I’m Engaged, Now What?

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I’m Engaged, Now What?


Congratulations, you are engaged! Now, what are you supposed to do? There are a million things running through your brain, a venue, invitations, flowers, a photographer, decorations, wedding gown, bridesmaids dresses, wedding colors… STOP! Breathe! The first thing I suggest you do is determine who is paying for what for your wedding. If you establish this before you even begin planning anything, it helps to alleviate stress and drama later on. What bride needs stress and drama right?

Everyone usually thinks the bride’s parents pay for the wedding and reception, and that the groom’s parents pay for the rehearsal dinner. Below you will find a traditional list of who pays for what items, and while most of the wedding and reception are the bride’s families responsibilities some of these may surprise you. Talking ahead with your future husband, his family and your family and finding out what each side is prepared to pay for is a good idea. No one wants you to call them a few days before the wedding asking for another $600.00 for the transportation that will be driving the wedding party from the wedding to the reception. Weddings are all about planning, and I say the best place to start is to know who is paying for what. Here is the historical list, use it as a guideline, or leverage at least. This tradition is fading, like my wedding dress is, but it is important to prepare everyone who wants to help out with wedding costs, know what is expected of them. This is a pretty basic list as weddings have changed a lot of the years and gotten more extravagant! So, if your future husband wants fireworks at the end of the reception and you don’t care one way or the other, then make HIS parents pay for them! Cheers to you and happy planning!


  • Bride and family pay for church or location, musicians, and wedding coordinator.
  • Groom and family pay for the marriage license and officiant’s fee.

Wedding Attire

  • Bride and family pay for bride’s dress, veil, and accessories.
  • Groom’s family pays for groom’s outfit.
  • All attendants pay for their own clothing, including shoes.

Flowers and Decorations

  • Bride and family pay for floral arrangements for the ceremony and reception, plus bouquets and corsages for bridesmaids and flower girls.
  • Groom and family pay for the bride’s bouquet, boutonnieres for men and corsages for mothers and grandmothers.


  • Groom and family pay for the complete honeymoon (so choose wisely!)


  • Bride and family pay for all wedding photos and video.

Wedding Welcome Bags

  • Bride’s parents or bride pay for welcome bags for out of town guests. If you are in the greater Charleston SC area check out our wedding welcome bags in the menu above.

Pre-wedding Parties and Celebrations

  • Bride’s or groom’s family plans and hosts the engagement party; if there’s more than one, the bride’s family should host the first one.
  • Groom’s family plans and hosts the rehearsal dinner.
  • Maid of Honor and bridesmaids host the bridal shower or bridal luncheon, and bachelorette party.
  • Best man and groomsmen host the bachelor party.


  • Bride and family pay for all professional services, including food and decorations.
  • Groom’s family pays for the DJ or band and liquor.


  • Bride and/or her family pay for the groom’s ring.
  • Groom and/or his family pay for both of the bride’s rings.


  • Bride and family pay for invitations, announcements including Save the Date cards, and programs.
  • Bride and family pay for stamps for the RSVP return envelopes.


  • Bride and family pay for wedding transportation of the wedding party to and from the ceremony and reception


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