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Wedding Articles: Who Pays For What?

Most couples end up paying for part of the wedding costs these days, but it's helpful to know the traditional breakdown of expenses. Here's how the costs of a wedding are usually divided.

Tradition dictates that most of the financial responsibility for a wedding falls on the bride's family. Strict guidelines regarding who is expected to pay for the various elements associated with the ceremony, reception and honeymoon do exist. However, the modern couple is finding that changes in tradition are becoming more common.

Couples today are marrying in their late 20s to mid 30s and more of them have had a chance to establish themselves financially. As a result, many are choosing to divide wedding-related expenses according to their individual financial situations. They may choose to foot the entire cost on their own, or handle expenses in tandem with their parents. However the division of costs is ultimately resolved, most people planning a wedding want to know who is traditionally supposed to pay for what.

The following breakdown of traditional expenses for the bride, groom and their families will help in establishing what elements to include in your budget.

The Groom
The bride's ring
Wedding gift for bride
The marriage license
Gifts for the best man, groomsmen, and ushers
Fee for the officiant
Gloves, ties or ascots for the men in the wedding party
The honeymoon

The Bride
Wedding ring for the groom
A wedding gift for the groom
Accommodations for her out-of-town attendants
Presents for the bridal attendants

The Groom's Family
Wedding gift for the couple
Travel expenses, hotel bills
Wedding attire
The Attendants
Rehearsal Dinner

The Bride's Family
Invitations, announcements and mailing costs
Bride's wedding attire
Ceremony; including rental of venue, organist, soloist or choir and sexton, decorations, etc.
Bridesmaids' bouquets
Engagement and wedding photographs and video
Transportation for bridal party to the wedding ceremony and from ceremony to reception Bridesmaids' luncheon
The reception; including food, wedding cake, beverages, decorations, music, flowers, etc.
Wedding gift for the newlyweds

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