Wedding Etiquette: Who Pays for What?

Deb Ng
Weddings are expensive

With the average cost of a wedding well over $20,000, the question of who pays for what is a serious one that couples and their families need to consider when planning the festivities. This checklist is a basic traditional guideline of who pays for what for the couple's wedding ceremony and reception. It is important to remember, however, that many couples adapt their own budgets and may cover all wedding expenses themselves, or families work together to split costs that can work with everyone's budget comfortably.

The Bride

  • Medical visit for bride.
  • A thank you gift for the maid of honor, bridesmaids, and hostess
  • The wedding gown, headpiece & accessories
  • The groom's ring
  • Flower girl basket, and ring bearer pillow
  • Hotel accommodations for any attendants who will be arriving from out of town

The Groom

  • Medical visit for groom
  • The marriage license
  • A thank you gift for the best man, and groomsmen
  • The bride's engagement ring
  • The bride's wedding ring
  • Clothing (Tux Rental) and accessories
  • The bride's flowers
  • Corsages (mothers/grandmothers and boutonnieres for groomsmen)
  • Clergyman/officiant fee
  • Limousine service/transportation to and from the wedding and reception
  • Hotel accommodations for any groomsmen which will be arriving from out of town

The Bride and Groom

  • Unity candle/holder
  • Wedding pictures
  • Miscellaneous accessories (wedding favors, goblets, napkins/printed items)
  • A thank you gift for the flower girl, and ring bearer
  • Thank you cards
  • Any overnight accommodations
  • Honeymoon arrangements

Parents of the Bride

  • Wedding invitations
money
  • Dress, suit/tux rental and accessories
  • The church or ceremony location
  • Pew bows, runner, candleabra rental
  • Wedding ceremony flowers
  • Music/musician/soloist
  • Flowers for bridesmaids
  • Wedding photography
  • Reception flowers
  • Reception hall fee
  • Catered reception/professional services
  • Basic table decor if not provided by venue
  • Wedding cake
  • Disc jockey
  • Own hotel accommodations

Parents of the Groom

  • Dress/suit and accessories
  • The rehearsal dinner
  • Own hotel accommodations

Bridesmaids

  • Dresses and accessories
  • Wedding shower

Groomsmen

  • Clothing (tux rental) and accessories
  • Bachelor party

The Children's Parents

  • Dress, suit/tux rental and accessories
  • Hotel accommodations if arriving from out of town
Wedding Etiquette: Who Pays for What?