Who is supposed to pay for which part for the wedding is a pretty complicated topic, and the lines can get completely blurred, depending on many different factors that play a role. The complicated part is that there is no rulebook on how this element of the wedding is supposed to be handled, and it is up to both families to agree. For comparison, here are the traditional and modern ways to go about it. Consider these when making a decision, but remember, it is completely up to you, your partner, and your families!


In the olden times, the bride’s family was expected to foot the majority of the wedding bill. The groom’s family was expected to handle some particular parts of the wedding and the after-wedding part.  

The expenses that the bride’s family was expected to cover include: 

  • The entire wedding reception and everything that comes with it (vendors, food, drinks, music, clean-up…)
  • The bride’s wedding dress
  • Bridesmaids’ dresses
  • Invitations
  • Announcements
  • The wedding cake

The expenses that the groom’s family was expected to cover include: 

  • The engagement ring
  • The wedding rings
  • The wedding ceremony
  • Outfits for the groom and best men
  • Gifts for all of the attendants
  • Honeymoon
  • Photographer’s and videographer’s services


As we are all aware, times are changing, and people are going about things differently, weddings included. Some societal changes have challenged wedding tradition. For example, women are equal to men in education and earnings, the brides are living with grooms before the wedding, and both women and men are more mobile and independent. This reflects in the way that paying for the wedding is being handled by the couple and their families. 

Paying for a wedding nowadays is more of a collaboration between the couple (and their families) and then splitting the bill based on different items. The bride and the groom create a wedding budget (which they both contribute to) that is used to pay for different parts of the wedding.

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