Weddings, who pays for what in 2021 and beyond?

Wedding etiquette traditionally has strict rules when it comes to who pays for what on your wedding day. However modern couples are treading their own paths and choosing to pay for their wedding in order to have more control. So what areas should you pay for, and who traditionally paid for them?

Engagement RING

Traditionally the engagement ring would be picked and paid for by whoever is proposing. Whilst it is mostly still the case that the person proposing pays for the ring, they may let their spouse choose their own ring (or perhaps even a watch, or necklace).

Wedding Rings

Wedding rings would have been paid for by the spouses family, i.e. the grooms family would pay for the brides wedding ring, etc. Nowadays couples usually pay for each other’s rings, and it is a lovely day out to go ring shopping together! However, some couples choose to dismiss the wedding rings entirely or perhaps opt for a tattoo.

Wedding outfits

The bridal gown and bridesmaid dresses were traditionally paid for by the brides family, whilst the grooms family would pay for the grooms and groomsmen/ushers suits. Today, it is more common for bridesmaids, ushers, bridesmen, and grooms ladies, etc. to pay for their own outfits within reason. If you have a particular outfit in mind, it is good practice to offer to pay for it if it is on the expensive side, and is a style that won’t be re-worn, similarly, it’s a great idea to pay for any suit alternations.

Ceremony, reception and flowers

All aspects of the wedding were picked up by the brides family, which is often not the preferred method now. You may find that either set of parents would like to pay towards something, but it is often not expected, with the married couple to be planning within their budget. A romantic option is for one side of the couple to buy the bouquet for the other, but it is not expected.


The groom and his family were given the sole responsibility of paying for the honeymoon, travel, and any visas and passports. Modern couples tend to split the cost and pay for it as they would any wedding, with a lot of couples opting for a mini-break straight after the wedding, and a honeymoon at a later date.

What are your thoughts on who should pay for the wedding?


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