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Financial Obligations

Tradition... a weighty word. In terms of wedding expenses, it once dictated that the bride's family handled all the nuptial expenses. The changing scheme of society has made it possible for some ironclad traditions to loosen their grip a bit, and that certainly includes wedding costs. Probably the most useful approach for you, your groom, and your respective families to consider when you draw up the wedding budget is to be communicative, realistic, and courteous. If your family is unable to bear the traditional bridal bill, talk with the groom's parents. They may be willing to assume a portion of the financial responsibility. There are probably some expenses that you and your groom can pay, thus taking some pressure off your families.

Following is the traditional division of nuptial expenses. However, there are times when tradition bows to practicality. The question of who pays for what really boils down to who is most willing and able.

Bride's Family

  • Entire cost of the reception including: food, wedding cake, beverages, flowers, decorations, music, and gratuities for the bartenders and waiters
  • Entire cost of the ceremony including: rental of sanctuary, chapel or other facility, organist, soloist and sexton fees, aisle carpets, huppah, altar flowers and pew markers, and any additional decorating costs
  • Wedding gift for newlyweds.
  • Bride's wedding attire and trousseau.
  • Invitations, announcements and postage.
  • Engagement and wedding photographs.
  • Bridesmaids' bouquets.
  • Transportation for bridal party to ceremony and reception.
  • Wedding Consultant.
  • Welcome party for out-of-town guests.


  • Wedding gift for the groom.
  • Wedding ring for the groom.
  • Gifts for the bride's attendants.
  • Personal stationery.
  • Lodging for her out-of-town attendants (optional).
  • Bridesmaids' luncheon.
  • Gift for parents.


  • Wedding gift for the bride.
  • Bride's engagement and wedding rings.
  • Marriage license
  • Gifts for best man, groomsmen, and ushers.
  • Bridal bouquet and going-away corsage.
  • Boutonnieres for all men in wedding party
  • Mothers' and grandmothers' corsages
  • Gloves, ties, or ascots for men in wedding party.
  • Lodging for out-of-town attendants (optional).
  • Fee for clergy or judge.
  • Honeymoon.
  • Bachelor's dinner (optional- may be assumed by best man and ushers).
  • Gift for parents.

Groom's Family

  • Their wedding attire.
  • Wedding gift for the newlyweds.
  • Rehearsal dinner.
  • Their travel expenses and hotel bills.
  • Shipment of wedding gifts to the bridal couple's new home.
  • There are many other expenses they may wish to assume which are optional.

Attendants and Users

  • Wedding attire selected by the bride.
  • Travel expenses and lodging.
  • Parties for the bride and groom.
  • Wedding gift for the couple.