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Weddings - Who Pays For What?

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There aren't absolute rules on who pays for what. Traditionally, the wedding expenses have been borne primarily by the bride's family, with the groom responsible for the rings and the honeymoon. While tradition is still an honored part of our heritage, financial obligations must often give way to everyday realities and compromise. The following list indicates the traditional assumption of expenses. However, the final arbiter of who pays for what in a wedding should rest upon those most willing and able to meet the necessary financial obligations.

The bride

  1. Wedding ring for the groom (if it's a double ring ceremony).
  2. A wedding gift for the groom.
  3. Presents for the bridal attendants.
  4. Personal stationary
  5. Accommodations for her out of town attendants with family, friends or at a hotel.
  6. Physical examination/blood test.

The Groom

  1. The bride's rings.
  2. Wedding gift for the bride.
  3. The marriage license.
  4. Gifts for the best man and ushers.
  5. Flowers: bride's bouquet and going away corsage; corsages for mothers; boutonnieres for the men in the wedding party.
  6. Accommodations for out of town ushers or best man.
  7. His blood test
  8. Gloves, ties or ascots for the men in the wedding party.
  9. Fee for the clergy
  10. The Honeymoon.
  11. Optional: bachelor's dinner.

The Bride's Family

  1. The entire cost of the reception: rental of the hall, if the reception is not held at home; caterer; food ( including the wedding cake); beverages; gratuities for the bartenders and waiters; decorations; music; flowers.
  2. A wedding gift for the newlyweds.
  3. Bride's wedding attire/ trousseau.
  4. The wedding invitations, announcements and mailing costs.
  5. The fee for engagement and wedding photographs.
  6. Ceremony; rental of sanctuary; fees for organist, soloist or choir, and sexton (sometimes included in charge for premises but if no9t, these people have set fees); aisle carpets and or canopy; and any other additional costs for decorations.
  7. Bridesmaids' bouquets.
  8. Gratuities to those directing traffic and / or parking.
  9. Transportation for bridal party from the bride's house to the ceremony and from ceremony to reception.
  10. Bridesmaids; luncheon.
  11. Optional: rehearsal dinner.
  12. Optional: household furnishings from linens, china, silver flatware and crystal to furniture.

The Groom's Family

  1. Clothes for the wedding.
  2. Any traveling expenses and hotel bills they incur.
  3. Wedding gift for the bride and groom.
  4. Optional: the rehearsal dinner or other expenses they elect to assume.

The Guests

  1. Any traveling expenses they incur.
  2. Wedding gift for the couple.

The Attendants

  1. Wedding attire.
  2. Traveling expenses.
  3. Wedding gift for the couple.

Editor's note: at the time the wedding is being planned, both sets of parents – along with the engaged couple – may wish to meet to discuss the financial arrangements. It is wise for each party to make any financial limits absolutely clear – to prevent any misunderstandings or hard feelings after definite plans have been made. If the parents of the groom wish to share the wedding expenses, they may offer to do so.

Source: Unknown. magazine clipping handed to me by my wife.

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