Weddings 2017: who pays for what?
These ‘rules’ are made to be broken, depending on your own family’s circumstances
Centuries ago, the bride’s family paid for all their daughter’s wedding expenses, because of the traditional system of dowries — the price they paid to her future husband for her support, and as a measure of good faith between the two families. Those days are long gone, but many of the same traditions remain, with the bride’s family paying many of the expenses of a wedding. On average, the bride’s parents usually spend 44 percent of the overall budget, while the bridal couple contributes 43 percent and the groom’s parents pay about 12 percent, according to The Knot. In 2015, 12 percent of couples paid for the entire wedding on their own, while 9 percent of couples didn’t pay for any part of their wedding.
From a traditional viewpoint, here’s how families, according to The Knot, have shared wedding expenses. It all comes down to rules that are meant to be broken, depending upon the circumstances of the families and the couple involved. Pre-wedding events • Bride’s or groom’s family plans and hosts the engagement party. If there’s more than one, the bride’s family hosts the first one. • Groom’s family plans and hosts the rehearsal dinner. • Maid of honor and bridesmaids host the bridal shower and bachelorette party. • Best man and groomsmen host the bachelor party. • Friends may throw additional showers or parties. Invitations • Bride and family pay for all invitations, announcements and wedding programs. Ceremony • Bride and family pay for church or synagogue, sexton, organist, etc. • Groom and family pay for marriage license and officiant’s fee. Wedding dress, tuxedo and attire • Bride and family pay for bridal dress, veil, accessories and trousseau (lingerie and honeymoon attire). • Groom and family pay for groom’s attire. • All attendants pay for their own clothing, including shoes, as well as their hotel accommodations. Rings • Bride and/or her family pay for the groom’s ring. • Groom and/or his family pay for both of the bride’s rings. Transportation • Bride and family pay for the wedding transportation of the wedding party to and from the ceremony and reception. Flowers and decoration • Bride and family pay for floral arrangements for ceremony and reception, plus bouquets and corsages for bridesmaids and flower girls. • Groom and family pay for the bride’s bouquet, boutonnieres for men and corsages for mothers and grandmothers. Photography • Bride and family pay for all wedding photos and videography. Reception • Bride and family pay for all professional services, including food and décor. • Groom’s family pays for the DJ or band, and liquor. Honeymoon • Groom and family pay for the complete honeymoon.