top of page

Who pays for what in a modern wedding?

people raising their glasses at a wedding

If the typical American Rom-Com has taught me anything it is that the brides parents have a stupidly large house but they also foot the bill for the wedding. But in a modern wedding is this still the status quo?


While there is no hard and fast rule as to who should be financing all of the matrimonial celebrations it’s a good idea to have this sorted out as soon as you can. We all know that when it comes to arguments they generally start when money is involved, so we thought we would give you some guidance in order to avoid any uncomfortable situations.

People dancing at a wedding reception

The engagement party

Traditionally speaking this was organised and paid by the bride’s parents. It was seen as a way to celebrate their daughters up and coming wedding and to welcome the husband-to-be. To have both sides of the family come together and build a rapport with each other before the main event.

This day and age we see less and less parents paying for engagement parties, brides and grooms are instead opting to pay for these themselves.

Parents are no longer socially required to host the engagement party although we do see that they are more than happy to be the financiers of the welcome dinner, casual cocktail party or a couple of drinks down at the beach, especially when it comes to a destination wedding.

Just don’t expect it.

Funny sign telling children to move out of homw

Are the brides parents off the hook?

Way back when, the parents of the bride were up for sinking a tonne of money into the wedding. We’re talking all of the planning expenses, the reception, the brides dress, all floral arrangements, videography, photography, officiant, transportation and the list goes on.

This is much less likely to happen now with brides and grooms choosing to pay for the majority of the wedding themselves. Having said that, if either set of parents offer to pay a percentage, accept it graciously. Weddings can get expensive so any help is welcome.

Someone holding a coin

So...what about the grooms parents?

I mean with all of the expense put onto the bride’s parents surely the groom’s folks are up for handing out a little cash right?

It really depends on where you’re from. In America the groom’s parents traditionally got of rather lightly with just paying for corsages, button hole flowers, and the marriage license among other small things. Where as in Australia they generally got off completely scot free. Kind of a little unfair right?

The modern wedding see’s a lot more spreading out of the costs, with the groom’s parents fronting up with their cheque book to offer more financial assistance, whether with the alcohol, day after party or catering. Again I need to stress not to expect it, this is your day and to assume that the parents will foot the bill is going to end up with some tears.

Bride and bridesmaids holding balloons

Who pays for what these days?

These days, anything goes.

There has been a continual rise in brides and grooms financing the majority or entirety of the celebrations themselves giving them complete control over how the wedding celebrations go.

Tradition doesn’t go away quietly as we see the bride’s parents still paying a large percentage of the wedding, especially in particular affluent regions.

You’ll see some wedding costs split between the parents and the couple, sometimes even the grandparents chip in with what they can.

In other words, nothing is set in stone when it comes to the financial side of a wedding. No matter who contributes, it’s a welcome gesture.

Ask both sets of parents if they would like to help out, but do not presume that they will. When asking be delicate, and take their response graciously whether they are willing and able to help or not.

bottom of page