Who Pays for What Anyways? The Modern American Couple’s Guide to Wedding Expenses

Years ago, it was common for the bride’s family to pay for the entire wedding, and while some families still hold true to this tradition, the rising cost of having a wedding has made this tradition disappear.

who pays for wedding

So who pays for the wedding?

Today, the “who pays for what” question that many newlyweds face as no clear answer. It’s possible that the bride’s family may want to pay for it, it’s possible the groom’s parents will want to pay for it, it’s possible that other family members will want to chip in, it’s possible that the families of the bride and groom will want to split it, and it’s also possible that the bride and groom will be stuck paying for the entire wedding themselves.

 How do you decide who’s paying for what?

In order to determine who is paying for what, conversations will need to be had. Although nobody truly likes talking about money, you should find out if your parents or your spouse’s parents want to help out in any way. It’s also important to note that you should never expect anything to be completely paid for either, and never make someone feel obligated to chip in.

Why are traditions changing?

There are plenty of reasons why traditional rules of wedding expenses are changing. First, people today are getting married much older than they were traditionally, allowing themselves to earn a career and become financially stable on their own. Back in the day, it was more common to get married right after high school. Today, people are waiting until they finish college or even until they’re in their 30s before getting hitched.

Second, the cost of weddings has significantly gone up over the years. Even on a strict budget, it’s hard to stick to a wedding under $10,000. Many families simply cannot afford to pay for the entire wedding themselves, which is why the tradition of a bride’s family paying for everything has subsided. Many families have been affected by the downfall of the economy and no longer have a savings account or retirement fund to pull money from to pay for it.

Finally, there are more people to consider today. With the rise in the divorce rate, many people getting married don’t have a traditional set of parents. Instead, their parents may still be divorced, or they may have step parents. This can also make it difficult, as if one parent cannot afford to contribute and one can, it may cause added tension during an already stressful wedding planning period. Plus, if the bride’s parents are divorced, which parent is supposed to be held accountable for paying for the wedding?

Today, it’s best to assume that the bride and groom will be responsible for paying for the wedding. If parents or other family members come forward and offer to pay for some or all of the wedding, then the bride and groom should be very grateful. But since the rules have changed, it’s very important that the bride and groom create a budget first before choosing all the wedding details. If more money comes in, then that will allow you to splurge.

Stella Luna Brown is a wedding coordinator based out of Mckinney TX. Stella has over nine years of experience providing professional guidance on the latest trends and classic traditions associated with bridal events.