Wedding Finance: Who Is Expected to Pay for What

Contrary to popular belief, you’ll probably spend more on your wedding day than you would on a semester at a major university. Most couples simply don’t understand just how expensive a wedding can be until they are planning one, and some brides like the one in the video below take extreme measures to get the wedding of their dreams.

Luckily, there are parties involved (from both sides of the aisle) who traditionally help out in certain areas of the big day. Below, we are going to teach you who are expected to pay for what in regards to wedding planning finances.

First and foremost, you’ll need to have an honest conversation with your future spouse of how much money you currently have to spend on your wedding.  After that, you’ll want to get an idea (that clearer, the better) about how much the entire wedding (as you have it planned out) is going to cost. You’ll include the reception, the wedding rings, and any other expenses into this step. Fortunately for you, we’ve made this step a little easier by compiling data of average wedding costs throughout the country.

Finally, you’ll want to determine how much money you’ll be receiving from outside parties to help bridge the gap between what you actually have and what the wedding will cost. That is what we will learn about below.

What Do the Bride’s Parents Pay For?

Tradition has shown that the parents of the bride are the ones who are going to pay for the reception as well as the ceremony itself. For those who don’t know, these will be the biggest expenses of the entire event. Keep in mind that this would cover music, food and drinks, professional photography or videography, and any decorations that would be needed. Sometimes these costs can be broken up and divided among family members too.

The bride’s parents usually pay for other stationary items like programs, invitations, and “Thank You” notes. They are typically paid for and ordered by the parents of the bride as well. The groom’s wedding ring is usually paid for the bride herself, who may often need help from her family to pay for it. And finally, there is the wedding dress, which is considered formalwear and is paid for by the father of the bride.

What Do the Groom’s Parents Pay For?

Keep in mind that the parents of the groom also have certain financial responsibilities associated with the wedding. They will usually pay for their own formalwear as well as all of the clothes that will be worn by the groom and the best man. The groom’s family will also be in charge of covering any expenses that come with the marriage license as well as the rehearsal dinner. Finally, the bride’s wedding ring will be paid for by the groom, who will receive financial help from his family.

Bride and Groom Counting the Money

Be smart and don’t overspend on your wedding!

Can Costs Be Split?

Keep in mind that these guidelines are not set in stone and can be worked out between both families. They simply serve as a reference point to start from. For example, certain costs like formalwear and “Thank You” cards can be paid for by either party. When in doubt, always make sure to speak with the other party’s family to ensure that nothing is being left out during the planning process.

Also take note that all of the costs can be outsourced towards parties who are not family. For example, the best man can help pay for certain aspects of the bachelor party and even help arrange it. He can even hold the grooms ring for safekeeping. The bridesmaids can help out by paying for their own dresses as well as providing a small wedding gift for the couple during the reception. Finally, the ushers can be in charge of paying for their own clothes as well as transportation.

Who Pays for the Honeymoon?

Finally, we have one more major expense: the honeymoon. But how is supposed to pay for it? In general, the family of the groom will be the ones to pay for the honeymoon. However, if it is an elaborate one that costs more than average, it isn’t uncommon for the family of the bride to also pitch in.

Some couples can also opt for a crowdsourcing solution by opening a “Honeymoon Registry”.  This is basically a gift registry except the only difference is that instead of receiving wedding gifts, you are receiving money that can go towards the total cost of the honeymoon.  You can click through to this article, which explains the honeymoon registry concept in more detail.

According to the latest statistics, average wedding costs now hover close to $30,000 these days.  The good news is that there are plenty of people inside and outside of the family who are available to help ease any financial tension that you and your fiancé feel as the big day approaches.

Are there any other ways that couples can share the burden of high wedding costs with others?   Is it realistic to even ask others to pay for your wedding these days?  If you have an opinion on the subject, let us know!