Lighthouse Photography

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

Weddings run deep with tradition. From what to wear, what to eat or how to decorate - there's always an old-fashioned answer to any wedding question. While many traditions are fun to follow, others may seem outdated, or even antiquated to modern couples.

One questionable tradition revolves around one of modern marriage's biggest questions - who pays for what in the wedding?

These days, most modern couples find a way to balance the costs evenly between the two families, with the couple themselves more and more frequently pitching in the lion's share. However, there are still plenty of couples who prefer to stick more closely to tradition.

So, what's the best way to balance the budget for your big day? Start by sitting down together and make some initial calculations on what you want (and what you think you can afford), then begin dividing it up between families.

Looking for a place to start? Below you can find a wedding-day cost divide dictated by tradition. Remember - these are only guidelines in modern marriages. For a great start to a long and happy marriage, make sure that your wedding budget is comfortable for all parties involved.


  • Typically, the Bride or Bride's family pay for the rental of any religious facilities - be it a church, synagogue, or so on - where the wedding will be held
  • The Groom and family are responsible for marriage license and any officiant fees

Wedding Attire

  • All the Bride's wedding attire is paid for by her side of the family. That includes the dress, veil, accessories and trousseau.
  • The Groom or his family take care of the groom's outfit on the big day
  • All attendants pay for their own clothing (that includes the bridesmaids and groomsmen)

Flowers and Decorations

  • Floral arrangements and decorations for the ceremony and reception are the responsibility of the Bride - that includes a chuppah if the couple is Jewish. The Bride's family also covers the bouquets and corsages for bridesmaids and flower girls.
  • The Groom's family on the other hand, takes care of the flowers for the bride, including her bouquet, as well as corsages for the mothers and grandmothers, and the groomsmen's boutonnieres.


  • The honeymoon is traditionally covered by the Groom and his family, in it's entirely.


  • Photography (and video-tography) is one that's usually billed to the Bride

Pre-wedding Parties

  • Engagement Party: Whoever plans and hosts the party is who pays for it, although typically, the bride family will through the first one if there's several.
  • The Rehearsal Dinner is both planned and paid for by the Groom's side
  • The Bachelorette Party is hosted (and paid for) by the Maid of Honor and the bridesmaids
  • While of course, the Bachelor Party is sorted by the Best Man and the groomsmen.
  • Any additional engagement parties or showers may be hosted by friends from either side.


  • All professional services at the reception, ranging from food to decorations, are traditionally covered by the Bride and her family
  • Except for the DJ or Band, and the liquor, which are the responsibility of the Groom


  • The Groom's Ring is bought by the Bride, while the Bride's rings - both engagement and wedding - are traditionally bought by the Groom


  • All the invitations, announcements and wedding programs are typically organized and paid for by the Bride and her family


  • Transportation of the wedding party to and from the ceremony and reception is another cost that traditionally falls to the Bride and her family