Wedding Day Finances

So much is constantly changing in the world of planning a wedding. In tough economic times, who pays for the wedding may have to be modified to who actually has the money. Everyone may have to make sacrifices, get creative, and be willing to do their part to still pull off the day in a way that is unique and special to you. If your parents or the person who is traditionally responsible for something can’t do it, you may have to either scale down your expectations or step up to the plate to pay for it yourself.:

After going through the lists below it may leave you wondering why does the bride and her family pay so much traditionally? This author can only conjecture that it has something to do with the old customs of the bridal dowry. When families arranged marriages, they were trying their best to guarantee their offspring a pleasant and comfortable life. The bride was expected to bring a “dowry” of money, jewels, animals, or something of substantial value to the marriage. This substantial value was provided by the family of the bride and portrayed her perceived worth . On the other hand, the groom paid a “brides price” to her family and promised to faithfully support the bride. So it could be worse, you could have had to bring a couple of cows, pigs and goats to the groom’s family!

Guidelines are still always helpful to know and here are the traditional recommendations:

Bride and her Family:

Wedding Dress, veil and accessories

Invitations and other personal stationary

Bouquets for bridesmaids, corsages for moms, grandmoms and other special guests

Boutonnierres for the groom, fathers and groomsmen

Flowers for the ceremony and reception site

Rental fee for the church

Engagement and wedding photographs

Fees for live entertainment or disc jockey

Transportation for the bridal party to the ceremony and reception

Complete reception costs

Groom’s ring

Wedding gift for the groom

Gift’s for the brides’ attendants

Groom and His Family

Bride’s engagement and wedding ring

Marriage License

Ceremony official’s fee

Brides flowers (bouquet and throw bouquet) She will still want to pick them out!

Wedding gift for the bride

Gifts for the best man, groom’s men and ushers

Wedding night suite

Rehearsal dinner


Accessories for the men


Personal wedding attire

Personal traveling expenses

With many of today’s couples already living together it is totally possible the bride and groom will be paying for everything and in that case the cost is generally shared between them. With formal weddings reaching budgets of $40,000 or more it is also quite acceptable for the bride, groom and their families to split the costs. If one side of the family is inviting more guests than the other it is acceptable for them to take on more of the reception costs.

We hope this information will help you with your plans, but one thing we know for sure, attending our next bridal show will get you off to a good start or finish no matter where you are with your wedding timeline! We are the original bridal show, The Bridal Spectacular, now celebrating over 25 years of bringing brides, grooms and the professionals they need together under one roof.