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Who Pays For The Wedding

Wedding Budget: Who Pays For A Wedding

Who Traditionally Pays for What? Wedding Budget Breakdown | The Knot

The roles of who pays for a wedding used to be very black and white. Traditionally the brides family paid for the majority of things, while the grooms family only covered a small portion of bills. These days, deciding who pays for the wedding falls along a blurred line. With couples getting married later in life, and weddings costing much more than they used to, paying for a wedding is often a joint effort.

Did you know that the average wedding in the 1960s cost only $700 in todays money? Flash forward 50 years to today where the average wedding costs a whopping $31,000! Unless couples and families have been saving for a wedding for years, most people do not have that amount of money sitting around. Its easy to see how the traditional roles of who paid for what at a wedding were established when the cost was so low. Take a look below at what used to be the norm:

Brides Family Paid For:

  • Engagement party
  • Alcohol at reception
  • Honeymoon

Although its nice to stick with tradition, weddings are a lot more elaborate than they used to be. This in turn means wedding costs have greatly increased since these traditional wedding budget rules were established years ago. Many brides families today cant afford to foot the bill for the majority of wedding costs. Weve noticed that the new roles for who pays for a wedding vary greatly from wedding to wedding. Here a few examples of what we have seen from our couples:

The Meaning Of Each Item In The Bowl

If you pay attention to the details, you could guess that every tradition in Thailand has its origins and meanings. From the proposal and the negotiation that came with the values and culture of ancient Thais to the things which are brought to the ceremony nothing is brought in just to make it look pretty.

This goes for the things put into the engagement bowls as well. Every aspect of it has meaning and is filled with the belief that they will bring good fortune to the engaged couple. They mainly symbolize growth, ease of life, and happiness in love. If they were to be explained one by one, they would be as follows:

Raw Betel Nuts and Betel Leaves

Betel nuts and leaves were used as welcoming refreshments, similar to tea, for ancient Thais. They are beautifully decorated to show the skills of the women of that family.

But in the case that the betel nuts and leaves are brought in an engagement bowl to the bride, it is an act to show humility and respect towards the parents of the bride. They are used as a tribute to show that they want to propose to the bride.

The red lime that is applied onto the betel nut and leaves is a special symbol unique to the engagement bowl because in the wedding bowl the contents will be made up of raw betel nut and the beautiful philodendron which are not applied with red lime.

3 Sacred Leaves

Green Beans, Unmilled Rice, Black Sesame Seeds, and Popped Rice

Engagement Rings From Thai Culture To Western Values

The Twists On Tradition

The concept of ‘tradition’ has evolved over the years, and it’s become commonplace to see both sets of parents, a member of the family on either side, or the couple contributing what they can, rather than feeling the pressure to spend beyond their means a la George Banks. “We’ve hit fast forward to the twenty-first century, where new traditions are being forged all the time,” says Bryan Rafanelli, founder and chief creative officer of Rafanelli Events. “In this day and age, there is no single answer to who is paying for a couple’s wedding, and it actually has made things much more personal and meaningful.” Per Rafanelli’s note, it’s now not uncommon to see other, more distant members of the family or older generations contributing to a couple’s event, be it grandparents, aunts and uncles, or godparents. Affirms Rafanelli, “Anything goes. We work with clients where both the bride and groom’s families pitch in together, and clients where only one family, be the bride’s or the groom’s, pay for the entire wedding celebration.”

It’s also becoming more customary for family members or the couple to handle or contribute to one of the wedding’s many experiences, rather than simply offering up a lump sum. Be it the wedding cake, the dress, or an activation like a photobooth, or a surprise performer, the responsibility of paying for all the aspects of a wedding now tends to be shared amongst different parties to alleviate the financial burden on one person, family, or the couple.

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Who Pays For The Bridal Shower

Typically, the cost of your bridal shower is one of the few elements of your wedding that isnt necessarily a family affair. Your Maid of Honor is responsible for a host of tasks in addition to being traditionally tasked with arranging your Bridal Shower.

Your bridesmaids will help organize the shower and may even pitch in a little bit on the cost, but dont expect them to pay for too much. The bridesmaids have already taken on a few expenses just to be at your side. To keep the cost of the bridal shower low, the maid of honor often hosts it at her home, but if she has more ambitious designs, shell want to discuss with her fellow bridesmaids to get an idea what theyre comfortable contributing.

These traditions are generations old, and many families will still welcome the opportunity to play a financial role in your special day, but dont be afraid to blaze your own trail. After all, how else will new traditions get their start?

Consider Who Traditionally Pays For The Wedding


Traditionally, the brides family assumed most of the financial costs associated with a wedding, including the wedding planner, invitations, dress, ceremony, and reception, according to Lizzie Post, cohost of the Awesome Etiquette Podcast and great-great-granddaughter of Emily Post. Its harder to think about this now, and I am a feminist, but historically it has to do with the ancient practice of a brides family giving a dowry to the grooms for assuming the burden of a bride, she says. In Victorian times that changed a bit to giving a trousseau, which was a years worth of clothing and home items in addition to paying up-front costs.

The bride’s parents also traditionally hosted the engagement party. The bride herself was responsible for the wedding flowers, bridesmaid gifts, the groom’s ring and a present for the groom.

The grooms family traditionally paid for all costs associated with the rehearsal dinner and honeymoon, wedding day transportation and the officiant. That came with a string, in that the groom’s parents typically then chose the officiant, as well. The groom paid for the bride’s engagement ring, wedding ring and groomsmen gifts.

Also Check: Wedding Venue Comparison Spreadsheet

Who Pays Bridal Shower

Today its the maid of honor and bridal party or the bride or grooms mother who throws the bridal shower. Typically, whoever throws the event is the one must cover the costs. Often, the maid of honor and her fellow bridesmaids throw the bridal shower and pay for it, and the mother of the bride contributes.

Bride And Brides Family:

  • The wedding dress or outfit
  • Bridesmaids dresses and accessories
  • Any accompanying outfits for the Bride
  • Hair and makeup
  • Transportation to the ceremony for the bridal party
  • Transportation to the reception venue for the bride and groom
  • The grooms wedding ring
  • Engagement party
  • Overnight accommodation for close family
  • Presents for the grooms family

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The Couple’s Age Has Nothing To Do With Who Pays For The Wedding

“Age has very little to do with paying for the wedding,” says Carlson. “Its really more about how financially sound the couple is on their own, as well as the role their family wants to play in the wedding.”

Post agrees: “Age shouldnt be a factor when contributing. Whether you are getting married in your 40s or 30s or 20s, a parent should want to help, as long as it is financially viable for them.

Bonus: Who Pays For The Royal Wedding

Who Pays for the Wedding, Rehearsal Dinner, & Honeymoon Expenses?

To understand where we are today we should first take a look at where we came from. Some of the traditions we practice come from elsewhere but the framework of the modern wedding has its roots in British Royal weddings.

Who pays for the royal wedding is broken down into 3 categories:

  • Taxpayers cover the cost of security.
  • The bride is expected to cover the cost of her wedding gown
  • The rest is covered by the Royal Family.

It may seem unfair the citizens have to cover the cost of security, but considering Prince Harry and Meghan Markels wedding had a total cost of around $43 million we say they got off easy.

Read Also: Officiating Weddings In California

New Vs Old Wedding Etiquette: Who Pays For What

These days, the rules of who pays for what when it comes to a wedding are a little more in the grey-area than in years past for quick and easy reference, we have provided a short and sweet list of new wedding etiquette so you know what to expect from whom!

Old Wedding Etiquette Rules: Wedding and reception expenses for a first marriage were traditionally the sole responsibility of the brides family. When paying, they get to determine the size and style of the wedding and reception. The grooms family may offer to share in the cost of the reception and the brides family may accept in order to accommodate a larger wedding.

New Wedding Etiquette Rules: Both families may divide the expenses as their budget allows, or each family can contribute a set amount to the total expenses. And not all couples are brides and grooms! This applies to brides and brides, grooms and grooms and couples who want to be labeled as neither. As the average age of couples has risen for marriage, many modern duos host and pay for their entire wedding and celebration themselves and send the invitation for their personalized wedding on their own. For encore weddings, the couple is always responsible for the costs. An encore wedding is a marriage in which the one or both people have been married before.

Traditionally, the Brides Family Pays for:

  • Church and reception site rental

Why Do The Brides Parents Pay For The Wedding

  • Who Pays For A Wedding These Days?
  • If we look at the traditional ways of paying for the wedding, it was expected that the brides family would be paying for the wedding, although the grooms family could be chipping in. An average American wedding expense, inclusive of everything, is around $33,000.

    Traditionally, in accordance with gender roles, it was believed the groom would pay for the honeymoon and then would be responsible for buying a house and supporting his wife financially. So, the wedding expenses were to be paid by the brides parents since the groom would take on her financial responsibility after the wedding.

    Why does the bride pay for the wedding? At our wedding, we didnt much care about what the traditional way to do it was. We decided to pay as much as we could ourselves and then took help from our respective parents when we thought we needed it. If youre wondering how we split it, we didnt really for the intricacies of what is the groom responsible for paying for in a wedding or what the bride purchases. We decided to split it equally, says Jacob, talking about how Martha and he decided on paying for the wedding.

    The intricacies of who pays for what depends on your dynamic, but its always helpful to take a look at the way it has traditionally been done and the options available.

    Recommended Reading: Wedding Bands That Go With Solitaires

    The Generosity Of Parents

    If all else fails, either the bride or grooms parents may be generous enough to pay for the mans ring or even for both rings as a wedding gift. Of course, this should never be asked of them, but some want to! This could be done in lieu of that expensive set of china you were thinking of putting on the registry.

    Dividing Wedding Expenses Is An Important Part Of Wedding Planning

    Budgeting for the Wedding: Who Pays for What?

    Planning a wedding is an event in itself, but who pays for what? It’s helpful to have a firm budget in place to keep spending on track. According to, for example, the average wedding cost $38,700 in 2019, with the majority of those costs associated with the ceremony and reception.

    As you and your spouse-to-be undertake wedding planning, determining how you fund it will be an important part of keeping the event as happy and stress-free as it should be. How you handle these discussions can shape future family relationships for a long time afterward. And of course, there’s the effect on your budget during the first years of your marriage. Here’s what you need to think about and what to do next.

    Also Check: Wedding Vendor Spreadsheet

    The Groom Is Responsible For:

    Engagement ring and wedding band for the bride

    Groom’s attire

    Wedding gifts for groomsmen and the bride


    • Who pays for what in a destination wedding?

      While the brides’ parents traditionally would have covered the costs for a destination wedding , nowadays, it’s not unusual for the couple to pick up the tab or split the costs with their parents.

    • Who pays for a second wedding?

      While the couple is expected to foot the bill, in some instances, the parents may be gracious enough to help cover the costs.

    Who Should Pay For A Wedding

    Before you can even begin to delve into how much you can spend on the big day, a crucial first step is to determine who is contributing funds. But who should pay for the wedding? The short answer: it depends.

    One of the biggest challenges of planning a wedding is figuring out your budget. Before you can even begin to delve into how much you can spend on the big day, a crucial first step is to determine who is contributing funds. But who should pay for the wedding? The short answer: it depends. Some couples pay for the wedding entirely on their own while others have full or partial financial support from their families .

    Read Also: Nj Officiant

    Whos Responsible For The Grooms Wedding Ring

    The bride or her family pays for the grooms ring. This tradition dates back to ancient times when the brides family gave dowry to the groom. It usually included the wedding band and a gift for the groom in exchange for the marriage.

    Now, the times have changed, and so have these traditions. However, many couples still follow these practices and buy wedding rings for each other. Others do it their way and split the expenses. Oftentimes, for instance, the groom can buy both rings while the bride may take up the costs of something else or vice versa.

    Its interesting how different these traditions can be from culture to culture. For instance, wedding rings are completely absent from Islamic countries. Meanwhile, in France, the groom asks the brides parents to marry their daughter, and after their approval, the families go out to buy the wedding bands together.

    So, usually, the couple decides whether they want to adhere to traditions or not. In such situations, there is no right or wrong. Its your day, and you decide who pays for what.

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