Traditional Etiquette: Who Pays for What?

Here is a checklist of elements of the wedding day, along with an indication of who traditionally pays.

Please note: the following list is strictly traditional. Much of this etiquette is now outdated and irrelevant to how modern weddings are structured and budgeted. It should serve as an indication of very strict traditions only.


BF=Bride's Family


Wedding Attire

Wedding dress, veil, shoes, lingerie, jewellery BF
Bridesmaids' dresses, pageboy outfits and accessories BF
Something old, new, borrowed and blue B
Groom's outfit G
Best man's outfit G or best man
Ushers' outfits G or ushers
Groom's going-away outfit G
Bride's going-away outfit B

Bridal Beauty

Hairdressing and make-up B

Wedding Transportation

To ceremony: bride, bride's father, bridesmaids and bride's mother BF
Ceremony to reception (bride and groom) BF
Decorations (ribbons) for wedding transportation BF
To ceremony: groom and best man G
From reception: bride and groom G

Wedding Photography

Photography or videoing BF

Wedding Flowers

Church BF
Reception BF
Bride's and bridesmaids' bouquets BF or G
Buttonholes BF or G

Wedding Ceremony

Civil/religious ceremony fees G
Church, plus extras (bells, organist, choir) G
Register office or other venue fees G

Wedding Reception

Venue hire and decorations BF
Toastmaster BF
Wedding cake BF
Catering BF
Favours BF
Drinks BF
Entertainment BF


Passports and visas G
Travel and accommodation G
Bride's clothing B
Groom's clothing G
Spending money G
Travel insurance and inoculations G

Wedding Stationery

Invitations and postage BF
Order of Service BF
Menus and place name cards BF
Seating plan chart BF

WEdding Presents

Bride's engagement and wedding rings G
Groom's wedding ring B
Presents for bridesmaids, ushers and best man G
Presents for bride and groom's parents B and G


Engagement party BF
Wedding planner fees BF
Wedding insurance BF
Press announcements for engagement BF
Press announcements for wedding G
Wedding night hotel G
Overnight accommodation for close family BF
Stag and Hen parties: the cost is usually shared among those who attend


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Debrett's wedding guide

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Happily Ever After Wedding Notebook

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Debrett's Wedding Services

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Debrett's Notebooks

Debrett's Notebooks

Think in Ink Notebook

Think in Ink Notebook

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