Wedding Protocol – Who Pays For What at a Wedding

Weddings are almost always synonymous to huge expenses, left and right, thus it is just normal that some couples are assisted by their respective families in shouldering the cost of the wedding. But when it comes to wedding protocol – who pays for what at a wedding?

When it comes to traditional weddings, there are actually rules or set protocol on who pays for wedding expenses. Listed here are the usual wedding expenses and who pays for what wedding etiquette. This should help you figure out some of your wedding expenses.

Wedding Costs for the Groom and His Family

rehearsal dinner

Rehearsal dinner is usually shouldered by the groom's parents (photo by Family O'Abé)

The groom’s family usually shoulders the cost of the rehearsal dinner, engagement party, the engagement ring for the bride and the wedding ring. Additionally, the cost of getting a marriage license and honeymoon expenses.

They are also responsible for the costs of the boutonnieres for the men in the party, the corsages for the mothers and grandmothers and most especially the bride’s bouquet. Limousine service is also the responsibility of the groom and the groom’s family.

Wedding Costs for the Bride and Her Family

wedding reception

The bride's family usually is in charge of the wedding reception arrangements including the flowers (photo by Mike Woods)

The bride’s family foots the bill for the bridesmaids’ luncheon a day or so before the wedding, the wedding music – band, organist or soloist for the wedding, the bridal gown and veil, as well as the accessories. The bride’s family will also pay the arrangements for the church and the reception, including the flowers, the decorations, rental fees as well as the entertainment during the reception and will also pay for the bouquets and corsages for the bridesmaids and the flower girls and their transportation from the church to the reception venue.

The bride’s family will also be paying for the invitation, wedding programs, as well as the announcements after the wedding. Photos and video coverage of the wedding is also shouldered by the bride’s family. Of course, they also have to pay for their own attire.

The bride’s wedding dress and accessories are also paid for by the brides’ family.

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“When it comes to wedding expense etiquette, it has become flexible for modern weddings.”

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Wedding Costs for the Wedding Party

bridesmaid dresses

The wedding party pays for each of their dresses and suits (photo by AudreyH)

The bridesmaids and the groomsmen pay for their formal wear – dresses for the ladies, tuxedos or suits for the gentlemen, shoes and all the accessories. The maid of honor and the bridesmaids are also responsible for throwing a bridal shower and/or bachelorette party and shoulders the cost involved for it. The groomsmen and the best man takes care of the of the bachelor party.

Although traditional weddings have a clear line on who pays for what when it comes to wedding expense etiquette, it has become flexible for modern weddings. Who pays what these days may have slightly or totally changed and in fact, many couples are even paying for their own weddings. Most of the expenses are now shouldered by the bride and groom themselves, although financial help from both families may still be there. In the modern world, the finances can be taken care of by the bride and groom themselves, especially if the budget for your wedding is within your reach or you both have the financial capacities.

bride's accessories

Bride's accessories are usually paid for by the bride's family (photo by littlemaiba)

Changes to wedding etiquette, traditions and protocol – especially when it involves finances are due to many factors that make this ‘who pays for what’ split between the groom and the bride’s family unworkable. Of course, the difference in financial capabilities of either family may affect this traditional split of expenses, the wealthier volunteering to shoulder more of the expenses. Also, preferences can also affect this split in financial responsibilities, for example if the groom’s family wants an added service when it comes to video or photography and offers to pay for it themselves.

Of course, one of the many wedding etiquette questions that arise with splitting of expenses is whether your set budget is affordable for both families and thats something you have to consider.

How was it for your wedding? How do you plan to split expenses? Comment, tweet, let us know…

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