Who Pays for What at the Wedding
WHO pays for the wedding has traditionally been the parents of the bride. However, in this day and age of extravagantly expensive weddings, the bride and groom and the groom's parents sometimes contribute their two cents worth (figuratively speaking, of course)or even pay for the entire wedding.
Who pays or why they pay should be determined by your unique situation. The default setting is that the bride's parents pay for most of the expenses.
If the bride and groom are self supporting and have jobs with good incomes, they may pay all or part of the costs. An advantage to the bride and groom is that they don't have to justify expenses to the mom of the bride (or more importantly the dad of the bride). They can make their own decisions with little input from others. The advantage to the bride's parents is obvious!
A disadvantage of this is that they don't have to justify expenses to anyone, and they can make their own decisions with little input from others:) It is not a good idea for a young couple just starting off to go into great debt for a one day experience.
So if the couple are good money managers and make a comfortable income (with seeming future job security) let them do as much as they can or want to.
The parents of the groom usually contribute or pay for the wedding if the parents of the bride are financially unable to provide. Or if the parents of the groom think their son and his Starry Eyed bride should have a grander wedding or reception than the parents of the bride are able or willing to provide. Or if they just want to chip in. Or if they want to have something that the bride's family does not think is necessary.
An example of this might be alcohol at the reception. If the bride's family does not drink alcohol and the groom's family does, they might provide beer or wine or an open bar for their friends and relatives (of course, the bride's friends and relatives could also partake if they so desire!) at the reception.
Even if the bride's parents are picking up the tab for the whole deal, there are a few items that the groom, his parents, and his bride traditionally pay for:
The parents of the groom traditionally are responsible for:
1. the rehearsal dinner, including food, invitations, decorations, and entertainment
2. their own attire and travel expenses
3. a wedding present
The bride traditionally pays for:
1. the groom's wedding ring
2. a wedding gift for the groom
3. her hair and makeup, and the hair and make up of her attendants
4. gifts for her attendants
5. sometimes accommodations for out of town bridesmaids
The groom's traditional expenses include:
1. the marriage license
2. the bride's engagement and wedding rings
3. the honeymoon
4. a wedding gift for the bride
5. the bride's bouquet
6. gifts for his attendants
7. corsages for the mothers and grandmothers
8. boutonnieres for men in the wedding party
9. sometimes accommodations for out of town groomsmen
10. fee for the officiant
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