Wedding Budgets: Who Pays for Wedding Costs?

Who pays for wedding costs?

We all know weddings aren't cheap. We also all know that times are changing. On My Wedding Chat today, we want to give you the run down about wedding budgets and finances. Read ahead to figure out your approach to the big green dollar sign on your big, happy day.

The traditional approach:

Traditionally, it was the bride’s family who determined the wedding budget – and that’s because they were the ones who paid the great majority of the wedding costs. In the past, the bride’s family would pay for:
  • the engagement party
  • the wedding reception, including hall rental, the meal, the wedding cake and the music
  • the wedding ceremony, including the music
  • flowers
  • bridal gown, veil and accessories
  • invitations
  • photography
  • wedding favors
Meanwhile, the groom’s family would pay for the rehearsal dinner and perhaps the bar tab at the wedding reception. The bride would pay for her husband-to-be’s wedding ring, plus gifts for her bridesmaids. The groom paid for the marriage license, the engagement ring and wedding ring for his bride, gifts for his attendants and the honeymoon.

A modern take on wedding costs:

Today, the bride and groom often create a wedding costs breakdown and then ask parents if they could chip in towards the wedding budget. Some families decide to split the costs three ways: 1/3 by the bride’s family; 1/3 by the groom’s family; and 1/3 by the bride and groom. Or, perhaps the bride’s family and the groom’s family will each offer to pay half of the wedding budget. In other instances, the bride’s or groom’s family may offer to pay for specific items or to contribute a specific dollar amount towards the wedding and reception. Or, perhaps family members might offer to pay for the honeymoon as a wedding present to the bride and groom. Contemporary trends make creating a wedding costs breakdown more challenging, as clear-cut rules no longer exist. On the other hand, modern customs free the bride’s family from shouldering so much of the financial burden.

Our advice:

Talk about a wedding budget right away. See what works best for you, and do your best to stay organized and stress-free. This day isn't about the dollars, it's about love. Don't forget!

Tell us what you think the best budgeting strategy is!

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