While most couples today foot the bill for their wedding, that wasn't always the case

I feel like we live in a world now where the parents don’t (and aren’t expected to) pay for the wedding. It seems to be a tradition that has passed its time. Or maybe that’s just what my parents have convinced me with, so they could get off the hook …

But in all seriousness, it is often the job of the couple to come up with the funds to pay for the wedding, yet it hasn't always been that way. So as I go through my budget spreadsheet and we get closer to the big day, I thought it would be fun to break down the old traditions of who was responsible for paying for certain aspects of the wedding. Obviously these were never set in stone, but here's what I found:


Bride's family

  • Ceremony venue
  • Ceremony music
  • Dress, veil, accessories
  • Ceremony and reception flowers
  • Bridesmaid flowers
  • Photographer
  • Videographer
  • Reception food, drink, decorations and music
  • Groom’s ring
  • Invitations, announcements and programs
  • Transportation

Groom's family

  • Marriage license
  • Officiant fees
  • Suit/tux
  • Bride’s bouquet, boutonnieres, corsages
  • Honeymoon
  • Rehearsal dinner
  • Bride’s ring

Bridal party

  • Individual attire and accessories
  • Bridal shower
  • Bachelor/bachelorette party