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Who Pays for a Same-Sex Wedding?

Your etiquette guide for splitting the cost.

Contributing Writer
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Photography by: Jose Villa

Since wedding traditions have changed over the years, it's tricky to determine the etiquette of who pays for a wedding. Figuring out who pays for what becomes even more confusing when talking about a same-sex ceremony, since there are no established rules stating whose family should pay for what. If you're wondering how to split costs for a same-sex wedding, check out the following options to determine the best solution for you.

 

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Follow Tradition

According to traditional wedding etiquette, a bride's family pays for the wedding ceremony and reception, while a groom's family covers the cost of the rehearsal dinner and honeymoon. A same-sex couple can follow this customary break-down if they desire, designating one family to pay for each set of expenses. Of course, the exact payments can vary based on the parents' financial situations and their willingness to contribute. Be sure to discuss the details with each family beforehand so you can make sure everyone is comfortable with the situation.

 

Split the Costs Evenly Between Families

If both families are equally willing and able to contribute, consider splitting the cost of the wedding roughly in half. Each set of parents can pay the exact same dollar amount for the ceremony, reception, planner, wedding attire, and other expenses. On the other hand, you can let each family pay for tasks of roughly the same expense. Maybe one will finance the DJ and florist, while the other pays for the reception décor and caterer.

 

Foot the Bill Yourselves

Nowadays, many couples pay for a wedding themselves—either because they get married older and have the financial means, or because the couple's parents are unable (or unwilling) to pitch in. No matter the reason, footing the bill yourselves eliminates the need to split any costs between families. Plus, a couple will have complete creative control over their ceremony and reception, since they aren't relying on the finances of another party.

 

Split the Bill Three Ways

If you're planning to pay for some aspects of the wedding yourself but both families also want to chip in, try splitting the bill three ways. Again, each party can plan to pay the exact same dollar amount, or you can designate items of roughly the same cost. Alternatively, each party can choose what they want to pay for, based on exactly how much they can afford. By splitting the bill three ways, each family will feel like they positively contributed to your wedding—and, since you're also paying for aspects of the wedding, you still have some creative control over big-day details.

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About the Author

Nicole Harris

Nicole fell in love with the bridal industry after a summer internship with Martha Stewart Weddings. Although she's still a couple of years away from tying the knot, she can't help planning her own Big Day. She's crazy about creative DIY décor, classic lace gowns, colorful invitations, and huge (preferably endless) dessert spreads. Until it's time to pick her first dance song, though,...

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