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Who Pays?

Traditionally, there were strict guidelines about who picked up the tab for each part of the wedding process. Don't be confined within these rules. Everyone's financial situations differ and no one should feel the need to sell their home to pay for a wedding simply because of tradition. Our lives today are not as traditional as they used to be. If we want to go by tradition...Traditionally, the bride was married around the average age of 18 and went straight from her parent's house to her husbands'. There is nothing wrong with the way things have worked for many years and if you are lucky enough to have a wedding account at your disposal, go for it however, it is not the only way. In many cases, the bride and groom have been in the working world for anywhere from a few to several years. They are mid-level in career and have money of their own to contribute to the wedding.


The best way to figure out how much everyone will contribute is to sit down with a notebook, draw up the event you want to have and what you can afford. Find out what your parents can afford to contribute and the groom can do the same with his. Create your budget using everyone's input.


If you do choose the traditional route, here is the traditional breakdown of wedding expenses.


Bride's Family
  • Bride and family pay for church or synagogue, sexton, organist, etc.
  • Bride and family pay for bride's dress, veil, accessories, and trousseau
  • Bride and family pay for reception (all rental fees etc.)
  • Bride and family pay for arrangements for church (including huppah if a Jewish ceremony) and reception, plus bouquets and corsages for bridesmaids and flower girls.
  • Bride and family pay for all professional services, including food, drink, decorations, and music.
  • Bride and/or her family pay for groom's ring.
  • Bride and family pay for transportation of bridal party to and from ceremony and reception.
  • Bride and family pay for invitations, announcements, and wedding programs.
  • Bride and family pay for all wedding photos and video.


Groom's Family
  • Groom and family pay for marriage license and officiant's fee.
  • Groom and family pay for groom's outfit.
  • Groom and/or his family pay for both of the bride's rings.
  • Groom and family pay for bride's bouquet and going-away corsage, boutonnieres for men, and corsages for mothers and grandmothers.
  • Groom and family pay for complete honeymoon.


Pre-wedding Parties and Additional Expenses
  • Bride or groom's family plans and hosts engagement party; if there is more than one, bride's family hosts the first one.
  • Groom's family plans and hosts the rehearsal dinner.
  • Bride plans and hosts bridesmaids' luncheon.
  • Groom hosts and plans bachelors' dinner.
  • Maid of honor and bridesmaids host shower.
  • Best man and ushers host bachelor party.
  • Friends may throw additional engagement parties or showers.
  • All attendants pay for their own clothing (including shoes).
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