Composing a wedding budget is one of the first things that need to be done once you are engaged.  It is also one of the most important things to do.  Your budget will guide you when planning your wedding and help you avoid getting into any unnecessary debt after the wedding.
The responsibility of who pays for what is something that has changed drastically over the last decade or two.  Traditionally, the bride’s family would cover all the costs related to the wedding day, but because weddings are so expensive, the groom’s family generally contribute a large portion to the wedding and there are no longer any hard a fast rules, but this is a rough guideline on a modern day wedding:

Bride’s family:

  • Reception (including food, music, décor and rental fees but excluding drinks)
  • Flowers for the ceremony and the reception
  • Wedding dress, bridesmaid dresses and accessories
  • Stationery (invitations, announcements, programs and mailing costs)
  • Wedding Favours
  • Wedding Cake
  • Transportation
  • Their own attire and travel expenses

Groom’s family:

  • Legal fees (e.g. antenuptial contract)
  • Ceremony expenses (including officiant, soloist, organist, etc)
  • The bride and bridesmaid’s bouquets
  • Corsages for the mothers and grandmothers
  • Boutonnières for men in the wedding party
  • Photography/videography
  • Drinks at the reception (generally this is in the form of a bar tab and includes expenses related to bar tenders as well as wine and/or champagne for the tables)
  • Their own attire and travel expenses


  • Grooms wedding ring
  • Gift for the groom
  • Her hair, make-up and beauty treatments
  • Gifts for her attendants
  • Sometimes accommodation for any out of town bridesmaids


  • The Bride’s engagement and wedding ring
  • The honeymoon
  • A wedding gift for the bride
  • Gifts for his attendants
  • Sometimes accommodation for any out-of-town groomsmen