Planning A Wedding: Who Pays For What?

While the average cost of a wedding in the United States is $26,645, many couples typically spend somewhere between $19,984 and $33,306 (source: With numbers like these, determining whom will pay for what wedding expenses is often near the top on a couple's priority list. Bridal Couture of the Palm Beaches is here to help you make sense of your wedding budget by offering these general guidelines.

Planning Your Wedding Budget

Most people are familiar with the tradition of the groom's family paying for the rehearsal dinner and the bride's family paying for the ceremony and reception (which typically equates to "everything else"). While some families still follow this age-old tradition, many modern couples are looking for ways to divide the financial responsibilities a bit further to make it easier on everyone.

There is no right or wrong way to plan your wedding budget. What matters most is that you and your groom talk openly and honestly about your families' financial situations (as well as your own) so you can determine a wedding budget that will meet your needs.

Who Pays For What?

If your families will be able (and would like) to contribute to the cost of your wedding, the next step will be to determine whom shall be responsible for which costs. It is entirely up to you and your families to identify the strategy that works best for you, but the following breakdown may serve as a general guideline to help you get started.

Bride and/or Bride's Family
  • Engagement party
  • Bridal gown
  • Wedding coordinator
  • Wedding venue & reception venue
  • Announcements, save-the-dates, and invitations
  • Flowers
  • Wedding vendors (musician/DJ, caterer, photographer, etc)
  • Transportation to/from ceremony and reception venues for the bridal party
  • Wedding favors
  • Gifts for the couple
  • Gifts for the bridesmaids

Groom and/or Groom's Family
  • Rehearsal dinner
  • Marriage license
  • Bride's engagement ring and couple's wedding rings
  • Officiant's fee and travel costs
  • Wedding night accommodations 
  • Honeymoon
  • Gifts for the couple
  • Gifts for the groomsmen

Other Suggestions

In many modern weddings, the financial burden is further divided by requesting that the bridal party pay for their own attire and, if needed, transportation and lodging. If they are in a position to do so, the bridal party can also cover the costs of the bachelor and bachelorette parties.

Another option is to enlist help from extended family members by requesting that they pay for specific items. The bride's grandmother could pay for the wedding flowers, for example, or the groom's uncle could pay for the caterer. If extended family members wish to be involved, asking them to cover specific expenses in this manner can be a great way for them to get involved without making things overly complicated.

We hope that these suggestions serve as helpful guidelines for you and your groom as you begin the process of building your wedding budget. Remember that they are only suggestions - ultimately, it is up to you and your spouse-to-be to determine the solution that will best work for you and your families.

Find Your Wedding Gown At Bridal Couture Of The Palm Beaches!

If you are shopping for wedding dresses in South Florida, we would be honored for you to make an appointment at our bridal boutique in Palm Beach. Our by-appointment-only bridal salon has a vast array of gorgeous wedding gowns at attractive prices. For more information about our wedding dresses in Palm Beach, visit our website: We look forward to helping you find the gown of your dreams!

A Boutique with Exceptional Gowns at Attractive Prices

10233 Okeechobee Blvd - Suite B4

Royal Palm Beach, FL 33411
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