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He Pays, She Pays: A General Guide to Wedding Expenses

Jun 24, 2008
Organizing your own wedding is never easy. Setting a budget is even harder. But it's also the most important thing in planning a wedding. So go ahead and talk to your groom and your families about the expenses. But before you do that, read this article so you don't have think yourself out, trying to figure out who pays for what.

So you have decided to tie the knot? You are excited and happy, and you can't wait to start planning your big day. But unless it's going to be your fifth wedding, which is not at all impossible these days, you need to know how the whole thing works, especially the wedding expenses. While your cultural background and personal preferences will ultimately dictate what will happen on your big day, here is a general guideline regarding wedding expenses that you might want to consider before you start organizing.

Splitting the Bill

In older days and in Oriental cultures, only one party - either the bride or the groom - was expected to pay for all the expenses of the wedding. In some cases, the groom or the bride were also expected to pay a high price for the other called the dowry. The dowry could be either money, jewelry, or other valuable properties. But today, the bride and groom can both breathe easy since wedding expenses are now typically split between her, the groom, and their families, and wedding dowries are no longer expected.

What the Bride Pays For

Generally, the bride typically shoulders expenses for the following: wedding ring for the groom, wedding favors for the attendants, and accommodation for out-of-state guests. While it is not imperative, the bride is also expected to present a wedding gift for the groom.

Bride's Family's Share of Expenses

The bride's family is expected to pay for her wedding attire, as well as the announcements, invitations, and thank you notes, seating assignment chart and mailing costs, napkins, bridesmaid luncheon, flowers and accessories for the bridesmaids, ring bearer and flower girl, ceremony costs, transportation costs for the bridal party from the ceremony to the reception area, parking and security gratuities, photographer, and videographer.

What the Groom Pays For

The groom, on the other hand, is expected to secure, first, the bride's wedding ring, as well as the engagement ring. He must also pay for the marriage license, the groomsmen gifts, accommodation for out-of-state groomsmen, boutonnieres and gloves, ties and accessories for the male attendants, going-away corsage, corsages for lady attendants and the mothers, fee for the judge or clergyperson, flowers and wedding gift for the bride, and the honeymoon.

The Groom's Family and Other Attendants Share of Expenses

Since the groom covers most of the expenses, the groom's family is only expected to pay for the remaining expenses such as the rehearsal dinner, clothing expenses for the wedding, travel and accommodation expenses, and wedding gifts for the couple.

As for the attendants and the matron of honor, they are generally expected to pay for their own wedding clothes and attires, including their travel expenses. In cases when they are unable to, they must inform the couple so that they are able to arrange something. And in all cases, they are expected to bring a wedding gift. One wedding gift and one shower gift would be enough, even if the matron of honor or guests are invited to several pre-wedding parties or dinners.
About the Author
No matter how you decide to split the wedding expenses, don't forget to get the groomsman gifts. Visit ExecutiveGiftShoppe.com for selections of personalized cufflinks or a lovely flask.
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