What does the Groom Traditionally Pay For?

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In a traditional wedding, there are certain explicit roles laid out for the bride and groom, as well as their families.

Formal wedding decorum dictates who does what and which items and events each party is responsible for. Present-day, numerous couples have shifted from these old-fashioned expectations. Instead, they work out a way that is most feasible for both parties.

For instance, some might divide the total wedding cost equally. Others prefer to assign expenses based on the person’s ability and willingness to pay. As a groom, it’s important to know your traditional role, regardless of the arrangement you worked out with your partner.

What Does the Groom’s Family Pay For?

In general, the bride’s family is responsible for almost 45% of the wedding budget. The remaining is taken care of by the groom. But what exactly does that percentage entail?

The Wedding Rings

The engagement ring is perhaps the most important component that marks a couple’s commitment. Over the years, the groom is expected to pick out and pay for the perfect ring for his bride-to-be. Nowadays, the groom still takes responsibility to pay for the rings.

Even if the groom picks out a ring with his bride, he is still expected to pay for it.

Rehearsal Dinner

A rehearsal dinner is a pre-wedding ceremony generally held the night prior to the wedding. The aim of this event is to allow both the bride and groom’s families to get together and spend some quality time. The groom’s parents are traditionally responsible for hosting and paying for a rehearsal dinner. This event can vary in size from a small indoor dinner to a luxurious soiree.

This includes food and beverages, entertainment, venue fees, and transportation. Depending on the guest list and budget, the size and location of the venue are decided by the groom’s parents. A rehearsal dinner is an excellent way for the groom’s family to add elements of creativity and style to the dinner. They can choose suitable music, food, venue, and gifts for the guests.

Bridal Bouquet, Corsages and Boutonnieres

The groom’s family takes responsibility for the wedding’s flower arrangements. This not only includes the bride’s bouquet but also boutonnieres for the usher and groomsmen. Similarly, they are also expected to supply the event with mini bouquets for both mothers and grandmothers and corsages for the people involved.

Marriage Certificate

The cost of getting a marriage certificate might differ depending on the city, state, and country. The responsibility of going through the legal route to attain a marriage license is undertaken by the groom’s family. Though not considered a big expense, this small gesture can really take some wedding-related stress off of the bride’s plate.

Officiant Fee or Donation

An officiant is usually a minister or a priest who initiates the wedding ceremony. The majority of ministers do not have a set fee and instead rely on donations or gifts. However, if the groom’s family is feeling generous, they can pay anywhere between 75 to 250 GBP or more. Another cost associated with the officiant is their accommodation, considering that they come from a different town or city.

Groom and Groomsmen Attire

It doesn’t matter if the groom and groomsmen are purchasing brand new wedding suits or renting their outfits. The groom’s family is required to manage that expense. Nowadays, groomsmen are expected to arrange their own tux, but accessories such as shoes, socks, ties, and cufflinks are the groom’s responsibility.

Gifts for Groomsmen

A lot of couples conclude their wedding reception on a good note by giving their guests, bridesmaids, and groomsmen party favors. These usually include sentimental keepsakes that guests can remember the wedding by. The groom’s family must bear the expense of gifts for the groomsmen.

If the groomsmen are coming from a different city or country, their accommodation expenses will have to be borne by the groom’s family. This might include hotel or Airbnb expenses. However, this is not a must in modern weddings as groomsmen themselves will be expected to pay for their own lodging.

Reception Entertainment

At times, the groom’s family may also offer to pay for any entertainment related to the wedding reception. This can include a wedding band or DJ, photo booth, and gift baskets. In addition to covering the entertainment aspect, they may also decide to contribute towards the cost of alcohol. This will usually mean paying for an open bar at the reception.


Nowadays, couples themselves save up for their honeymoon. In the traditional sense, however, the groom’s family is expected to finance the big trip. Some families might not cover the entire honeymoon, but some parts of it. For instance, plane tickets, hotel expenses, or a special one-time expense like bungee-jumping.

Pos-Wedding Transportation

The happy couple might wish to exit their wedding venue in a luxury car, a fancy carriage, or simply an Uber. Whatever the mode of transportation selected, the groom’s family bears the expenses.

Discussing your Financial Obligations with Your Partner

Nobody likes to touch the money subject, especially if it’s with your future spouse and their family. No matter how uncomfortable it may feel, it’s best to get this out of the way as soon as possible. You don’t have to abide by tradition closely – you can tweak the rules as per your budget and willingness.

These days, families of the bride and groom divide the monetary burden equally, and the couple chips in as well. Remember that your wedding is supposed to be a happy event, not a ball of stress. Be very honest with your partner regarding your financial situation, and make your decisions accordingly. If you avoid having this uncomfortable conversation, it could be a problem in the near future.

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