Who pays for the wedding? Here's what tradition says...

Who pays for the wedding? Here’s what tradition says…

Whether you’re opting for a low-key affair or a lavish celebration, a wedding is going to be costly – but who pays for the wedding? 


1. The venue

When it comes to the venue – both the ceremony and the reception – the bride’s family is responsible for the cost. And this doesn’t just mean the venue hire. Budget for all decorations, food, musical accompaniments at the ceremony and the officiant’s fee.

2. The reception

If you’re the bride, your parents are probably breaking out in a sweat just thinking about the bill that’s coming their way. But the financial responsibility doesn’t rest solely on their shoulders. The groom’s side normally pays for the DJ and the booze – two important and often pricey aspects of any wedding.

3. The attire

Perhaps the most important detail for any bride, the dress also doesn’t come cheap. Butter up Mom and Dad, because they’ll be paying (you hope). But what about dresses for your bridesmaids? Buying their attire is not expected, but it’s a nice gesture. The groom covers the cost of his suit and can choose whether to pay for his groomsmen’s get-up or not. If you’re asking them to buy their own, make sure it’s not expensive!

4. The small details

It may seem as though most of the big expenses are for the bride’s parents to cover. However, there are a few smaller but no less important details for the groom’s account too. The most obvious are the bridal bouquets, corsages for the mother-of-the-bride and boutonnières for the groomsmen.

5. The rings

It only makes sense that the groom pays for his bride’s wedding band and she does the same for him. If you’re on a tight budget, look at more affordable metals or simply forgo wedding bands altogether.

6. The honeymoon

It’s something newlyweds really look forward to, whether it’s an island getaway or a local adventure – and it’s for the groom to plan and pay for! Some couples ask guests to make a contribution to a honeymoon fund rather than buy gifts.


If you choose to buck tradition, split the budget according to who can afford what. Here are some ideas:

1. Chip in as a couple

If you have money saved, what better way to spend it than on your wedding? Most of the guests attending will be your friends, so consider covering the music and bar tab, which you know they’ll get the most enjoyment from.

2. Draw up a budget

Sit down with all parties involved to discuss splitting the costs equally – it may just be a win-win for everyone.

3. Pay for your own wedding dress

Especially if your parents are paying for most of the wedding. You can find ways to cut costs in this department, from buying off the rack or on sale to asking friends or family who are talented seamstresses to help design your gown.

4. Ask the groom’s family to cover the venue hire

With the cost of decorations, food and staff, the reception can be a financial sting for the bride’s parents.

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