Who Pays for What, When and How?

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Planning a Wedding can be a tricky business – which is why if you do choose to employ Wedding professionals our aim is to make the whole process simple and straight forward.  We believe that you are not only paying for our product but our knowledge and expertise too!
Very often we have the answers to most of your questions as we have already come across it!  At the Hattie Boo Studio we don’t tell you what to do but we do try to offer suggestions and tell our brides about situations we have come across before.
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A wedding in 2013 doesn’t have to follow the rules that used to apply and most of all the Rules of who is supposed to Pay for What no longer apply!
The other thing is that you really shouldn’t get into debt or for the bride to ask her parents to take out a second mortgage or spend their life savings on just one day!  We are meeting more and more couples at the studio that are funding the wedding themselves, or at the very least are contributing a significant amount towards it.  Gone are the days when the Groom’s parents are off the hook too, after all rules are made to be broken.
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Every couple has a budget, a magic number, a figure that they really should try to stick too!  What that figure is really is irrelevant – the important thing is to stick to it!  In order for your dream wedding to become a reality you need to work out who’s going to pay for what before you even start visiting bridal exhibitions and paying deposits.  The cost of getting married has skyrocketed in recent years and people are choosing to marry later in life, so whilst these rules can help you, they are only here for a guide.
I write this because the most contentious subject for any wedding and the one that, without a doubt, will cause the most arguments, is of course money
Sit down and write a good old-fashioned list of what you really want to include and what you can actually afford.  Small weddings can be just as bespoke and special as a large extravagant affair.  The important thing is to make it about you and what you both want as a couple and stick to it.

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Take a look at our check list based on what Traditionally people were expected to pay for!

According to Tradition…

The Brides Family traditionally  paid for…


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The cost of ceremony, and all related expenses such as food, drinks, entertainment, favours and the wedding cake itself.


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The floral bouquets, including the church and the reception decorations


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The bride’s wedding dress, shoes and accessories, her hair, make-up and any beauty treatments too!


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Gifts for the Bridesmaids and accommodation for them too.


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The photography


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Invitations, announcements, general wedding stationery and postage


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Transportation for the bride and bridal party.


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The groom’s family traditionally paid for…

The rehearsal dinner, something that has come over from America but is becoming increasingly popular in the UK, including food, invitations, decorations and entertainment

A wedding present


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The marriage license


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The bride’s engagement ring and wedding ring and a wedding gift for the bride


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The bride’s bouquet


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Corsages for the parents or mums and grandmothers,


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and buttonholes for the men.


Image courtesy of thefullbouquetblog.com

The groom’s outfit and best man and ushers outfits and Gifts for his best man and ushers

Travel and accommodation for the groom’s family and if necessary, the accommodation for any out-of-town groomsmen

The Fee for any wedding officials

The Honeymoon


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The Bride and Groom Traditionally paid for…

Gifts for their parents, the attendants and the best man.
Any expenses that have exceeded the original budget.
The honeymoon.

Parties and Announcements


The Bride or groom’s family can plan and host an engagement party.  If you are to have two then the bride’s family hosts the first one!

The Maid of Honour and Bridesmaids plan the Hen party

The best man (men) and ushers plan the Stag Party and as a Mother of the Bride told me the other day, if you are thinking about doing something to the groom then don’t!

So to sum up Who really does pay for what in a Modern Wedding…

When the bride and groom are older, or whose parents don’t have resources it is possible that
the bride and groom pay for all wedding costs themselves, but even with this scenario it is possible once a date and reception venue have been picked to approach their families if they would consider a contribution or to pay for a certain aspect of the day itself, for example the flowers and cars, or even the food for the wedding breakfast.  Perhaps the cost of the day will be equally divided between the two families.  The bride and groom may still be paying for the majority of the costs with both families contributing towards elements they would like to help with.  Both families may offer to contribute an amount of their choosing towards the wedding , to be spent as the Bride and Groom wish. If either or both sets of parents are divorced a compromise can usually be found using a mixture of all of the above options!

After all, if all else fails, be creative with the budget that you have got and choose how to spend it carefully!


Image courtesy of etsy.com

Good Luck and Happy Planning!

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