Gone are the days of the bride’s family paying for the wedding.  For now, it’s more like whoever has it, usually pays, even if it’s the couple themselves.  As the average age of couples who are getting married rises, this is beginning to happen more and more.  However, even as traditions change, it is useful to know what your family should expect.

Following are examples of how financial obligations have been traditionally distributed.  Remember, though, that by making a financial contribution, some family members may feel entitled to contribute to the planning, too.  Your family, and your ability to deal with their input, will largely determine how much tradition you keep and how much you ignore.

The Bride’s Responsibility:

  • Personal stationary
  • Wedding ring for groom
  • Wedding gift for groom
  • Gifts for attendants
  • Lodging for out-of-town attendants (optional)
  • Her physical examination

The Groom’s Responsibility:

  • Bride’s ring
  • Honeymoon
  • Wedding gift for bride
  • Bridal bouquet and going-away corsage
  • Boutonnieres for all men in wedding party
  • Mother’s corsages
  • His physical examination
  • Gifts for the best man, ushers
  • Gloves, ties or ascots for men in wedding party
  • Marriage license
  • Lodging for out-of-town attendants (opt.)
  • Fee for clergy or judge.

The Bride’s Family’s Responsibility:

  • Wedding gift for the newlyweds
  • Entire reception
  • Rental of sanctuary or chapel
  • Bride’s wedding attire and trousseau
  • Invitations, announcements and postage
  • Engagement and wedding photographs
  • Organist, soloist or musician fee
  • Aisle carpets and/or canopy, and any additional decorating costs
  • Bridesmaid’s bouquet
  • Flowers for reception
  • Transportation for bridal party to ceremony and reception
  • Security and insurance for gifts

The Groom’s Family’s Responsibility:

  • Traveling expenses and hotel bills
  • Wedding clothes
  • Rehearsal dinner (optional)
  • Wedding gift for the newlyweds
  • Shipment of wedding gifts to bridal couple’s home.

Take time to evaluate the financial situations of those you want involved in your event planning and decide what is best–and less stressful–for you.

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