captures the overwhelming feeling that some fathers have.”
The bride’s family takes on paying for the ceremony location, floral arrangements for the ceremony and reception, the invitations, photography, transportation and all other professional services related to the reception except for the DJ or musicians.
The bride’s family also will take care of the cake, catering, reception beverages, photography and corsages, and the bride can expect to pay for her dress and other items that make up her attire for the day.
Entertainment for the wedding is taken care of by the groom, Winsor said. The groom also takes care of boutonnieres, transportation and the wedding night and honeymoon.
“The groom and his family pay for the marriage license and officiant fee, the bride’s bouquet, and any flowers for the men, mothers and grandmothers,” Winsor said. “The groom will also pay for his outfit, the honeymoon and the bride’s rings. The groom’s family traditionally plans and hosts the rehearsal dinner.”
For those that want to stick with tradition, allowing family to help pay for a wedding means that the bride and groom generally have to deal with opinions of the family, so it is a give and take. For those that what to be the sole decision makers for their wedding, taking on all financial aspects of the day will make it easier to say no to those giving their opinions on the big day.