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Traditionally, Who Pays for What?

As a reference, below is a checklist of the traditional expense responsibilities of the various parties involved in a wedding celebration. Keep in mind that these days, all of the following guidelines are variable—depending on the particular circumstances of the wedding. Often, expenses are shared by the couple and thier families.

Traditional Expenses of the Bride and Her Family
  • WP_tipsformom2_WOServices of a traditional wedding consultant
  • Invitations, enclosures, and announcements
  • The bride’s wedding gown and accessories
  • Floral decorations for ceremony and reception, bridesmaids’ flowers, bride’s bouquet
  • Formal wedding photographs and candid pictures
  • Video of wedding
  • Music for church and reception
  • Transportation of bridal party to and from ceremony
  • All reception expenses
  • Bride’s gifts to her attendants
  • Bride’s gift to groom
  • Groom’s wedding ring
  • Rental of awning for ceremony entrance and carpet for aisle
  • Fee for services performed by sexton
  • Costs of soloists
  • Services of a traffic officer
  • Transportation of bridal party to the reception
  • Transportation and lodging expenses for the officiant if from another town and if invited to officiate by the bride’s family
  • Accommodations for bridal attendants
  • Bridesmaids’ luncheon, if hosted by the bride or her family
Traditional Expenses of the Groom and His Family
  • Bride’s engagement and wedding rings
  • Groom’s gift to bride
  • Gifts for groom’s attendants
  • Ties and gloves for the groom’s attendants, if not part of their clothing rental package
  • The bride’s bouquet (only where it is local custom for the groom to pay for it)
  • The bride’s going away corsage
  • Boutonnieres for groom’s attendants
  • Corsages for immediate members of both families (unless the bride has included them in her florist’s order)
  • The officiant’s fee or donation
  • Transportation and lodging expenses for the officiant, if from another town and if invited to officiate by the groom’s family
  • The marriage license
  • Transportation for the groom and best man to the ceremony
  • Honeymoon expenses
  • All costs of the rehearsal dinner
  • Accommodations for the groom’s attendants
  • Bachelor dinner, if the groom wishes to give one
  • Transportation and lodging expenses for the groom’s family
Maid of Honor's/Bridesmaids’ Expenses
  • Purchase of apparel and all accessories
  • Transportation to and from the city where the wedding takes place
  • A contribution to a gift from all the bridesmaids to the bride
  • An individual gift or a group gift from the attendants to the couple
  • Optionally, a shower or luncheon for the bride
Best Man’s/Groomsmen’s/Ushers’ Expenses
  • Rental or purchase of wedding attire
  • Transportation to and from the city where the wedding takes place
  • A contribution to a gift from all the groom’s attendants to the groom
  • An individual gift or a group gift from the attendants to the couple
  • A bachelor dinner, if given by the groom’s attendants
Out-of-Town Guests’ Expenses
  • Transportation to and from the wedding
  • Lodging expenses and meals
  • Wedding gift
 

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