When it comes to paying for the wedding, there are differing views. Back in the day, the bride’s parents were responsible for hosting (and paying for) the entire celebration. Today, most people believe the couple should pay for their own wedding—especially if they have lived on their own for some time. Of course, parents often want to pitch in. Contributions should be negotiated according to willingness and ability, but the traditional divisions on the following slides will offer some more guidance on who pays for what at a wedding.
Whether your parents (or your future spouse’s parents) are generously offering to pay for part or all of the wedding, it’s helpful to understand who historically has paid for each aspect of the big day. While it’s by no means mandatory for the bride’s family to pay for the engagement party and the groom’s parents to foot the bill for the rehearsal dinner, a working knowledge of how a wedding bill typically shakes out will help everyone navigate this tricky business.
Here, what you need to know about how a traditional budget breaks down, plus tips to help you decide who will pay for what.
Who Pays for the Engagement Party?
Traditionally, the bride’s parents (although anyone can host!) will pay for and throw an engagement party for their daughter and her husband-to-be, for the express purpose of welcoming him and introducing friends and extended family to the groom and his family and friends. Although this isn’t a requirement, it can be a wonderful way to get future wedding guests together to establish a rapport before the event—familiar faces always make for a more convivial affair.