Bride's Family: Traditional Expenses

For those of you who cling to tradition, you'll want and need to know what it is you're hanging onto, at least as far as this wedding is concerned. Once your daughter comes home and announces her engagement, start considering wedding finances. The wedding spending starts now.

Toasting the Happy Couple

The bride's family traditionally hosts the first engagement party, but this is not an obligation. If you choose not to host this event, make it very clear to those who are inquiring about the party. The MOG might be interested in hosting this event.

What does the engagement party entail, financially? That depends on whether you're planning a formal or informal affair. An at-home party is obviously cheaper (the food, the entertainment, the free use of your own home), but formal gatherings are also popular, depending on the bride and groom's style.


You do not need to send formal, professionally printed invitations for an engagement party unless it's a formal event. Save that money for another wedding-related expense (there will be many). Store-bought invites will suffice for this occasion.

The cost of this party will also depend on how many guests you're inviting, which is entirely up to you. You'll want to include members of the groom's family, of course, but beyond that, you can invite the entire town — or no one else. Everyone you invite to the engagement party, though, must also be invited to the wedding.

The MOB's Bill

Relatively speaking, the cost of the engagement party is nothing compared to the cost of the wedding. What else does the bride's family pay for — traditionally? The bride herself usually pays for wedding gifts for the groom and her attendants and for the groom's wedding ring. Her parents are traditionally responsible for:

  • The bride's dress (and, of course, the MOB's dress)

  • Most of the flowers

  • Musicians for the church and the reception

  • Fee for the church

  • Transportation for the wedding party

  • Photographer and videographer

  • Invitations

  • Reception hall

  • Food

  • Drinks


Weddings can be incredibly expensive, and for some families, it's just not feasible or realistic to fork over $30,000 for one day's amusement. Make a budget and stick to it! Be realistic with your time, number of guests, and money.

You may think this is some sort of joke, but it's not. The bride's family really does cover all of these expenses in a traditional arrangement.

The amount of money the bride's family ends up shelling out is dependent on several factors: the type of wedding (formal, semiformal, informal); the size of the guest list; and how creative the bride and her mom are when it comes to cutting costs. These factors will vary from wedding to wedding and might not end up being as daunting as you originally thought they would be.

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