This entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.

It’s your big day, congratulations! So much goes into planning the wedding, with all the details a decisions that need to be made, the last thing you’ll want to worry about is budget. Let the experts at Brilliant Event Planning and Honeyfund honeymoon registry guide you through it! Here are 10 tips for who should pay for what in a wedding.  

Who Pays For Which Wedding Expenses

Bachelor party

Bachelor & Bachelorette Parties

When it comes to these pre-wedding festivities, the bridal party and the friends and family invited to these events are responsible for taking care of the tab. The Bride or Groom-to-be shouldn’t foot the costs for these events, especially since they’re often a total surprise. However, modern wedding bachelor and bachelorette parties are often a destination-party. In this instance, it is becoming more popular for the Bride and Groom to cover their own travel costs, including for flights and hotel, while the bridal party picks up the tab for the party itself

Pre-Wedding Day Events

With gatherings of both families together, here is where the bride & groom split the financial duties.  Typically, the bride and her family fund the engagement party, while the groom and his family pay for the rehearsal dinner.  For the bridal shower, the bridesmaids and/or close family of the bride pitch in to host the party together.

Wedding rings


While the Groom may have paid for the Bride’s engagement ring, day-of proceedings call for different protocol. As an adorable indication of everlasting commitment and support, it is traditional for the Bride and Groom to pay for each other’s wedding rings to swap during the ceremony.


Paper goods have a bit more of a grey area than other aspects of the wedding. Traditionally, the parents of the bride cover the expenses of the wedding day paper items, for example, wedding invitations, menus, programs, and beyond.  This means that traditionally, the groom’s parents cover the cost of the paper goods for the rehearsal dinner, such as the invitation. In modern day weddings, the couple often covers stationery for all events. Regardless of who covers the wedding day stationery, the couple always covers the thank you notes!

Bridal gown

Wedding Dress & Tux

As you can probably guess, the couple is responsible for their own attire, however, the wedding dress is often a gift if the bride’s parents are paying for the wedding.  The bride and her family are also responsible for paying for her wedding dress, accessories and veil, as well as the flower girl’s dress. Similarly, the Groom and his family pay for his tux.

Bridal Party Attire

Worried about the expenses related to have a bridal party? Don’t stress! It’s appropriate for the bridal party to cover their own attire. You can avoid any pre-wedding drama by making sure bridal party knows costs of their attire up front. This gives them the opportunity to decide whether or not they are okay with your expectations, before they decide to play a major role in your big day. Recent trends have the bride covering hair and/or makeup for their bridesmaids, but traditionally, bridesmaids have also covered this cost.

Bridesmaids getting ready

Getting Ready

On the day of the wedding, there are a lot of potential expenses! If the venue does not provide a bridal suite for getting ready, the couple may need hotel rooms. These costs would be covered by the couple themselves. The bride typically also covers her own hair and makeup. Typically, the bridal party gets lunch during getting ready. The best man and maid of honor are responsible for arranging for lunch and covering the costs, so that the bride and groom don’t need to stress about finding food just before they say I do.

Welcome Gifts

A current wedding trend is the welcome gift, which is the bag of goodies in each guest’s hotel room to welcome them to your wedding. This expense should be covered by the couple. Guests love personalized details and locally sourced products. The welcome gift is a great place to let your guests know how happy you are that they traveled from far and wide to help you celebrate your big day!

Wedding reception

Ceremony & Reception

Traditionally, the bride’s family is responsible for all of the expenses related to the wedding day. Of course, this rule isn’t always followed. Often, the bride’s family will cover the costs of the ceremony and reception venue(s), catering, and decor, while the groom’s family will cover the music and liquor for the wedding day. If the couple decides to cover an aspect of the wedding weekend, it is typically the afterparty – to keep the party going all night long!


Typically, the bride and groom cover their honeymoon costs themselves. With all of the the expenses related to the wedding, this can be tough. With Honeyfund,  all of this changes! Ask  your wedding guests help fund the getaway of your dreams by using Honeyfund’s free fundraising platform, so all you have to do is sit back and enjoy — check that one off your list!

Take it straight from us, or put your own spin on it: Whichever way you choose to split financials, having the wedding budget under control ahead of time will get you on your way to a truly *brilliant* affair!

Bio: Brilliant Event Planning is a luxury event planning and design company that specializes in dream marriage proposals and fairytale weddings. Born at the intersection of clever and creative, they harness the power of emotion to make your most important day less stressful, more beautiful, and uniquely yours. Brilliant Event Planning has offices in New York City and Boston, and is available worldwide. To learn more about Brilliant Event Planning, please visit


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