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Wedding Etiquette Who Pays For What?

According to a survey of 20,000 couples who got married in 2016, the average wedding cost a whopping £27,000, rising to £38,666 for those based in London!  That’s a lot of money, so looking at old fashioned ‘Wedding Etiquette’ who pays for what?

If you are lucky enough to be able to follow the more traditional path (i.e have parents who can afford it!), then the Bride’s family will cover the majority of the Wedding expenses. There are certain items however, which will still fall under the responsibility of the Groom, or the Groom’s family including:


  • Engagement Ring

  • Bride’s Wedding Ring

  • Church / Registrar Fees

  • Marriage License

  • Bride’s Bouquet, Corsages & Buttonholes

  • His Outfit

  • Gift for the Bride

  • Gifts for Best Man & Ushers

  • Bride & Groom Overnight Accommodation (if required)

  • Honeymoon

Groom’s Family

  • Rehearsal Dinner

  • Overnight Accommodation For Groom’s Family

  • Reception Drinks

The Groom’s family can still often feel ‘left out’ when it comes to the day to day Wedding arrangements. One solution could be to ask the Groom’s parents take ownership for the ‘Evening Reception’ if you decide to have one and all of its associated costs.

Putting Wedding Etiquette Aside

In the 21st century it’s more commonplace for the Bride and Groom to foot the bill for a good proportion of items on the list. Family may then offer to contribute towards the total cost or, pay for a particular aspect of the wedding e.g. the father of the bride may wish to pay for the venue and/or the bride’s dress, which as it happens, are typically 2 of the top 3 most expensive items!

Your own financial position and that of each of your families will no doubt be the major factor when it comes to who contributes what. However you decide to spread the cost always ensure all parties involved are aware of their responsibilities and payment deadlines. You don’t want the added stress of having to chase family members to make payments.

The important thing is to plan wisely so you can enjoy the day no matter what budget you have and certainly avoid putting yourself into debt as you start your married life.

Happy Wedding Planning!