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Who Pays for What?

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Traditional breakdown of costs…but, who says rules can’t be broken!

In today’s modern world, it is completely acceptable to forget the ancient rules of who pays for what with the wedding extravaganza. Sometimes this is dependent on a family’s financial situation or sometimes the couple is simply ultra-modern and wishes to take on their own wedding expenses…whatever the reason, there are no longer strict rules on the cost! So, here is a list of the traditional cost breakdown…but remember rules are meant to be broken!


The ceremony as a whole is the most costly part of all the wedding events. Typically the bride’s family takes on the majority of the expense, however there are usually enough things to split up amongst multiple families or individuals

  • Brides family is responsible for the ceremony venue including event rentals if needed, transportation, floral arrangements, photographer and videographer, wedding dress and accessories, ceremony music, and decorations
  • Grooms family is responsible for grooms outfit and accessories, brides bouquet, brides going away corsage, boutonnieres and corsages

Pre-wedding Parties

Depending on the particular party or shower and who is throwing it can determine who is paying for it…sometimes it could be friends, family, bridal party, etc. Here is a breakdown of typical pre-wedding parties:

  • Engagement Party – Brides family
  • Bridal shower – Brides family
  • Bachelors Dinner – Grooms family
  • Bachelor(ette) Parties – Maid of Honor and Best Man

Rehearsal Dinner

The Rehearsal dinner is the one portion of the wedding day that is typically the responsibility of the groom’s family. From planning to hosting and paying, the grooms family handles it all!


Brides family pays for all professional services – food, drinks, venue, event rentals, decorations, and music


Grooms family traditionally pays for everything as a wedding gift


Brides family is responsible for creating, ordering, sending out and paying for all announcements and invitations

Posted on May 2, 2014
by Hilton Head Island Wedding Staff