Wedding etiquette: Who pays what?

Wedding etiquette: Who pays what?

OK, we’ve assigned the tasks for the whole wedding party and if you tend to have a traditional wedding, here are some simple rules about one very delicate question: Who pays what? Our first answer is that these rules are here to be broken. Yes, they can make your life easier if you follow them but today it’s also usual for the Bride and Groom to pay for the whole thing, and why not if they are capable? The best way to work it out? Sit down with pencil, paper and calculator and figure out what you really want and can afford. Keep in mind that smaller weddings are generally cheaper and large, formal weddings tend to be more expensive. However, if your wedding party wants to be included here’s how to do it.


Bride and family

– Pay for church or synagogue, sexton, organist, etc.

Groom and family

– Pay for marriage license and officiant’s fee.

Wedding Dress, Tux and Attire

Bride and family

– Pay for bride’s dress, veil, accessories, and trousseau (read: lingerie and honeymoon clothes).

Groom and family

– Pay for groom’s outfit.

All attendants pay for their own clothing (including shoes).

Flowers and Decorations

Bride and family

– Pay for arrangements for church (including huppah if a Jewish wedding ceremony) and reception, plus bouquets and corsages for bridesmaids and flower girls.

Groom and family

– Pay for bride’s bouquet and going-away corsage, boutonnieres for men, and corsages for mothers and grandmothers.


Groom and family pay for complete honeymoon.


Bride and family pay for all wedding photos and video.

Pre-wedding Parties

– Bride or Groom’s family plans and hosts engagement party; if there is more than one, bride’s family hosts the first one.

– Groom’s family plans and hosts the rehearsal dinner.

– Bride plans and hosts bridesmaids’ luncheon.

– Groom hosts and plans bachelors’ dinner.

– Maid of Honour and bridesmaids host shower.

– Best Man and ushers host bachelor party.

– Friends may throw additional engagement parties or showers.


Bride and family

– Pay for all professional services, including food, drink, decorations, and music.


– Bride and/or her family pay for groom’s ring.

– Groom and/or his family pay for both of the bride’s rings.


– Bride and family pay for invitations, announcements, and wedding programs.


– Bride and family pay for wedding transportation of the bridal party to and from ceremony and reception.

So basically the Bride’s family pays for the wedding, and the Groom’s family pays for the honeymoon 🙂

The rest of the wedding party pays for their own expenses like wedding attire, gifts and pre-wedding parties.