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Financial Wedding Etiquette for the Modern Couple (and Their Wedding Party)

Financial Wedding Etiquette for the Modern Couple (and Their Wedding Party)


Weddings and Bills: Who Pays For What? A Breakdown of Financial Etiquette for The Wedding Party


While you’re planning your wedding it can feel like money is just constantly flying out of your wallet on top of all the vendors, decisions, and “advice” you’re juggling! Well, we are here to help you and your bridal party out by clearing the air on who pays for what. We know how awkward the “money talk” can be so hopefully this can help a bff out and make things a smidge easier when it comes to financial wedding etiquette. Having everyone on the same page from the start will make everyone’s wedding experience sooo much more fun and relaxed. So sit back and take note of what the bridal party is and isn’t expected to pay for!

What the Bridal Party Is Expected to Pay For:

Bridal Shower
When it’s time for your bestie to get married, it’s the perfect time to sip on some mimosas, get dolled up and celebrate love! Often times a family member or the Maid/Matron of Honor will host the bridal shower and the rest of the bridal party will chip in either financially or by committing to bringing something like snacks, beverages or decor. Regardless, the bridal party should definitely offer to help the host setup and clean up even if a family member is kind enough to cover all the costs.

Bachelorette Party
Anddd the celebrations continue! Our favorite part about weddings is that it’s just a great reason to get together and celebrate with friends and of course make your bride blush a little with your gifts. Even if you’re unable to attend, you should still chip in because we have the power of Venmo these days that makes it so easy and convenient. Now a night out is easy because you can each pay for what you order, plus covering the bride and whatever decor items you all chipped in on. When it comes to a weekend (or longer) getaway, the MOH should probably chat with the bride ahead of time so everyone is on the same page on who is paying for what so it doesn’t end up being a burden. At the end of the day, we want it to be FUN!

who pays for what in weddings Photo by Sandra Morlet Photography from this Feminine Bridal Shower

Travel & Hotel Accommodations
If you are flying or driving, this will more times than not fall to the bridal party to pay for themselves. Before booking a hotel room, you will want to check with the couple because sometimes they might pay for that night as a gift! So double check with the couple on that and if they have a room block (sometimes with a discounted rate!) and then start booking your accommodations. Always always check with the couple first!

Wedding Day Attire
It’s finally the big day and you can get all dressed up! The attire, including shoes, are typically covered by the bridesmaids and groomsmen. Unless you rented your dress, this will be yours to keep and maybe even wear for another wedding (mis-matched dresses are SO in right now) or a fancy night out.

Wedding Day Gift
Being a part of the bridal party is a financial commitment, we get it. So when it comes time to the day of the wedding your budget might feel a bit slim for a wedding gift, but this is a great time to go in together and buy a gift! You won’t break the bank, and the couple will end up with a gift they actually want. If this isn’t a win-win then we don’t know what is.

bridal party expense etiquette Photo by Our Story Creative from this Colorful Summer Wedding

What the Bridal Party Is Not Expected to Pay For:

Wedding Day Florals
There are so many gorgeous elements to a wedding, but the flowers always steal our hearts! This one is an easy one as the newlyweds will always pay for wedding day florals whether that be a flower crown, bouquet, corsage, etc. The bride and groom will always cover this one. One financial wedding etiquette you can easily check the box in!

Transportation To & From the Wedding
Many times the bridal party will get ready at a hotel or someone’s house and then drive over to the ceremony and reception locations. So to ensure everyone arrives in a timely fashion, wedding day transportation will be covered by the newlyweds. You can’t be late for this very important date!

wedding etiquette bridesmaids expenses Photo by Emily Wren Photography from this Romantically Chic Wedding

Hair & Makeup
Okay so this one can sometimes fall into the “grey” category. If the bride has requested a specific look and has made hair and makeup mandatory for the bridal party, then the responsibility of covering the cost should fall on the newlyweds. However, if it’s optional and left to the discretion of the bridal party, then they typically pay for their own hair and makeup. Regardless, it’s always a good idea to show appreciation by tipping your stylist!”

Wedding Day Meals
While you’re all getting ready together the bride will typically bring in snacks to all munch on together. We love fruits, cheese and crackers, hummus and veggies…things that will actually fuel your bodies and keep you full while you stand by her side. Food and beverages during the reception and cocktail hour will of course be covered by the newlyweds. As hectic as the day can feel for you, make sure the bride gets something to eat other than the one bite of cake after they cut it. That’s what bridesmaids are for, right?

wedding etiquette bridal party costs Photo by Kaylee Chelsea Photography from this Chic Malibu Wedding

We hope this helped clear the air on financial wedding etiquette as we totally get that finances can always be an awkward conversation, even with your bridal party! Oh, and if you need an idea of what to get your bridal party as a gift, check out these gift boxes!

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