Who Pays For The Wedding Dress? (And Other Things)

A wedding is a sacred ceremony with deep roots in ancient traditions. As with every ritual, it has special attire requirements (even for guests). If you imagine a wedding like a play, you’ll see that various people play distinct roles. 

You have the bride and groom, those we gather to celebrate. There’s also bridesmaids, maid of honors, flower girls, and ring bearers. So, who is supposed to pay for the wedding dress?

According to tradition, the bride’s family pays for most wedding expenses, including the bride’s wedding dress. But some soon-to-be newlyweds ignore the rules and do what they please. For example, some families have their own traditions where the groom would pay for the wedding dress.

Since many people will join the ceremony, they also need to dress appropriately for the big day. If you’re still curious about more wedding roles, their attire, and who pays for them, you can find out more now.

Who pays for the wedding dress?

Who Pays For The Bride’s Dress

The bride is the star of the show, and everyone is there to celebrate her and her groom. She must look absolutely fabulous, attractive, and magical. It’s the day of her life.

But weddings are expensive for the bride, groom, family, and guests, from preparing the venue, transportation, DJ, to food and drink. For example, if you got invited to a wedding, you have to buy an appropriate dress if you were a woman and a suit if you’re a man.

The wedding dress is one of the most important expenses for its monetary value and emotional weight. The bride waited so long to wear it on this special occasion, so it must be perfect in every way.

Furthermore, a wedding dress is the highlight of the wedding. Everyone at the wedding will secretly think about what the bride will wear and how it’ll look like.

The average wedding dress price can start from $500 to $5000. It’s not an easy decision for everyone involved. Plus, it’s a one-time dress that the bride will cherish forever but never wear again, except maybe if she’ll gift it to her granddaughter in the far future.

There’s a lot of pressure when choosing the wedding dress. And a lot of decision-making and group thinking goes into the process. Some weddings will delay until the perfect dress is found, and some canceled because the bride couldn’t say yes to a dress.

The wedding dress is something special. So, who’s supposed to pay for it? Is it the bride or the groom? Or somebody else?

As part of the wedding expenses, the bride’s family will pay for the wedding dress. The groom and his father might volunteer. But traditionally, it falls onto the bride and her family to pay for the wedding dress.

If you’re the bride, pay for your wedding dress if you can afford it. Traditionally, it’s the bride’s father who pays for the wedding dress for the bride. In fact, the bride’s father pays for most of the wedding expenses. The bride’s family also pays for the wedding dress veil and train.

In our modern times, the bride and groom pay for the whole wedding. Especially when they want to plan a themed wedding, sometimes, they get family help. Sometimes, they’re capable enough to finance their own wedding without outside help.

At some weddings, the costs are split between the two families. And everyone contributes what they can in more of a communal fashion.

Who Pays For Bridesmaid Dresses

When the bride invites you to be her bridesmaid, it means you’re really someone special to her. But it’s also a huge responsibility. As a bridesmaid, you help the bride with everything, acting as a trusted advisor.

You’ll help the bride before, during, and after the wedding. Working with the other bridesmaids, you’re expected to comfort the bride, give advice, and support her ideas. Sometimes, you’ll cover in emergencies. It’s a full-time job, but you’ll enjoy it.

If you’re a team player, filling the bridesmaid wouldn’t be such a vast stretch. But when it comes to your dress, you might want to reconsider your position. Bridesmaids often wear the same dress or matching dresses.

You’re supposed to pay for your dress, accessories, and makeup. If it’s within your means, that shouldn’t be a problem. But suppose the bride has something special in mind?

In that case, it’s not unusual for the bride to pay for the bridesmaid dress with help from the groom. So, it’s a joint venture. You didn’t really ask to be her bridesmaid, did you?

In that case, the bride should (secretly) help you with paying for your dress. In case you don’t have the budget for a fancy dress, you may gracefully step down from this responsibility, especially if the bride isn’t willing to help. (She doesn’t have to. It’s wedding etiquette to pay for your own dress).

If the bride didn’t specify a “dress code” for her working bees, it’d fall on you to accept the responsibility. Again, being chosen as a bridesmaid means the bride trusts you enough. And it’s a bad move to reject a friend.

Wedding management expert Patricia Funderburk advises, “a bride should choose her bridesmaids carefully to avoid embarrassing situations and added expenses.” Be a real friend to the bride. She might as well be your matron of honor when it’s your turn.

Who Pays For Maid Of Honor Dress

Wedding expert Donna Scott says in the US, the maid of honor is the “head of bridesmaid.” She’s usually unmarried. If she’s married, she’s called the “matron of maid.”

If the bridesmaids form the bride’s advisory board, then the maid of honor is the chief of bridesmaids. She’s the bride’s BFF who stays by her side 24/7. The maid of honor also leads the bridesmaids, overlooking the bachelorette party and bridal shower.

Your mission as a maid of honor is to make sure the wedding goes according to the plan. You’re responsible for solving problems on the spot, orchestrating bridesmaids’ efforts, and taking physical care of the bride. In short, you’re the queen bee of the wedding.

If the bride chose you for this sacred role, you’d know from the moment the groom pops the question. Wedding planner Sandra Philips says about the maid of honor role, that “I talk with the maid of honor about the wedding plan more than the bride.”

A statement that should give you a clue about the importance of the maid of honor’s role in the wedding. When asked about who’s supposed to pay for the maid of honor’s dress, Sandra said:

“The maid of honor helps the bride with the second most important “yes.” As she helps the bride choose the right wedding dress.” After the bride says “yes” to the marriage proposal, the other “yes” is to the dress.

“The maid of honor usually pays for her own dress,” she added. “But the bride often buys her a unique piece of jewelry to help her stand out from the bridesmaids and separate her as the maid of honor.”

That being said, as a maid of honor, you’re close enough to the bride and her family. You might even be the bride’s sister. If you can’t afford it, you may ask the bride or her family to help finance your wedding dress. Well, perhaps not pay the total price but contribute a portion.

Who Pays For Flower Girl Dress

The flower’s girl symbolizes the bride, from the innocence of young age to her role as a wife and mother. She carries flower petals and scatters them during the procession of the bride toward the aisle. Like the page boy, she’s more present in British royal weddings than modern weddings.

Since the flower girl is usually a relative of the bride or the groom, her parents are expected to pay for the dress. Usually, the bride chooses her dress.

In most weddings, the groom is responsible for paying for flower arrangements, bouquets, and flowery decorations. Thus, the groom is the one who pays for the flowers that the flower girl will use during the procession. At Jewish weddings, the bride’s family pays for the flowers.

The flower girl’s parents take care of getting a dress that the flower girl will wear on other occasions, including footwear. But the bride or the groom will usually pay for flowery accessories, baskets, or petals.

According to tradition, the parents of the flower girl will pay for the dress as a gift. In addition to the wedding gift. As flower girl parents, it’s a great honor to participate in the wedding in a special way.

The bride or the groom might also pay for the flower girl dress as a gift.

Who Pays For Ring Bearer Outfit

The ring bearer in the US or the page boy in the UK also plays a role in royal weddings. While the best man is responsible for the real wedding rings, the ring bearer carries fake rings sewn to the cushion.

The ring bearer might carry the rings for the best man if he can understand the responsibility. He also holds the bride’s train when it’s too long. Sometimes, you can assign two ring bearers, each bearing the bride and groom’s wedding rings.

Your ring bearer is usually a relative. He might be your little brother or a relative you have a special connection with, whether you were the bride or the groom. It’s not absolutely necessary to have a ring bearer when you have the best man. Yet, when you have that special boy who can serve as a ring bearer, it’ll definitely enhance everyone’s experience.

So, he’s supposed to pay for the ring bearer outfit?

The boy ring bearer usually dresses like the groom. He’s the “mini groom” at the wedding. Naturally, the parents of the ring bearer will pay for the outfit. But the groom might volunteer sometimes.

Also, your favorite pet could cover as the ring bearer in your wedding. Just don’t keep the real ring on them!

Other Wedding Expenses And Who Who Pays For Them

Now that you know you know who pays for what in wedding attire, you must be curious about other wedding expenses:

Who Pays For Wedding Venue?

This one falls into the bride’s parents’ lap. For a simple reason, they’re the main hosts of the event. If you were a guest, the bride’s parents would be the first to greet and welcome you and make sure you’re enjoying your time.

Who Pays For Wedding Invitations?

Again, the bride’s family pays for the invitations. Furthermore, they pay for any stationary or announcement boards used in the wedding. They’re also responsible for hiring the bridal consultant, photography, portraits, and ceremony.

Who Pays For Wedding Decor?

Bride’s family. They pay for any professional services, including designers. They also pay for the food (cakes) and drink (not the alcohol).

What Does The Groom Pay?

If the bride’s family pays for everything, what does the groom pay for exactly? The groom also pays for some of the wedding expenses. The groom and his family will pay for the marriage license and officiant fee, the rehearsal dinner (in full), the groom’s transportation, and his relatives.

Furthermore, the groom will pay for the honeymoon, flowers, and the DJ. The groom is also responsible for bringing alcoholic drinks.

Finally, the groom will pay for his own suit and accessories, including corsages and boutonnieres. The bride’s bouquet is one of the most important groom expenses, too.

Last Word

Nowadays, things are different. Traditions are getting discarded, and people are going their own way. If you’re planning a wedding, you don’t have to follow the rules. Do what you want!

But don’t forget the traditions. They’re good to follow as they were born out of practicality. But the times have changed, and our circumstances are different.

Just be sensible and practical to say on the safe side and have a wedding to remember.