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WHO PAYS FOR WHAT AT A WEDDING?


Costs, Etiquette, Responsibilities & Who Pays for What at a Wedding

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Traditionally, the Bride’s parents have footed the bill for the bulk of the wedding expenditure, but recently things have changed - partly due to trend, partly due to changing family dynamics, and partly due to the increase in cost.

 

Depending on which source you get your information from, you will find that what everybody is responsible for paying for in 21st Century Britain can vary a great deal.

 

Outlined below, we detail what each party is traditionally responsible for paying for plus a couple of other options which you may find useful.

 

ITEM/ACTIVITY

OPTION 1

TRADITIONAL

OPTION 2

MODERN

OPTION 3

ULTRA MODERN

Engagement Ring

Groom

Groom

Bride & Groom

Engagement Party & invites

Bride’s Family

Bride’s Family

Bride’s Family

Engagement announcement in newspaper

Bride’s Family

Bride’s Family

Bride’s Family

Wedding Insurance

Bride’s Family

Bride’s Family

Bride’s Family

Flowers for the Service

Bride’s Family

Bride’s Family

Bride’s Family

Flowers for the Reception

Bride’s Family

Bride’s Family

Bride’s Family

Reception Venue

Bride’s Family

Bride’s Family

Bride’s Family

Reception Meal & Drinks

Bride’s Family

Bride’s Family

Bride’s Family

Evening Reception Venue

Bride’s Family

Bride’s Family

Groom’s Family

Evening Reception Meals & Drinks

Bride’s Family

Bride’s Family

Groom’s Family

Bride’s Outfit

Bride’s Family

Bride’s Family

Bride’s Family

All Stationery excluding Thank-You Cards

Bride’s Family

Bride’s Family

Bride’s Family

Thank-You Cards

Bride & Groom

Bride & Groom

Bride & Groom

Transport for Bride, Father of the Bride, Mother of the Bride & Bridesmaids to the Service

Bride’s Family

Bride’s Family

Bride’s Family

Transport for Father & Mother of the Bride, Best Man, & Bridesmaids to the Reception

Bride’s Family

Bride’s Family

Bride’s Family

Photography

Bride’s Family

Bride’s Family

Bride’s Family

Videography

Bride’s Family

Bride’s Family

Bride’s Family

Wedding Cake

Bride’s Family

Bride’s Family

Bride’s Family

Overnight accommodation for Bride’s Family if required

Bride’s Family

Bride’s Family

Bride’s Family

Wedding Favours

Bride’s Family

Bride’s Family

Bride’s Family

Day Entertainment

Bride’s Family

Bride’s Family

Bride’s Family

Evening Entertainment

Bride’s Family

Bride’s Family

Groom’s Parents

Corsages & Buttonholes

Groom

Groom’s Family

Groom’s Family

Bride’s Bouquet

Groom

Groom’s Family

Groom’s Family

Wedding Rehearsal expenses

Groom’s Family

Groom’s Family

Groom’s Family

Bridesmaid’s Outfits

Bridesmaids

Bride’s Family

Bride’s Family

Usher & Best Man’s Outfits

Ushers & Best Man

Groom’s Family

Groom’s Family

Groom’s Outfit

Groom

Groom's Family

Groom’s Family

Day Balloons & Decorations

Bride’s Family

Bride’s Family

Bride’s Family

Evening Balloons & Decorations

Bride’s Family

Bride’s Family

Groom’s Family

Transport for the Groom & Best Man to the Service

Bride’s Family

Bride’s Family

Groom’s Family

Transport for the Bride and Groom to the Reception

Bride’s Family

Bride’s Family

Groom’s Family

Overnight accommodation for Groom’s Family if required

Groom’s Family

Groom’s Family

Groom’s Family

Overnight accommodation for the Bride & Groom if required

Groom

Bride & Groom

Bride & Groom

Gift for the Groom

Bride

Bride

Bride

Groom’s Wedding Ring

Bride

Bride

Bride

Bride’s Hen Night Costs

Attendants

Bride

Bride

Hair & Beauty Treatment

Bride’s Family

Bride’s Family

Bride’s Family

Gift for the Bride

Groom

Groom

Groom

Bride’s Wedding Ring

Groom

Bride & Groom

Bride & Groom

Groom’s Stag Night Costs

Attendants

Groom

Groom

Gifts for Bridesmaids

Bride

Groom

Bride & Groom

Gifts for Ushers and Best Man

Groom

Groom

Bride & Groom

Honeymoon

Groom

Groom

Bride & Groom

All Church or Registrar Fees

Groom

Bride & Groom

Bride & Groom

Gifts for the Father & Mother of the Bride & Groom

Bride & Groom

Bride & Groom

Bride & Groom


The Traditional method as outlined in the table sees the majority of the expense being paid for by the Bride’s Family. The Groom is responsible for a reasonable amount of the purchases with the Bride, Groom’s Parents, Bride & Groom and even the Best Man, Bridesmaids and Usher’s footing some of the bill.

 

In modern times, it is common for the bills to be spread more evenly. The Bride’s Parents still cover the majority, albeit a reduced one. The Groom still has his core purchases to make although some are now paid for by his family whilst, in this time of equality, others are shared with the Bride. The remainder of the Wedding Party now rarely foots any of the bill, and overall the whole expenditure seems a little more balanced.

 

On an ultra-modern front, although still in its infancy, is the situation where responsibilities are broadly the same as those outlined in a ‘modern’ funded wedding, with the difference being that the Groom’s Parents take ownership for paying for the Evening Reception (assuming that there is to be one!) and its associated costs. This is becoming more common and can help to balance the lop-sided parental contributions somewhat as well as helping to involve both families.

 

If you do decide to allocate responsibility for paying for specific goods and services, then please remember that whilst the detail outlined in the table may be a good place to start, it need not be the finished article and you are welcome to allocate the budgeting in the most appropriate manner. In fact, we wholly recommend that if you are opting for an allocated budget that you sit down and discuss the options with all parties who have offered to contribute before determining the final allocations.

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Recommended Reading

For those of you wanting to find out more, we've a whole host of other wedding planning articles on our site packed full of expert information and helpful advice, not to mention our online wedding directory that's filled with wedding planners, toastmasters and more.

 
For friendly tips and helpful advice, take a look at our wedding planning forum and budgeting & planning Q&A's or check out the links below.

 


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