With the cost of the average wedding skyrocketing, it's more important and confusing than ever to figure out who pays for what wedding expenses.

The Origin of the Wedding Cake
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Though tradition has clear-cut guidelines for which family pays for what in a wedding, many modern couples and their families are looking over the rules and determining the cost-splitting structure that works best for them.

The first step in all of this, though, is to figure out your budget. Sit down and determine what parts of a wedding are most important to you and your fiancé and consider what you can reasonably afford. Once you have a foundation for your wedding finances, look over the traditional break down of wedding costs for all involved. Unless your family feels strongly about sticking to tradition – we get it, weddings bring out the best Southern etiquette in us – consider this structure a starting point with nothing set in stone.

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According to Emily Post, here are the traditional divisions of cost for a wedding. Take a look and create a plan that works best for you and your families.

The Bride and Her Family

  • All wedding planning expenses, such as a wedding coordinator
  • All wedding papers, such as announcements, invitations, and ceremony programs
  • Bride's attire, including her dress, veil, shoes, and jewelry
  • Ceremony venue fees
  • Ceremony music
  • Ceremony décor and necessities, such as a tent, aisle runner, or awning
  • Floral arrangements for both the reception and ceremony, including the bridemaids' bouquets, but not the bride's bouquet
  • Photography, videography, and wedding albumns
  • Wedding day transportation
  • All reception expenses, such as décor, linens, diner, band, and so on
  • Security and/or traffic officer, if needed
  • Transportation and lodging for the officiant if coming in from out of town
  • The groom's wedding band
  • Present for the groom (typically purchased by the bride herself)
  • Presents for the bridesmaids (typically purchased by the bride herself)
  • Presents for the attendants (typically purchased by the bride herself)

The Groom and His Family

  • Rehearsal dinner expenses
  • Corsages and boutonnieres for immediate family members on both sides
  • Bride's bouquet
  • Grooms attire
  • Officiate fees
  • Honeymoon expenses
  • Engagement ring and wedding band for the bride (typically purchased by the groom himself)
  • Marriage license (typically purchased by the groom himself)