Who Traditionally Pays for What at Weddings

Who Traditionally Pays for What at Weddings

These days, many engaged couples must put their own money up for the ceremony and reception. Yet, the parents of the bride and groom are still obligated to provide a financial contribution.

Modern wedding customs have evolved considerably from older practices. What was once common knowledge may not hold today. It’s becoming increasingly common for couples to fund their weddings with their own money rather than accept financial help from their parents.

Budgeting for a wedding is time-consuming, so starting the process early is beneficial. And if you want to have an unforgettable moment with your loved one, you must consider a wedding venue in Las Vegas.

The Traditional Custom of Wedding Expenses

The bride’s parents will typically bill most of the ceremony’s expenses. The origins of this custom are murky, although they likely stem from the habit of the groom receiving a dowry from the bride’s family.
You can do so if you and the bride’s parents wish to follow customs. To be sure, it’s not an absolute requirement.

There are several advantages to a more contemporary method of wedding financing, such as covering all or a portion of the expenditures yourself or with a smaller group of close relatives and friends.

  • You have a more stable financial situation than your parents, or you want to have a wedding that costs more than they can afford.
  • You are more comfortable handling the financial aspects of the planning process on your own, or you are concerned that family members will try to meddle.
  • The wedding is canceled for starters; in the case of same-sex couples
  • Either the bride and her parents are estranged, or the bride’s parents have passed away.
  • One possibility is that the bride’s family won’t offer financial support.

Wedding Expenses for the Bride’s Family

The bride’s family covers most wedding expenses. Starting with the engagement party, here are the other things they’re supposed to do.

1. Proposal Celebration

An engagement party isn’t something that every couple does. A betrothal party can be a fancy supper, a small gathering in the couple’s house, or a rented ballroom.

The bride’s parents pay for the reception hall, entertainment, and cuisine. If there is a bar, guests are expected to cover the cost of their drinks. The engagement party is not confused with the hen or stag night.

2. Celebration of Marriage and Reception

Traditionally, the bride’s family pays for everything associated with the wedding. Some examples are:

  • Venue rental
  • Expenses for the ceremony and the officiant
  • Food
  • Water, wine, and a designated “toasting drink” are examples of beverages that may be found on the table (guests pay for additional drinks themselves)
  • Fun stuff to do, like listen to a band
  • Cake for the wedding

3. Various Flower Decorations

The bride’s family will pay for the majority of the wedding decor. Decorations for the tables and walls may include confetti and centerpieces, and buntings. Things like wedding post boxes and signs are also included.

The bride’s family pays for all the floral arrangements, including the flower arches and the centerpieces. Yet it is not customary for the groom and his party to foot the bill for the bride and her attendants’ floral arrangements, including boutonnieres and bouquets.

4. Wedding Gown

The bride’s family purchases the wedding gown. They also cover the cost of the bride’s accessories, such as her footwear, veil, tiara, and necklace. The bride’s mother is also expected to accompany her daughter in dress shopping and assist her in making a final decision.

The bride’s parents may choose to cover the cost of the bridesmaids’ dresses, or the girls may choose to assemble their ensembles.

Everything, like how you wear your hair and cosmetics on the big day, can change. The bride’s family or the bride herself may foot the bill.

5. Photography

The groom’s family will cover wedding photography and videography. The cost of making a tangible copy of the wedding DVD or photo album is also included. Remember that your photographer’s first quote probably only had digital photographs delivered by USB stick or online gallery.

6. Wedding Stationaries

In most cultures, the bride’s family covers all costs associated with wedding stationery, including thank you cards. Such examples could be:

  • Invitation Cards
  • Cards for indicating attendance or responses
  • Notecards (directions, dress code, gift list, etc.)
  • Order of service
  • Food menus
  • Seating charts and name tags
  • the guestbook

7. Engagement Ring

The bride’s family pays for the groom’s wedding clothing except for the ring. The bride’s family buys the ring, but the groom chooses it.

8. Transport

The bride’s family also foots the bill for the couple’s ride to the ceremony. A limousine, horse-drawn carriage, or luxury vehicle may fit this description. There’s a chance they’ll also pay for everyone in the wedding party’s rides (bridesmaids and groomsmen).

Wedding Expenses for the Groom’s Family

The groom’s family is sometimes expected to pay for some of the wedding’s expenses. The groom’s parents may foot the bill for everything, but it’s also possible that the two of them will divide up the costs.

  • Suits for the groom and his attendants (whether purchase or rental)
  • A wedding band for the bride (the groom pays for her engagement ring himself)
  • Bouquets for the bride and bridesmaids, as well as buttonholes and corsages for the groom and groomsmen.
  • Rehearsal dinners are a relatively new custom, and while the bride’s family often pays for the engagement party, the groom’s family typically foots the bill for the rehearsal dinner.
  • Money for the marriage license
  • Rooms for the wedding night and sometimes the night before for the bride and husband. Also, they may cover the cost of the hotel for the wedding party.

The honeymoon is another expense that the groom’s family traditionally covers. Still, it’s on the rise for the couple to request monetary gifts from their guests to cover the cost. Many modern-day couples do not exchange wedding presents because they have already accumulated everything they could ever want in one another’s company.


The tradition of who pays for wedding expenses has significantly evolved, shifting from historical practices where the bride’s family predominantly shouldered the costs to modern times where couples frequently take charge of their own wedding finances. This change mirrors broader shifts in societal norms, financial independence, and personal choice, with many opting for a more personalized approach to their wedding day.

Amidst these evolving traditions, the essence of celebrating love and unity remains paramount. For couples navigating the complexities of planning their special day, especially those dreaming of a wedding in the vibrant city of Las Vegas, Paradise Wedding Chapel offers a seamless solution.

We invite you to contact Paradise Wedding Chapel to discover how we can assist you in achieving your dream wedding in Las Vegas. Our team is dedicated to making your wedding planning process as joyful and stress-free as possible, ensuring your day is not only memorable but also perfectly tailored to your unique love story.


Who traditionally pays for the wedding ceremony and reception?

Traditionally, the bride’s family is responsible for covering the costs of the wedding ceremony and reception. This includes the venue, food, decorations, and entertainment.

What expenses are typically covered by the groom’s family?

The groom’s family often pays for the rehearsal dinner, the bride’s engagement and wedding rings, marriage license fees, and sometimes the honeymoon. They may also contribute to the cost of the wedding attire for the groom and his attendants.

Are couples expected to contribute to their wedding expenses?

In modern weddings, it’s increasingly common for couples to contribute significantly to their wedding expenses. Many choose to finance their weddings entirely on their own, reflecting a shift towards more personalized and independently-planned celebrations.

What costs are bridesmaids and groomsmen expected to cover?

Bridesmaids and groomsmen are typically expected to pay for their own attire, including dresses, suits, and any necessary alterations. They may also cover personal expenses like travel and accommodations for the wedding.

How can couples navigate wedding expenses if traditional payment responsibilities don’t fit their situation?

Couples should communicate openly about their budget and priorities, considering both their own and their families’ contributions. Flexibility and creativity in planning can help accommodate different financial situations and preferences, making it important to explore various options and seek guidance from wedding professionals if needed.