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The Wedding Costs: Who Pays?

By Emily Capdevielle

Budgeting for a wedding is one of the hardest things most couples have to deal with these days. Traditionally, the bride’s parents will choose to pick up the tab or shall I say…tab(s) for the wedding ceremony and reception.  Although now it is more common for the couple to pay for the wedding themselves or at least pitch in a little because of families falling upon harder financial times. The pre-wedding affairs are a little less confusing since it is pretty much assumed that the bride and groom do not throw themselves an engagement party or bridal shower. The following are the pre-wedding events and who typically hosts them.

Engagement Party: The engagement party can be hosted by the groom’s family or the bride’s family. However if there will be more than one party, the bride’s family traditionally hosts their engagement soirée first.

Bridal Shower: The bride’s maid of honor and bridesmaids typically host the bridal shower. However now, several smaller showers may be thrown by each side of the family, by friends or coworkers as well.

Bachelor/Bachelorette Party: The bachelor party is typically hosted by the best man and groomsmen for the groom and the bachelorette party is hosted by the bride’s maid of honor and bridesmaids.

Since many families now stray from the typical traditional split of the actual wedding costs, it may be necessary to sit down and talk through what your particular situation might be before you assume that you won’t need to be writing any checks yourselves. The following includes how both families traditionally split up the costs for the wedding day.

Bride or Bride’s Family

Groom or Groom’s Family

  • The ceremony
  • Bride’s dress and accessories
  • Bouquets for bridesmaids and flower girls
  • Invitations, announcements and wedding programs
  • groom’s ring
  • Wedding transportation for the bridal party
  • Photographer
  • Videographer
  • Reception
  • Marriage license
  • Officiant’s fee
  • Groom’s attire and shoes
  • Bride’s bouquet, boutonnières for men and corsages for mothers and grandmothers
  • Both of the bride’s rings
  • Honeymoon

Other costs the bride and groom should consider are those associated with the bridal party. Each person in the bridal party is expected to purchase their own dresses, shoes, suits and anything else that they will need to wear during the ceremony. Typically, the bride will treat the bridesmaids to getting their hair done if there is a preference as to how everyone’s hair should look. The bride may also pay for extra things like a manicure or pedicure to further treat the bridesmaids but that is completely up to the bride and the budget she has to keep.

Again, these rules are made to be broken depending on each couple’s family and financial situation. Sometimes, a couple’s taste may be a little more expensive and as a courtesy will chip in with the costs. Just remember to stay organized and to keep an open line of communication with everyone so there is no guessing game as to who is flipping their checkbook open next. Check out the pricing for Chapel in the Pines