Who pays what in a wedding?

In the traditional sense, it is the parents of the bride who foot the bill for their daughter’s wedding. Why, you may ask? It dates back many years to a time when women had few rights in society and marriages were arranged as a business transaction rather than a union of love. In some cultures, however, the reverse was true and it was the groom’s family who would have to pay up as a means of compensating a couple for the effective loss of their daughter.

(Image source: Lascosasdemami/Pinterest)

(Image source: Lascosasdemami/Pinterest)

If you follow tradition, pretty much everything associated with the wedding and the reception would be funded by the bride’s parents – including the venue, food and drinks, flowers, attire, legals and so forth.

With times changing and costs increasing, there has been a shift to more equitable distribution of costs. Some people now hold the belief that the bride’s parents should still pay for the wedding, however it is the groom’s parents who should pay for the honeymoon in its entirety. The more modern approach, particularly for couples who already live together prior to saying “I do”, is that the couple themselves pay for everything, although both sets of parents are free to contribute money if they wish to do so.

A rather sweet tradition that is gaining momentum nowadays is that of the “wishing well” at the reception. The couple will pay their wedding costs wholly or jointly with both sets of parents, while guests contribute money which the couple can use to spend on their honeymoon or put towards a house deposit. In this way, everyone gets to contribute directly to solidifying the couple’s union, and the couple are not forced to accept gifts which they do not like or simply can’t use.

Whichever way you and your beloved end up taking, be sure to lay the groundwork very early on with everyone involved to determine who will be responsible for paying for what. Don’t let the wedding day be the first time both sets of parents meet for the first time, and definitely don’t hit them with the bills on your return from the honeymoon – it won’t make for a happy start to married life!

To learn more about what you may need for your wedding and how to manage it click here.