The Most Dreaded Wedding Question – Who Should Pay?

There are a lot of wonderful things regarding weddings, but paying for it isn’t one of them! In fact, the cost of a wedding is often one of the most stressful parts.

Deciding who will pay for the wedding can result in big time family drama. Children often want their parents to pay for their wedding, while some parents may refuse to do so and insist that the couple pay for it themselves. In other cases, a bride and groom’s family may argue over which one will pay for the big day. So, who should shoulder the cost of for your wedding? Here are some of the most common scenarios:


Traditionally, the bride-to-be’s father would pay for the wedding. This dated back to the early practice of a woman’s family paying a dowry to have her married off. These days many couples still assume, as a default, that the bride’s parents will pay for the entire cost of the wedding. With the cost of weddings being so high, couples with daughters often start saving for a wedding early on in their children’s lives. However, this is by no means the only acceptable scenario these days!


A more modern solution is that the couple will pay for their own wedding. Because many people are getting married later in life, couples often have more substantial savings these days by the time they get married. Many couples find that paying for their own wedding reduces stress because they can be as extravagant as they’d like without worrying that whoever is paying for the wedding will disapprove of their choices.

For the modern couple who wants to pay for their own wedding but don’t have the means to do so, crowdsourcing the funding for their wedding has become popular. Couples will set up GoFundMe pages to offset the cost of their wedding and/or honeymoon. This type of approach allows guests to contribute money to making a couple’s nuptials special instead of buying things that the couple may not want or use.

Some couples will also ask friends and family to lend or donate items for the wedding and reception to help them reduce costs. This has become a more common practice among wedding DIYers who would rather have a more sentimental and less expensive wedding.


Every wedding scenario will be different, which means that there’s not one right answer when it comes to figuring out who will pay for it. The right answer is whatever works for your specific situation. Remember, it doesn’t have to be a black and white solution to who will pay for the wedding. You can always split the cost of the wedding so that both sides of the family pay for part of it or the bride’s parents pay for some of it and the couple pays for the rest. Don’t be afraid to negotiate a custom situation to ensure that your big day is as special as it should be!