Dedicated September 2020

Who traditionally pays for what?

Liza, on November 6, 2019 at 12:47 PM Posted in Honeymoon 0 15
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When you follow tradition, are all traditions followed?

I know that times have changed and people pay for weddings in all sorts of ways now. However, my parents are very traditional and offered to pay for the vast majority of my wedding. Because of this, they want my FH and his family to cover the traditional items that are their responsibility. My mom believes that the groom/groom's family should cover: rehearsal dinner, marriage license, my FH's tux, and the honeymoon.

I had never heard of either set of parents paying for a honeymoon before but my mom is adamant that when she got married (40 years ago) this was the norm. So my question is, for those who are following the traditional route, did the groom/his parents cover the cost of the honeymoon? All the articles online (the knot, etc...) say this is traditional, but this was new information to me. My mom feels that if she can pay for the entire wedding, his parents can pay a fraction of that cost for the honeymoon. This is money they easily have and would likely be fine spending, I just do not know if it is appropriate to ask.

Before I get comments about being privileged, ungrateful, or spoiled, please understand that my parents have always planned on paying for my wedding and I know that I am extremely blessed for this. I know it is not a given and that not everyone has this option. I do not take any of this for granted.

Thank you!


  • Sarah
    VIP September 2019
    Sarah ·
    • Flag
    My parents paid for my first wedding. My ex-husband’s parents didn’t pay for anything related to our wedding or honeymoon. My ex- father-in-law did have the rehearsal dinner at his house but we provided the food/drinks. We lived in a smaller apartment at the time so he offered his yard.

    Your parents may be traditional but that doesn’t mean they get to put their nose in other people’s financial business. Unless your future in-laws offer, you and your FH should be covering any additional costs related to your wedding.
    • Reply
  • M
    Expert September 2020
    Marcia ·
    • Flag
    My parents paid for my first wedding 24 years ago. My ex’s parents paid for the rehearsal dinner. He and I paid for the honeymoon.

    this time FH and I are paying for everything. I think it’s unreasonable to ask anyone to pay for anything. If someone offers, then you can consider it, but you shouldn’t ask.
    • Reply
  • Lauren
    VIP February 2020
    Lauren ·
    • Flag

    Traditionally, the groom's parents do pay for the honeymoon. When my parents were parents of the groom (twice), they didn't pay for the honeymoon, though, because they contributed about $6k for each wedding. For my wedding, FH's parents will be paying for the condo we're staying in at our honeymoon, but we'll be paying for the flights, food, and excursions. They're, also, paying for the other things you listed including my bouquet and all the boutonnieres (which are things the groom's family usually pays for as well).

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  • Cyndy
    Master May 2019
    Cyndy ·
    • Flag
    I agree with others. Your parents can pay for what they believe is traditionally their responsibility but your future in laws will have to offer to pay for the other things. If they don’t then you and yours FH will have to cover those. Your family can’t tell them what to pay for.
    • Reply
  • MrsD
    Legend July 2019
    MrsD ·
    • Flag

    Our marriage license was like $10 so I can't even imagine not paying for that. We paid for my husband's suit. We paid for our honeymoon. My father in law paid for the rehearsal dinner. My parents paid for the entire wedding & some of our honeymoon. I don't think it's super fair to expect that of the groom's side just because the bride's side is more traditional & can afford it. My parents were prepared to pay for the rehearsal dinner but didn't since my husband's father offered to.

    • Reply
  • Mcskipper
    Master July 2018
    Mcskipper ·
    • Flag
    Despite what your mother thinks, it’s still not appropriate to ask his family to pay. Just blet cause your mom/parents are choosing to do what they think is traditional, they can’t and shouldn’t force that on his. That’s not your parents’ decision to make— the only contributions they control are their own.

    Regarding honeymoon funding, no, I’ve never heard that that’s traditionally paid by the groom’s family. As far as I’ve ever known, the couple pays for their honeymoon, just as they would any other vacation they plan. Bonus and nice if someone else offers, but no expectations of it and no asking for it.

    The only thing I’ve heard groom’s family traditional pays for is rehearsal dinner. But still, that’s up to them, not your parents, and I would never *ask*. It’s one thing if your parents simply mean they won’t cover those items . It’s another (and inappropriate) to think that they should be asked or made to do so. One side’s contributions or willingness should not dictate the other’s.
    • Reply
  • Jocelyn
    Devoted December 2019
    Jocelyn ·
    • Flag

    My parents paid for a vast majority of my wedding. MY FH mom helped us a lot to pay for the honeymoon! It just happened to work out that way honestly. There wasn't any talk of who has to pay for what. My parents offered to help with the wedding since I got an almost all inclusive package. My Fh mom would periodically give us her casino winnings and we would use it towards our honeymoon cruise. I would just sit down with your FH parents and ask if they are first willing to help at all before assuming. As far as the marriage license we are paying for it since its only $80. My FH bought his suit and dress shoes himself.

    • Reply
  • Keri
    Expert November 2019
    Keri ·
    • Flag

    Agree with PP. Your parents can spend what they are comfortable spending, but they can't dictate how much your in laws pay/what they pay for.

    My parents paid for 90% of our wedding and 100% of the rehearsal dinner. My mom threw me a shower. His parents didn't offer to pay, and my parents didn't expect them too. We are paying for our own (delayed) honeymoon, part with money that was gifted from the wedding.

    • Reply
  • LB
    Champion November 2016
    LB ·
    • Flag

    It is completely inappropriate to ask anyone to pay anything. That's great that your parents are offering, but that doesn't obligate your FILs.

    • Reply
  • E
    Dedicated October 2020
    Erin ·
    • Flag

    Based on what I've heard from my parents about their wedding my dad's family definitely did not pay for their honeymoon. And from talking to my dad about finances for the wedding the only thing he mentioned as being traditionally paid for by the groom's side is the rehearsal dinner.

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  • Amber
    Master February 2020
    Amber ·
    • Flag

    My parents are contributing a flat amount for our wedding. From the way I've budgeted, it'll cover about 70% of the wedding expenses and FH and I are covering the rest. As for his parents, FFIL did ask us what they should pay for when we told them about our engagement. I knew my parents were contributing and at the time I had no idea what tradition stated for the grooms side. He told us just to let him know, so I think we're just going to ask if they would be comfortable covering the rehearsal dinner. I don't think they should pay for our honeymoon. But we're ONLY asking about the rehearsal dinner because they already offered their help and told us to figure out what we needed help with and they'd make it happen. I do agree with PP's that unless your FH's parents offer to contribute to the wedding, you should not ask them to.

    • Reply
  • Cristy
    Rockstar May 2020
    Cristy ·
    • Flag

    Traditionally, it has been my experience that the groom's family often pays for the rehearsal dinner, and the honeymoon, as well as the groom's attire. However, just because that's how it always was traditionally, does not obligate your FH's parents to pay for those things. I think it's always been an option.

    So, if your FH wants to ask his parents to contribute to those things (or anything else), he can do that. But just because your parents want to pay for "traditional" wedding categories, doesn't mean anyone else is obligated to do the same.

    • Reply
  • Kelsey
    VIP September 2020
    Kelsey ·
    • Flag

    My parents are paying for the venue, catering, photographer, and my dress. We are paying for the DJ, officiant, license. My FH's dad is paying for the alcohol for the reception and the rehearsal dinner. For the honeymoon we are doing a mini-moon so a long weekend up north at a nice hotel up there. We don't want to spend a ton of money on that aspect since we want to buy a house soon.

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  • Taylor
    Super October 2020
    Taylor ·
    • Flag

    My parents contributed a flat $6k. Me and FH will be paying around $19k for the wedding + the cost of the honeymoon. FIL's have said they want to help but have not verbally committed to anything. They made it seem like they'd be helping with the rehearsal but it's never been said to my face so I'm not counting on it.

    • Reply
  • L
    Lady ·
    • Flag

    Both sets of parents offered us money. I think it's great your parents want to pay - but that doesn't mean she gets to dictate what your in-laws pay for. If your in-laws offer to assist with something, it's fine to suggest some things. They may also just want to give you cash to do whatever with. Or the may not offer. But you shouldn't ask them, and your mom shouldn't have any involvement in what they pay for.

    You parents should pay for what they want to pay for, and leave it at that.

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