Budgeting Your Wedding
and Figuring Out Who Pays

So you’ve got your ideal wedding in mind, and you want to see it all flow out according to plan on your big day. But when you consider the cost of the dress, the bridesmaids’ dresses, the food for the guests and the décor, you may be overwhelmed at how much everything costs! There are tons of hidden wedding expenses from utensil rentals to tips for caterers. So how can you fit this all into your budget, and who should be paying for each aspect of your wedding?

The Wedding Budget

To simplify things, have a look at this wedding budget plan to help you see how much you’d generally shell out for the cost of an average wedding:

Venue, Catering & Rentals for Venue $10,750 35.8%
Wedding and Engagement Ring $4,500 15.0%
Honeymoon $3,700 12.3%
Photography & Video Coverage $2,700 9.0%
Flowers, Bouquets & Decorations $2,000 6.7%
Attire & Accessories $1,900 6.3%
Entertainment for Reception $1,000 3.3%
Wedding Planner $1,000 3.3%
Gifts for Guests $800 2.7%
Invitations, Postage and Other Stationery $600 2.0%
Tips (for all services) $370 1.2%
Car Rental $310 1.0%
Makeup and Beauty Services for Bridal Entourage $300 1.0%
Marriage License $70 0.2%

Of course, this would all entirely depend on how much you’re willing to spend on each aspect of your wedding. You can choose to forego the car rental and spend it on fancier invitations or a bigger service tip. You can also save up on some of these expenses by searching for cheaper options or having your wedding during off peak seasons or in cheaper but still classy places (think: school function halls, small chapels or open areas that don’t charge a lot for a few hours). In other cases, you can turn expenses into DIY projects, particularly for the décor or the beauty and makeup services.

Who Should Pay for It?

These days, couples and their parents are no longer obligated to pay for certain things during the wedding. In more modern weddings, the bride and groom, and their parents have their pick of what to shell out during the wedding. But for the purposes of knowing what the bride and groom’s side traditionally pay for, here is a handy guide:

The bride and her family usually pay for:

The venue of the wedding

Bride’s dress and accessories

Flower arrangements in the wedding and reception venue

Bridesmaids’ and flower girls’ corsages and bouquets

Photo and video coverage

Food, drinks, music and décor for the reception

The groom’s ring

Invitations, save the date cards, wedding programs, menu cards and place cards

Transportation of the bridal party to and from the ceremony and reception

The groom and his family usually pay for:

The marriage license

The fee for whomever is officiating the wedding

The groom’s outfit

The bride’s bouquet, the men’s boutonnieres, and corsages for the mothers and grandmothers

The honeymoon

The rehearsal dinner

The bride’s rings

When it comes to bachelor and bachelorette parties, these are usually hosted by the groom and brides’ entourage, respectively. As for the official engagement party, this can be paid for by either the bride or groom’s family. However, if there are two parties to be held, the bride’s family would usually host the first one.

We hope all this talk of expenses won’t put you off your wedding! Remember, a little goes a long way, and there are still ways you can save from spending too much by adding a little more effort in finding suitable but affordable options. We wish you good luck in your wedding planning!

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