Who pays for what in your wedding?

November 3, 2015

Planning for a wedding can be a flurry of activity, and if you're a newly engaged couple, you may need some clarity about who is responsible for paying for all of the day's various elements. It's helpful to have some preliminary guidelines in mind before discussing your plans with parents.

Who pays for what in your wedding?

The breakdown

Under the traditional standard of payment responsibilities, the engaged couple and their parents pay for the following elements as noted.

  • The bride's parents pay for the bride's wedding dress, accessories, and trousseau as well as floral arrangements and bouquets for the ceremony and reception.
  • They are also responsible for paying for invitations, wedding announcements, ceremony programs, and all of the associated mailing costs.
  • Ceremony and reception-related expenses such as location rental fees, church, synagogue, organist, decorations, food, music, favours, photography, videography, and entertainment are also responsibilities of the bride's parents.
  • Transportation of the wedding party from wedding to reception site and personal travel arrangements are also taken care of financially by the parents of the bride.
  • The groom's parents pay for the wedding rehearsal dinner including invitations, food, decorations, and entertainment.
  • They are also responsible for their own personal wedding attire and travel as well as a wedding gift for the couple.
  • The bride pays for her groom's wedding ring and a wedding gift for him. She should also take care of beauty salon visits including hair, makeup, facials, spa treatments as well as gifts for the bridesmaids and flower girl.
  • When appropriate, the bride should pay for accommodations for out-of-town attendants and a luncheon for her bridesmaids.
  • The groom pays for the bride's engagement and wedding rings as well as the marriage licence and a gift for his bride.
  • The groom generally pays for floral pieces including the bride's bouquet, corsages for the mothers and grandmothers of the bride and groom, and boutonnieres for his wedding attendants.
  • Usually the groom will want to host a dinner for his attendants and give them each gifts at the event.
  • When appropriate, the groom pays for local accommodations for his out-of-town attendants. The groom is also responsible for the officiant fee and all honeymoon expenses.


  • Always accept any form of wedding help — financial and otherwise — with the utmost graciousness.
  • Even if there is no financial help available through your parents or future in-laws, always act with grace and thank them for their consideration regardless.
  • At the end of the day, it's a happy time for everyone in the family, whether they are contributing to the wedding or not!
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