With the average wedding in the United States now costing more than $30,000, couples seeking to tie the knot have become increasingly conscious of their wedding-related expenditure. Thankfully, a significant portion of these expenses are paid for by the bride and groom’s parents. Before you go asking your parents for financial help, though, you should familiarize yourself with the tradition of who pays for what.


The bride’s family traditionally foots the bill for the venue, including security deposits and down payments if applicable.

Rehearsal Dinner

The groom’s parents plans, hosts, and pays for the rehearsal dinner at a restaurant of the couple’s choosing. Most rehearsal dinners are held close to the wedding venue, as this allows the wedding parties to easily travel to the restaurant once the rehearsal is over.

Service Providers

While there are always exceptions to this rule, the bride’s parents and family normally pay for most wedding-related services. This includes the florist, photographer, catering, wedding planner/coordinator, the officiant, musicians, and invitations.

Tipping Vendors and Service Providers

While there’s no rule – written or otherwise – stating that soon-to-be-wed couples must tip their vendors and service providers, doing so is a great way to show gratitude for the services they provide. So, how much should you tip and when should you do it? Tips should be given either at the end of the ceremony or the end of the reception, and the amount varies depending on the service. The standard tip for photographers and videographers, for instance, is $50 to $200, whereas the standard tip for a band is $20 to $30 per musician.

Wedding Rings

The bride normally pays for the groom’s rings, while the groom pays for the bride’s ring. If either party is unable to afford a ring for their soon-to-spouse, their family may step in to help.


The bridesmaids and groomsmen should receive a gift as a token of appreciation from the newlywed couple. The bride or her family pay for the bridesmaids’ gifts, while the groom or his family pays for the groomsmen’s gifts. Each guest should also purchase a gift for the couple.


The bride’s family foots the bill for the honeymoon, as well as transportation to and from the ceremony and reception.

Hopefully, this will give you a better idea of who pays for what in a wedding. It’s important to note, however, that many couples today no longer follow this “cookie-cutter” method of pricing. Weddings have evolved over the years, so don’t feel like you must adhere to this etiquette.