The Traditional Breakdown of Whose Family Pays for What



By Lauren Frankfort

 The line of who pays for what for weddings these days is definitely blurred. But, if you or your parents want to stick to tradition (or just want to know the way it used to go for reference) there are very strict delineations for who should pay for what. Here, our etiquette experts outline exactly who should front what bill, according to age-old customs. Please keep in mind, though, that this all depends on your particular financial and family situation.

Traditionally, the bride’s family foots majority of the bill. Of course, this rarely applies these days, but it’s interesting to note all of the costs that the bride and her family were once held responsible for. They include obvious things like the wedding dress and accessories and the bride’s gifts to her bridesmaid and groom. A lot of big-ticket items fall on that list too like the wedding planner or coordinator, invitations and all its corresponding stationery, majority of the flowers, total reception costs, all photography and videography expenses, the groom’s wedding ring, music for the church and the reception, any rentals, the bridesmaid’s luncheon, accommodation for all bridesmaids, and, lastly, all transportation needed for the big day. 

As for the groom and his family’s traditional expenses, they’re a bit less of a burden. Costs include the bride’s engagement ring and wedding rings, the groom’s attire, the groom’s gift to his groomsmen and if wants their attire too, his gift to the bride, all of the boutonnieres and corsage for appropriate wedding party and family members, the officiant’s fee plus accommodation and transportation if they need to travel to the wedding, the marriage license, rehearsal dinner costs, lodging for the groomsmen, and transportation and lodging for the groom’s family and groomsmen.


Camden, Maine Wedding from Michelle Turner Photography + Maine Seasons Events

by Mallory

It is impossible to go wrong with navy and white stripes. Especially when you’re going for something ultra chic and nautical. It’s like peanut butter and jelly, Meg Ryan and The Chick Flick, Michelle Turner Photography and Maine Seasons Events. Like this gorgeous bride and her handsome groom. Made for each other. MFEO. The gallery is filled with so many perfect match ups, you won’t know which ones to give the most love. Click here for that!

Sonya and Lucas honestly don’t know when they first met. It may have been in the halls of Plummer-Motz Elementary School that they first laid eyes on each other, or perhaps it was on the playground at recess, or on Nelly’s Bus 13. It’s likely their first interaction was sometime in the mid 1980’s in Falmouth, Maine — but it’s tough to say exactly when that was.

Growing up in the same small town in Maine means Sonya and Lucas had lots of the same experiences. They knew the same places, had the same teachers, and some of the same friends. But this is not a tale of childhood sweethearts… like all good things, this one took some time.

Lucas graduated from Falmouth High School in 1997, attended Brown University and moved to San Francisco. Sonya graduated in 1998, attended The College of William and Mary and then moved to Burlington, Vermont for medical school. It would have been tough for the two of them to get much further apart! Fast-forward 10 years to New York City, 2008: Lucas had recently moved east to follow his passion for music. Sonya had completed medical school and was doing her internship at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx.

One summer night, a friend of Sonya’s who also happened to be a college friend of Lucas’s invited Sonya to see a concert on 5th avenue. Lucas just so happened to be playing the drums, and Lucas and Sonya reconnected. Time passed, emails were exchanged … then, one cold day in February Lucas was invited to Sonya’s birthday party. He went, they had a great time, and soon after they went on their first date.

Sonya describes their proposal: We got engaged on a beach near our house in Connecticut, called Penfield Beach in Fairfield CT. I should have known because I woke up that morning to Lucas whipping up banana bread french toast (Lucas is not known for his cooking, so to see him in the kitchen was a big surprise!) Then we went for a nice walk and at the end of the point, Lucas proposed!

Sonya and Lucas chose Camden, Maine as their wedding location because a friend of Sonya’s had been to Camden for her honeymoon and texted Sonya 2 days after her own wedding to tell her that she and Lucas had to get married there. (Lucas and Sonya were not engaged yet!) When they did finally get engaged, and their wedding planner, Meagan of Maine Seasons Events, suggested the location as well, they drove up to visit and just fell in love with the spot, it was gorgeous/romantic, and very classic “Maine.” Perfect.

Working with Maine Seasons Events to design a sophisticated nautical Maine wedding, a color palette of navy blue, pink and gold was chosen. Sonya chose blue stripe elements throughout, inspired by her stationery design from Parrott Design Studio, including custom table runners from Maine Seasons Events and her shoes from J.Crew.

The design incorporated nautical elements of gold lanterns, vintage milk glass and mercury glass, bubble gum pink napkins and gold and pink paper lanterns. Romantic flowers designed by Emily Carter Floral Designs consisted of pink flowers and blue berries. Parrott Design Studio created the escort cards, that were pinned with gold pins in a vintage frame by Maine Seasons Events.

Retrospecticus band kept the dance floor full all night, even inviting Lucas up to play drums with them. There were some notable performances from friends of the couple as well, singing with the band at the end of the evening. The beautiful celebration closed with a gold sparkler send off at the harbor’s edge.

Photography: Michelle Turner Photography / Event Design & Planning: Maine Seasons Events / Props & custom linens: Maine Seasons Events / Floral Design: Emily Carter Floral Design / Dress: Vera Wang, Ghillian / Shoes: J.Crew / Navy sash: Britex Fabrics / Veil: Lucy’s Alterations, San Bruno CA / Bride’s Jewlery and flower girl necklaces: custom made by All Things Tinsel / Cinematography: McCormick Media / Invitations: Parrott Design Studio / Cakes and desserts: 3 Dogs Cafe / Reception: Camden Yacht Club / Rings: D. Cole Jewelers / Groom’s Suit: Freemans Sporting Club / Groomsmen Suits: Classic Tuxedo / Bridesmaids Dresses: Ports 1961 via Rent the Runway / Bridesmaids shoes: Nine West / Bridesmaid clutches: ao3designs / Beverage Dinghy: Downeast Nautical Salvage / Band: Retrospecticus / Ceremony music: Stretta Ensembles / Officiant: Jay Erickson, friend of the bride and groom / Tent & rentals: One Stop Party Shoppe / Catering: Trillium Caterers / Ceremony/reception signs: handmade by Erin Gries, friend of bride and groom / Hair: Kim Doll, Camden ME / Makeup: Laurel Wiley / Lighting: John Griffin / Groom’s socks: SockBroker / Ties: Solid Color Neckties / Ring box: Groom’s grandfather’s, pillow handmade by mother of groom / Flower Girl dresses: Olivia Kate Couture / Bridesmaid robes: silkandmore / Wedding Favors: Blueberry Basket at Brock Farm / Tote bags: East Side Screen Printing

6 Over-the-Top Fantasy Wedding Dresses from the Couture Fashion Shows

by Kim Fusaro

I didn’t make it to the couture shows, but luckily the ladies of Brides rounded up a whole bunch of wedding-worthy dresses so we could  all enjoy the gorgeous!

I suppose some of these dresses are a bit “much” for the average bride, but  we’re fantasizing darlings! Just go with it!

Here are six of my favorites:

Wedding Dress 1: Chanel

Wedding Dress 2: Zuhair Murad

Wedding Dress 3: Elie Saab

 Wedding Dress 4: Christian Dior

Wedding Dress 5: Versace

Wedding Dress 6: Giambattista Valli

Photos: Fairchild Archive for