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Who Pays for What on Your Wedding Day?


Who pays for what for your wedding?  It's a very important question, and one you need to address right from the start of your wedding preparations.  Finalising your financial arrangements as soon as possible will help you relax, knowing you have a firm and realistic budget to work with for your wedding day.

Some things to consider include:

  • How much money do you want to spend?
  • Who will be making a financial contribution to your wedding?
  • What aspects of your wedding are most important to you?

Traditionally, a bride's parents pay for most wedding expenses.  However, times have changed, and with more people living together before their big day, many couples pay for their own weddings, with their parents providing small contributions (say to the bride's dress, or to the honeymoon).  Whatever you choose, you need to ensure that everyone understands who is paying for what.

Below is a traditional list of who is responsible for which bits. However, you need to keep in mind that this is simply a starting point and what works for you in the end may be very different to our list!


  • Bride and family pay for church.
  • Groom and family pay for marriage license and celebrant's fee.


  • Bride and family pay for bride's dress, veil, accessories and trousseau.
  • Groom and family pay for groom's outfit.
  • All attendants pay for their own clothing (including shoes).


  • Bride and family pay for arrangements for church and reception, plus bouquets and corsages for bridesmaids and flower girls.
  • Groom and family pay for bride's bouquet and going-away corsage, boutonnieres for men and corsages for mothers and grandmothers.


  • Groom and family pay for complete honeymoon.


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

Pre-wedding parties

  • Bride or groom's family plans and hosts engagement party; if there is more than one, bride's family hosts the first one.
  • Groom's family plans and hosts the rehearsal dinner.
  • Bride plans and hosts bridesmaids' luncheon.  The bride also pays for gifts for the bridesmaids.
  • Groom hosts and plans bachelors' dinner.
  • Maid of honour and bridesmaids host kitchen tea or hens' night.
  • Best man and ushers host bachelor party or bucks' night.
  • Friends may throw additional engagement parties or showers.


  • Bride and family pay for all professional services, including food, drink, decorations and music.


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


  • Bride and family pay for invitations, announcements, wedding programs and guest book for the reception.


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

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