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Who Pays For What In A Wedding 2013?

Updated on May 2, 2013

Wedding Etiquette - Who Pays For What?

Weddings are big business. Ask anyone who's ever planned one and they'll tell you that the minute you're engaged you might as well kiss your wallet goodbye.

When you're planning a wedding there are so many things you need to put on your checklist: The venue for the wedding and the reception, rehearsal dinner, the flowers and stationery, the photographer, the dresses, the tuxes and limos.

Then there's the gifts for the bridal party, entertainment for the reception, lodging and transportation for out-of-town guests, the caterer, the bartender, the wedding planner - and to top it all off - the honeymoon.

And those are only the high points. Wait until you see all the little details that start popping up!

The questions is - who pays for what at a wedding? Times have changed since Miss Manners first arrived on the scene. Couples are living together before they get married, sometimes for years. And sometimes the couples have a lot more money than their parents do.

Are the bride's parents still required to pay for everything except the rehearsal dinner? And what about a budget? How do you determine a budget when the bride and groom want champagne and caviar, but you're thinking more along the lines of white zin and pasta?

Image Credit: Petr Kratochvil of

Who Pays for What in a Wedding Traditionally?

Most weddings are based on traditions and traditionally, certain people have always paid for certain parts of the wedding. Below is a basic list:

The Bride and Her Family: The wedding planner or consultant, invitations and stationery, the gown and accessories, flowers, photographer, music for the church, band for the reception, transportation to the church for the bridal party, all expenses for the reception, the gift for the groom, the groom's wedding ring, clergy fees, lodging for out-of-town bridal attendants, bridesmaid's lunch.

The Groom and His Family: Engagement and wedding ring for bride, gift for bride, gifts for groomsmen, boutonnieres for groomsmen, corsages for immediate members of both families, the license, transportation for the groom and best man to church, all honeymoon expenses, rehearsal dinner, bachelor party, transportation and lodging for out-of-town members of groom's family.

Bridesmaids: Dresses and accessories, transportation to and from the wedding, lodging, contribute to a group gift for the bride, a wedding gift for the couple, shower gifts.

Groomsmen: Wedding attire, transportation to and from the wedding, lodging, contribute to a group gift for the groom, a wedding gift for the couple, bachelor party gifts.

Out-of-Town Guests: Transportation and lodging and a wedding gift for the couple.

More Wedding Etiquette Guidance from Emily Post

Almost all weddings are based on centuries-old, somber traditions, and if you need topnotch professional guidance for blending yesterday's traditions with today's practices, this book could be what you're looking for: "Emily Post's Wedding Etiquette - Fifth Edition". In this book, you'll find answers to all the who, what, why, when, where, and how when it comes to wedding etiquette.

Times Have Changed for Weddings

Wedding planners admit that times have already changed. Couples are waiting longer to get married and often have more disposable income than their parents. Some would rather skip the wedding and use the money to buy a house. Some want more for their wedding than their parents can afford and more than they're willing to pay for. And some couples don't want to burden their parents with the additional expense.

And then we also have the question of divorced parents, who may or may not have remarried. You could potentially have 2 sets of parents on the bride's side and 2 on the groom's. Who pays for what in the wedding then?

There are just as many reasons for ignoring traditions as there are styles of wedding dresses and honeymoon destinations.

Back in the day, all the bride's parents had to do was come up with a couple of gold coins and a cow. But in today's economy, it no longer makes sense to risk your financial security just so you can honor a few ancient, antique 'Traditions'.

According to Emily Post, a renowned wedding guru and planner, the first thing you need to do is look at what each person involved in the wedding can afford to contribute and then set up a budget.

The simplest solution might be to just pool all the money and go from there. But if you're looking for ways to blend the traditional with the contemporary, then look no further than the woman who's the authority in any social situation, Emily Post.

Wedding - Who Pays for What? Who Do You Have to Invite?

Before you set up the first interview or start looking for a dress, you need to decide on a wedding budget. And then you need to decide who can afford to pay for what.

This book helps blend those traditional responsibilities into today's real-world possibilities, so you can have the wedding you've always dreamed of.

Who's paying for what in YOUR wedding?

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