Monday, October 3rd, 2011 by Courtney

The Big Money Question: Who Pays for What?


The topic of money and who pays for the wedding is one of the questions most commonly asked in the early stages of wedding planning.  These days the division of who pays for what has evolved and changed to adapt to what fits each couple, and we think it’s about time.  This article is meant to address the question of who traditionally pays for what.  We’re giving you this list as a starting point, but strongly encourage you to take this list and make it work for you! 

Bride’s Financial Responsibilities:
  • Groom’s ring
  • Gifts for your bridesmaids
  • A wedding gift for your groom
  • A gift for your parents
  • Medical exam for herself (as required by the state, and those to procure any desired contraceptives)
  • Bridesmaid luncheon, generally held the week of the wedding
  • Hair, makeup and beauty treatments on the wedding day and leading up to it
  • Accommodations for your out-of-town guests & attendants
  • If you’re having a destination wedding, accommodations for your bridesmaids

 
Family of the Bride Financial Responsibilities:
  • Save the Date announcements and Wedding Invitations
  • Engagement party (if they host one for you)
  • Wedding Planner
  • A gift for you and your groom
  • Wedding dress & all of your accessories
  • Wedding attire for all of the bride’s family
  • Lunch/brunch for you and your bridesmaids on the wedding day
  • Bridesmaid’s bouquets
  • Personal flowers (corsages) for all grandmothers
  • Ceremony site rental and associated fees
  • Other ceremony décor
  • Programs for the ceremony
  • Rentals for the ceremony and reception
  • Floral arrangements for the ceremony and reception
  • Music for the ceremony and reception
  • Reception location rental fees
  • Food for the reception
  • Reception floral arrangements
  • Other reception decor
  • Photographer
  • Videographer
  • Wedding cake
  • Favors
  • Transportation for the you, your wedding party and your family on the day of the wedding
  • Gratuities for any vendors above (see our handy tipping guide here)
  • Post-wedding brunch

Groom’s Financial Responsibilities:
  • Engagement and wedding ring for the bride
  • Bridal bouquet
  • A wedding gift for the bride
  • Medical exam for himself (as required by the state)
  • Gifts for the groomsmen and ushers
  • A gift for his parents
  • Cost of the marriage license
  • Officiant’s fees
  • Personal flowers/corsages for all women (excluding bridesmaids and grandmothers)
  • Boutonnieres for all men
  • His formalwear & accessories
  • Gloves, ties & accessories for men in the party
  • Honeymoon
  • Transportation for bride & groom at the end of the night
  • Transportation to the honeymoon
  • Accommodations for his out-of-town guests & attendants
  • If you’re having a destination wedding, accommodations for his groomsmen

Family of the Groom’s Financial Responsibilities:
  • Engagement party (if they host you one)
  • The entire cost of the rehearsal dinner
  • Their own wedding attire
  • Their own travel expenses
  • A wedding gift for the bride and groom
  • Transportation for groom & best man to the ceremony
  • Reception beverages
  • Groom’s cake
  • When applicable, the cost to ship all wedding gifts to the bride and groom’s home

Attendant’s Financial Responsibilities
  • Bachelor & bachelorette parties
  • Bridal showers
  • A wedding gift for the couple
  • Their attire & accessories (purchasing or renting)
  • Their travel expenses
  • Flower girl & ring bearer attire & accessories – their parents pay

Again, none of this is set in stone, but it gives you an idea of where to begin.  Things to keep in mind when tailoring this list to fit you:
  • The financial situation of each party involved; if you’re in a position to shoulder more financial responsibility to make it easier for someone else, do it.
  • More contribution means more involvement: the more one party is footing of the overall bill, the more influence they should have in the decision making process
  • Division of the guests: if his parents give you a guest list that makes up half of your entire guest list, it’s okay to ask them to contribute more
  • Your age and position in life: if you’re getting married right out of college, it seems more practical and acceptable for your folks to pay for the majority of the wedding.  However if you’re in your mid-thirties, have a career and mortgage of your own, you should foot a larger portion of the cost of the wedding

What’s the best approach to dividing up responsibilities?  Talk to your honey first, then call a meeting where all contribution parties are present, and talk through it; it’s better for everyone to be clear and on the same page from the start, and it will save you on your Excedrin Migraine costs along the way!