Wedding Etiquette: Who Pays For What?

There’s no need hammering on how expensive a wedding can be. Hence, as expected, budgeting and division of costs amongst the families is a major piece during the planning stage. While I am yet to find the ultimate modern guide that specifies who pays for what in a wedding, I’ll be sharing a list of traditional cost splits.

Let me start by saying this is not a definite list to go by and you’ll find that depending on the families involved and their finances, certain groups will take on more costs than the other.

The bride’s parents don’t need to sell all they have to pay for the wedding neither should the groom’s parents. The bride and groom should also consider covering some of the expenses themselves as well. Knowing an approximate size of your wedding, the theme you are going for, food and décor amongst others will help in estimating the cost of your wedding. Pay attention to what you really want and CAN afford. Don’t focus on pleasing your guests because if you do, you’ll be going over your budget in no time. Remember: you can’t please everybody.

Bride’s Family

  • Engagement and wedding ceremony costs (Venues, catering, hall décor, music, any applicable fees, etc)
  • Groom’s Rings
  • Stationery (Save the dates, invitations etc)
  • Flowers, bouquets and corsages for Bridesmaids
  • Transportation for Bridal Party
  • Gifts for Bridal Party
  • Groom’s Gift

Groom’s Family

  • Bride’s Ring
  • Bride’s wedding gown, accessories, bouquet, corsages and boutonnieres
  • Marriage license and any applicable fees.
  • Honeymoon
  • Rehearsal Dinner
  • Transportation for Groomsmen
  • Gifts for Groomsmen
  • Engagement ceremony gifts
  • Bride’s Gift

The bridal party is responsible for paying for the cost of their attire, their accommodation and transportation.
The bridal party and friends of the couple can and should help pay for the bridal showers, bachelorette party, and bachelor’s party.

Are you getting married soon?
How were the wedding costs distributed across families?
Who pays for what in your opinion?
Have you witnessed any issues or quarrels stemming from the wedding cost?

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  1. bride, 3 years ago

    I got married to a Nigerian and never got as much as a card congratulating us from our Nigerian guests…yet the same rude people had the nerve to ask if we could invite their friends we never even met at 100 dollars a person but couldnt give a card. Disgusting. Its a wedding not a bbq.

       -   Reply
    • admin, 3 years ago

      Sincerely sorry to hear about your ordeal. Nigerians are notorious for trying to invite friends and friends of friends to a wedding you invite them to. This is the reason why people now enforce strict by invitation attendance with guards at the door to check. I totally feel your pain but also wedding is traditionally a community event and celebration of the union of two people. However, in a country like America, where you are paying per head, the costs racks up very fast and we all know the dollar for example is worth more than Naira.

      Even if they didn’t give you a card, I hope they at least sprayed (or made it rain) during your reception! Nowadays, people are moving away from buying cards and gifts and go for monetary donations instead (either directly in cash or by cheque) or they make it rain on the dance floor.

      Either way, I hope you had an amazing day and still love us, your dearest Naija family 🙂

         -   Reply
  2. Anonymous, 4 months ago

    I’m sorry, please which Nigeria are you referring to? Where in Nigeria dies the bride’s family pay for all these things you wrote?
    And who even told you that this is how it is divided?
    Please, do your research well, and if you don’t want to, at least write a disclaimer that you are only stating your personal views and not those of Nigerians of any tribe, not to talk of the whole country.
    This your list is European in style and is so off, it doesn’t even come close to what is the done thing

       -   Reply

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