Who Pays for What in a Wedding?

In Muslim cultures there are two very different cultural traditions of who pays for what. In Desi (Indian sub-continent culture) it is the bride’s side who pays for most of the wedding. In other cultures e.g. Arab, Afghan, it is the groom’s side that pays for most of the wedding. Along with this add other variables: cultural influences, different geographies of bride and groom’s families, as well as the dynamics of the family situation, gives you many permutations. Below is a general guideline that you can adapt for your situation. There will be many other expenses that do come up. Use you and your families’ best judgment and spirit to decide who should pay for what.

Photo by Syed Abdul Khaliq Available Under Creative Commons

Bride, Groom or Joint Expenses

  • Reception expenses including flowers, decor and wedding coordinator
  • Photographer and Videographer
  • Invitations
  • Bride’s wedding dress and accessories
  • Groom’s suit/tuxedo

Bride and Families Expenses

  • Engagement Party
  • Bride’s family gift to groom’s family
  • Groom’s wedding ring
  • Dholki (bride’s family friends)
  • Mehndi (Henna party)

Groom and Families Expenses

  • Brides engagement and wedding rings
  • Groom’s family gift to bride’s family
  • The bride’s bouquet
  • Boutonnieres for groom’s (barat)
  • Marriage license
  • Imams officiating fee or gift
  • Transportation from reception for bride and groom
  • Honeymoon expenses
  • Transportation and lodging expenses for the groom’s family

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