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Here’s Who Traditionally Pays for What in the Wedding Budget

By The Knot

You may have heard of the old-fashioned rule that certain people have to pay for certain wedding costs. But don’t worry—the bride’s parents definitely don’t need to take out a mortgage to pay for the wedding. And if you’re like most couples, the two of you might even be covering a good portion of the expenses yourselves. The best way to work it out? Sit down with The Knot Budget Calculator, or just a trusty pencil and paper, and figure out what you want and can afford. Below is the traditional breakdown (as in the bride’s versus groom’s families’ typical responsibilities) of costs for everyone involved. But hear us out: These might seem like rules, but they’re not set in stone—feel free to follow or stray from them based on what’s best for your financial circumstances.

Ceremony

  • Bride and family pay for church or synagogue, sexton, organist and so on.
  • Groom and family pay for marriage license and officiant fee.

Wedding Attire

  • Bride and family pay for bride’s dress, veil, accessories and trousseau (read: lingerie and honeymoon clothes).
  • Groom and family pay for groom’s outfit.
  • All attendants pay for their own clothing, including shoes. (Here’s a full list of costs the bridal party is expected to cover.)

Flowers and Decorations

  • Bride and family pay for floral arrangements for the ceremony (including a chuppah if it’s a Jewish wedding ceremony) and reception, plus bouquets and corsages for bridesmaids and flower girls.
  • Groom and family pay for the bride’s bouquet, boutonnieres for men and corsages for mothers and grandmothers.

Honeymoon

  • Groom and family pay for the complete honeymoon.

Photography

  • Bride and family pay for all wedding photos and video.

Prewedding Parties

  • Bride’s or groom’s family plans and hosts the engagement party; if there’s more than one, the bride’s family hosts the first one.
  • Groom’s family plans and hosts the rehearsal dinner.
  • Maid of honor and bridesmaids host the bridal shower and bachelorette party.
  • Best man and groomsmen host the bachelor party.
  • Friends may throw additional engagement parties or showers.

Reception

  • Bride and family pay for all professional services, including food and decorations.
  • Groom’s family pays for the DJ or band and liquor.

Rings

  • Bride and/or her family pay for the groom’s ring.
  • Groom and/or his family pay for both of the bride’s rings.

Stationery

Transportation

  • Bride and family pay for wedding transportation of the wedding party to and from the ceremony and reception.
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