Financial obligations of the wedding party: Who pays for what?

what does the groomsman have to pay for

What costs are the wedding party responsible for? It varies, a lot. The number one rule of anything to do with money and weddings is talk about it up front… unfortunately, like with many things money-related, it’s an uncomfortable topic and not one you broach when asking (or answering) the “Will you be my bridesmaid?” Question. So if you’re like 95% of the population and are living in some doubt as to who should be paying for what, this post is for you.  I’m covering off what the bridal party should be paying for – but treat this post as a starting point, not a binding contract.

What does the best man and groomsmen pay for at a wedding?

My girl Emily Post states the best man is responsible for paying for his formal wear and accessories. His travel to the wedding is out of his pocket, and a shower gift (if held) and a wedding gift is expected.  He will also be required to share the cost of the stag do.

My observation is that the majority of couples getting married are covering the cost of suit hire for the best man and groomsmen.  So although tradition dictates one thing, practicality suggests another. Couples need to be upfront with your wedding party as to what you’ll be paying for.

If your wedding party includes ushers, then the cost of their suit hire traditionally falls on them to cover.

What does the maid of honour and bridesmaids pay for at a wedding?

Emily Post explains the maid of honour and the bridesmaids are expected to pay for their dresses and shoes.  Makeup, hair and any spraytans etc are not covered off by Emily Post but my observation is that it’s usually covered by the bride as it’s a “nice to have”.

Travel to the wedding is also out of their own pocket, and a shower gift and a wedding gift is expected. The maid of honour and bridesmaids will also be required to share the cost of the bachelorette party or bridal shower.

There are a few different ways of paying for the bridesmaid dresses, versus the “traditional” route of the bridesmaid covering the lot. A common one is the bride taking care of the cost and gifting the dress to the bridesmaid post-wedding, or alternatively, the bride may buy the dresses and after the wedding on-sell the dresses and recoup some of the costs.

Further Reading

what does the bridesmaid pay for

What does the flower girl pay for at a wedding?

Well, quite honestly the flower girl will be paying for f-all as traditionally this role goes to a wee girl under the age of six (refer to the goddess of etiquette, Emily Post).  However, the family of the flower girl should be covering the tab for the flower girl dress, shoes, and travel expenses.

Flower girls are not expected to bring a shower gift to any bridal showers, but if a parent (or parents) attend, then the expectation is that they’d bring a gift just as any other guest would.  If it’s at an appropriate time and a suitable theme, then the wee girl should be invited along to the shower.

And just to make it clear – the flower girl is not responsible for financially contributing to any bridal showers or hen’s nights (I mean, she’s not yet 6…).

What costs does the ring bearer have to pay for in a wedding?

Like the flower girl, traditionally the role of ring bearer goes to a wee boy below the age of six, so any costs incurred are for the parents of the ring bearer.  The ring bearer’s family are responsible for paying for his attire and any travel expenses to get to the wedding.  The ring bearer is not expected to bring along any gift to any kind of pre-wedding parties as it’s unlikely he’ll attend any.

If the parents of the ring bearer or train bearer do attend, the expectations for the gifts will still be the same as with any other guest.

 Wondering what wedding stuff your parents will pay for?

I’ve covered off what wedding bits and pieces your parents are “supposed” to cover over on this post “What do the parents pay for?

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