Your Wedding Budget: Who Pays for What?

Captured by CM Photography

If you’re recently engaged, one of the first things you’ll want to start working on is your wedding budget. That also means figuring out who is paying for what. The rule used to be that the bride’s family paid for a good portion of the wedding expenses, but that isn’t always the case these days. According to the WeddingWire Newlywed Report, couples are covering an average of 47% of wedding costs themselves, which leaves a little more than half still paid for by family. These numbers vary based on a couple’s age, if it is a second marriage for one or both parties, or for LGBTQIA+ couples.

Usually, the maid/matron of honor will cover the expenses for the bridal shower and bachelorette party. The wedding party is also responsible for their own attire, accessories and other costs including airfare and gifts. On average a wedding attendant spends about $1,200.

Happy Finch Photography

Creating a Wedding Budget


The best way to start working on your wedding budget is by sitting down with your partner with pen and paper, or this handy calculator from The Knot. Figure out your must-have wedding expenses and how much you can afford to spend on each. It also helps to create a first-draft guest list to give you an idea of catering costs and if you’ll need a small or large venue space.

Molly Majher Photography

Wedding Budget: Who Pays for What


We’ve broken down a list of who traditionally pays for what, but this list isn’t set in stone. Everyone’s situation is different, so take this as a jumping-off point as you create your budget.


The Bride’s Family

  1. Engagement party

  2. Wedding dress and accessories

  3. Wedding planner

  4. Invitations and stationery (save the date cards, etc.)

  5. Photography and videography

  6. Transportation and accommodations for the bridesmaids

  7. Ceremony and reception rental

  8. Flowers and décor

  9. Wedding cake

  10. Morning after brunch

The Groom’s Family

  1. Honeymoon

  2. Marriage license and officiant fee

  3. Rehearsal dinner

  4. Bride’s bouquet, boutonnieres and corsages

  5. Transportation and accommodations for the groomsmen

  6. DJ or band

  7. Alcohol for the reception

The Bride

  1. Groom’s wedding band

  2. Gifts for bridesmaids, groom and parents

  3. Hair and makeup

The Groom

  1. Engagement ring and bride’s wedding band

  2. Groom’s attire

  3. Gifts for groomsmen and bride

  4. Honeymoon (if not covered by family)

Molly Majher Photography

Talking with Your Families


While we understand it can be an uncomfortable conversation, it’s important to talk with your families to see what they plan to contribute to your wedding, or if they’ll be contributing at all. Be clear about what you’re asking. Don’t dance around the topic, as this may create miscommunication. Say something like, “We’ve created a general wedding budget and we’d love to have you take a look at it. Would you be able to provide any funds toward our wedding day?”


You can also show them exactly how their money would be used. For example, you may ask each set of parents to contribute a percentage of the total budget or to cover certain vendor expenses. Overall, make sure to keep the conversation respectful. Any financial help should be met with gratitude. Parents who cannot afford to help monetarily may want to offer their time instead.


Interested in having your wedding at Rosemont? Contact us today for more information and to schedule a venue tour.


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