• The Breakwaters

Wedding Etiquette

Ever wonder who pays for what for the wedding? Let us give you some help!

When it comes to weddings, we understand they can sometimes get overwhelming. The last thing you want is for the fun parts of planning a wedding be overcome with confusion over who pays for what. While this is not mandatory to follow, a general idea is helpful to use as a guideline. Most traditions have been altered in some way, but on average, most couples use these ideas as a base to work from. Wedding bills can be tricky and add up fast, so here are some tips on how to divvy up the expenses.

Who Pays for the Engagement Party?

You can start the celebrations with a low-key or grand event to introduce the couple’s extended family and friends. Although anyone can host and pay for an engagement party, typically the bride's parents handle the bill. In many cases, the atmosphere for the wedding is already slated to be magical, but an engagement party is another fun way to celebrate a once-in-a-lifetime event! As the soon-to-be-married couple, if you decide to make a toast during this party, don’t forget to thank the host for kicking off the wedding celebrations with a fantastic beginning!

What Does the Bride’s Family Pay For?

Traditionally speaking, the bride’s family covers a significant portion of the wedding expenses. Such expenses could include; wedding planning, the bride’s attire, floral arrangements, photography, transportation, and video fees, travel and lodging for the officiant, and accommodations for all of the bridesmaids. As an option, the bride's parents can also provide some money to go towards the honeymoon. Their responsibilities could also include the wedding engagement party. Typically the groom’s family will chip in (we’ll get to their part shortly)! As for the bride, the groom’s ring, a present for him, and gifts for her attendants will do the trick. A thoughtful touch is for the bride and groom to give gifts to the groomsmen and bridesmaids to show their appreciation for them.

Who Pays for the Wedding Reception?

Traditionally the bride’s family will also cover the cost and duties of the reception. The bill would include all professional services, including but not limited to food and decorations. As for their duties during the reception, making sure that everything is running smoothly is ideal. Historically, the family of the bride will have their name at the top of the invitation. This is why they hold a more significant role in the reception.

What Does the Groom and His Family Pay For?

Now to the groom and his family! The groom’s family is typically responsible for entertainment, alcohol, lodging of the groomsmen, and the corsages and boutonnieres for the immediate family of both parties. More recently, traditions are being revised, and, groomsmen will offer to pay for their accommodations. Who would not want to save money? The groom’s family usually covers the groom’s attire, officiant fee, and marriage license.

In some cases, the groom’s family will also offer to pay for the honeymoon experience. The groom traditionally buys the bouquet for the bride as well as engagement and wedding rings, and a gift for the wife-to-be. He should also purchase gifts and boutonnieres for his groomsmen. Many times the groom will plan specific socks or suspenders to wear for the ceremony and utilize those as a gift or pay for them.

Who Pays for the Rehearsal Dinner?

The groom’s family usually takes charge of organizing and paying for the rehearsal dinner. Typically the dinner consists of the immediate family and wedding party. This is a great way to kick off the wedding weekend and give a sneak peek on how much fun everyone will have on the big day. Although some have a significant number of attendants, the rehearsal dinner should never outdo the wedding. The dinner includes a chance for toasts and generally the couple taking the opportunity to thank everyone who has helped. The rehearsal dinner is another excellent opportunity for both families to spend time with each other.

With all of this being said, creating a civil agreement for the bill is obviously important. Whether one family would like to pay for more or less, many times, both families will want to share the expenses equally and sometimes even the couple wants to pitch in. While by no means is it mandatory for the bride and groom’s families to pay, it is an excellent structure to work with. Don’t be nervous to sit down and have a conversation about who wants to pay for what during such an exciting time. If you need any help in the planning or execution of any wedding task, our wedding planner, Sarah, is here ready to help you!

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