(Closed) Are there hard rules as to who is supposed to pay for what?

posted 8 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
192 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

absolutely not, these days anything goes. 

Post # 4
8353 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2011

There are no hard and fast rules today. Usually, the cost is left to those that can afford to contribute. My Fiance and I are paying for everything.

Keep in mind that whoever is paying will have more say as to what your wedding will be like. If you aren’t paying for anything, you may not have any say at all.

Post # 5
1426 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

Anyone can pay for anything nowadays.  If someone offers to pay, that’s fine, but it also means that they get to set the budget and control the details of the event.  So for instance, if your future in laws offered to pay for the rehearsal dinner (which they don’t have to) they could make it a backyard barbecue or take everyone to the fanciest restaurant in the city, they can say it is wedding party only, or they can invite all the out of town guests, it would be totally up to them.  So if your mother has particular ideas about how these things should be, then she should pay. 

I’m sure your mom is just working off of the old ideas of what was traditionally done back in the day, but it doesn’t really work that way anymore.

Post # 6
14186 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

Nobody is “supposed” to pay for anything. A lot of times, both parents chip in, but so do the bride and groom. I don’t like the “i’m paying for this, your fiance should pay for this, and your future in laws should pay for this” mentality from your mom–all i can think is, “what should you pay?’ ha! Plus, who says you have to have transportation?

Talk about the rehearsal dinner with your Fiance, what you’d like, how many people you think it’d be, etc. Get an idea of it. Then, if your Fiance has a good enough relationship with his parents, have him subtly find out if they plan on helping out or if they don’t, and that they definitely shouldn’t feel required to. I know Darling Husband mentioned it to his mom at some point and she was like, “yes, I’m paying for it, here’s the budget!”

If they can’t, you and your Fiance should plan on paying for it.

Post # 7
1763 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I think the only rule around today it to plan as though you are expecting to pay for everything. That way if money from somewhere else falls through you won’t have to worry. I personally don’t believe it is anybody elses responsibilty to pay for a wedding except the bride and groom. If others offer the money then great, but don’t expect it.

Post # 8
1104 posts
Bumble bee

I agree with MrsKesslertobe – assume you and Fiance are paying for everything, and budget accordingly. If your parents or the ILs offer to pay for something, and you want to accept, do it graciously and be aware there could be strings attached. I don’t think any couple should expect assistance from anyone – it’s a very nice bonus if it happens. I think your mother needs to understand this is how it works these days.

I have also never heard of a groom paying for a bouquet, that sounds so weird to me. Maybe it’s a regional thing?

Post # 9
654 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

I suppose it depends who you ask. My Future In-Laws refused to help us with a photography deposit because “the brides family should pay for things like that” I think for this day and age everything goes and there’s no set rules. But I can see how our parents are still in the traditional ways of when they got married.

Post # 10
1194 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I think now it’s a little more up in the air about who pays for what.  I know for my wedding, my parents are paying for the wedding & my fiance’s mother is paying for our rehearsal dinner.

I think you need to discuss with your fiance and maye his parents what they intend on contributing to your wedding.  It sounds pretty obvious what your parent’s are paying and I think it might be up to you & your fiance to cover everything in between. 

Honestly, when it comes to everything that you have a question about, communication, communication, communication is key!

Post # 11
1465 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

The ideology of the bride’s parents paying for the wedding is leftover from the days when the bride (usually in her early teens and never given the opportunity to make a life for herself in any way) was essentially her father’s property and a marriage was simply a business arrangement where she had no say. This type of thing still occured well into the middle of the 20th century. In this day and age, where most couples have been on their own since 18+ and have not relied on parents for anything during that time, are of the mindset that the majority of society agrees with: if you are old enough to get married, you are old enough to pay for the entire thing yourselves. If that means waiting a few years to save up for what you can afford or cutting back to the bare essentials if you must marry right now, then that is what you do. No one else (especially parents) is responsible for wedding bills at all.

The groom does not pay for the bride’s bouquet as all flowers are part of one bill. Even your florist will give you a side eye if you attempt that. The bride and groom pay for wedding services jointly.


Post # 12
837 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

No.  There are traditions (i.e. brides parents pay for the reception, groom’s parents pay for rehearsal dinner, etc.) but they certainly are not rules.  People only pay for things when they offer.  You NEVER tell people that they are required to pay for something for your wedding – that would be poor etiquette.

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