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Who Pays the Ferryman?

Wedding etiquette dictates that certain members of the wedding family and party pay for certain items.  As is customary, the bride’s family tend to pick up most of the slack, but there are some things that, when done properly, other people should pay for.  It can seem really confusing until you make a list of everyone concerned and write down exactly what they will be taking care of. Once you are clear it will be plain sailing, hopefully. The strict etiquette lines that used to be drawn are far less as important and clear as they used to be, so it can cause people to wonder. Because of the lack of hard and fast wedding rules, it is far easier to choose who pays for what, or stick with the traditional guidelines and follow those.

The Bride

The bride is expected to pay for the groom’s ring, the wedding present for the groom, bridesmaid gifts, the bridesmaid lunch, if you have one and any accommodation for guests traveling to the wedding.

The Bride’s Family

If you are planning a wedding and you want to follow the correct etiquette, you should research what exactly you are responsible for and make sure that you know who else is required to contribute financially. When  it comes to bride’s family, they are usually expected to pay for the wedding dress, any headpiece or veil and any accessories and the wedding cake. They are also supposed to pay for bridesmaids bouquets, grandparent corsages, invitations and announcements, the wedding program booklet and any printed accessories. Aside from that, they also pay for the venue fee, be it a church, registry office or private location and the Rolls Royce wedding car. For the reception, they pay for the music, the reception hall, catering, photography and any other entertainment related items.  On top of that, there are the bridal favours, bridal dinner, and the bridal breakfast, although these are purely optional.

The Groom

The groom is responsible for paying for the bride’s wedding gift, gifts for the groomsmen, the bride’s bouquet, his mother’s corsage, his and the groomsmen’s boutonnieres, the marriage license, and the registrar fees or clergy fees. His family are expected to pay for his father’s formal wear and any of their own formal for the wedding.

This should make some things a little more clear to those who are unsure. If you still worry, it is probably best to decide between yourself, as the bride and groom, as to what budget you set and how much you should put into your day. Keeping costs low might be an important factor because weddings can be a very expensive outlay. However, they are also a great way of creating some extremely happy memories for the happy couple to hang on to until their old age.