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Who Pays For What?

One of the most important aspects of a wedding involves working out a budget for the occasion. The overall expenditure of a wedding can be decided according to the style of the ceremony that can vary from formal and semi-formal to casual. A formal wedding may cost a fortune whereas a semi-formal or an informal one may save you a significant amount of money. The wedding planning and the calculation of the budget are also dependent on who pays for what. Although traditionally the bride’s family used to pick up the tab, modern trends have eliminated the rigid lines drawn between the expenses carried over by the bride’s and the groom’s family. Similarly, the fact that many couples are marrying at a later stage of their lives, has made them capable enough to share the total expenditure equally. Though there are no rigid rules determining the break-up of expenditure, a general guideline can be drawn out based on traditional practices.


Bride’s Family

According to the traditional customs, the bride’s family bears the costs of the wedding reception that includes wedding music, food, entertainment, wedding decorations and the rental fees. The wedding dress, wedding jewelry, wedding invitation costs and other accessories are also taken care of by the bride’s family. It is again customary for the bride’s family to arrange for the wedding photography, wedding favors and transportation. Announcements, mailing costs, the arrangement of their own attires and programs are also the responsibilities of the bride’s family. The church fees, the rice bags and the bridal brunch are some of the other responsibilities that are usually borne by the bride’s family.

Groom’s Family

The groom’s family bears the expenses of the rehearsal dinner and all the entertainment, decorations and food that accompany it. The wedding present including their own dresses and travel expenses are also part of the responsibilities of the groom’s family.

The Bride

The groom’s wedding ring is typically the bride’s responsibility including a wedding gift for the groom. Brides may also contribute in the hair do, make up and other beauty programs or treatments taken up before and during the marriage. The gifts for the bride’s attendants are the responsibility of the bride and sometimes a bride might even pay for the accommodation arrangements required for out-of-town bridesmaids.

The Groom

One of the most important responsibilities of the groom is paying for the marriage license. Both the engagement and the wedding ring are also bought by the groom including a wedding gift for the bride. Traditionally, it was the groom’s responsibility to pay for the honeymoon, although now it may be shared by both the bride and the groom. Other responsibilities taken care of by the groom include the bridal bouquet, gifts for the groom’s attendants, boutonnières for the men present in the wedding party and corsages for grandmothers and mothers. The groom may also need to pay for the accommodation of the out-of-town grooms men including the fees for the officiant. The bachelor party is also quite obviously the groom’s responsibility.

Modern Scenario

In case of older couples, where the families cannot afford the costs due to lack of resources, the expense can be equally shared between the bride and the groom. Otherwise, once a rough calculation is estimated the couple can discuss it over with both the families and find out the amount and areas of their contribution and proceed accordingly.

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