Wedding Etiquette: Who Pays for What?

A pile of $100 bills on a tabletop

Wedding etiquette guides couples in determining who pays for what when it comes to wedding expenses. Some couples prefer to forego traditional etiquette rules for the wedding ceremony and reception costs. Instead, they divide the expenses among their families as they see fit or foot the entire wedding bill themselves.

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
Bridal couple figures on a money staircase
  • 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


  • Dresses and accessories
  • Wedding shower


  • 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
Was this page useful?
Related & Popular
Wedding Etiquette: Who Pays for What?