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We are thrilled to welcome visitors back to Lake Tahoe after the recent Caldor Fire. Thanks to the tireless work of all the front-line heroes and agencies who worked to protect our town and forests, Tahoe South is open and thriving. It’s the perfect time to secure your wedding date!
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Want to be in-the-know on traditional wedding etiquette? Check out this cheat sheet for the low-down on who foots the bill.

One of the most common questions we hear is, “Who pays for the wedding?” As you’ve probably noticed, this is a tough question to answer these days, especially at a time when some weddings include two brides, two grooms, or lots of blended family members.

But, we wanted to find out whether standards of etiquette for “who pays” are still floating around out there. So we took a look at what some of the top wedding resources had to say. While things have come a long way since the days of dowries and bride price, lots of folks still adhere to some standard rules when it comes to who pays for which wedding costs.

We identified a set of traditional standards, as well as a set of rules taking a more modern-traditional approach, and we put them in this handy cheat sheet for your reference. However, keep in mind that our cheat sheet is more of an averaged compilation than a hard-and-fast reference. Even lists from the most traditional of sources can vary here and there when it comes to who should foot the bill.

The Who-Pays-for-What Cheat Sheet

Engagement partyBride’s familyEither family
Rehearsal dinnerGroom’s familyGroom or family
Ceremony venue, décor & musicBride’s familyBride’s family
CateringBride’s familyBride’s family
Reception musicBride’s familyBride’s family
Bride’s attireBride’s familyBride’s family
Wedding plannerBride’s familyBride’s family
FlowersBride’s familyBride’s family
StationeryBride’s familyBride’s family
FavorsBride’s familyBride’s family
Photography & VideographyBride’s familyBride’s family
TransportationBride’s familyBride’s family
CakeBride’s familyBride’s family
Day-after brunchBride’s familyEither family
HoneymoonGroom’s familyGroom or family
Reception alcoholGroom’s familyEither family
Marriage licenseGroomGroom or family
OfficiantGroomGroom or family
Bride’s ringsGroomGroom or family
Groomsmen’s giftsGroomGroom
Groom’s attireGroomGroom or family
Wedding day gift for the brideGroomGroom
Groom’s parents’ giftGroomGroom
Wedding night accommodationsGroomGroom or family
Bridesmaid’s giftsBrideBride
Groom’s wedding bandBrideBride
Bride’s hair & makeupBrideBride
Bridesmaids’ hair & makeupBrideBridesmaids
Wedding day gift for the groomBrideBride
Bride’s parents’ giftBrideBride
Flower girl & ring bearer attireChildren’s parentsChildren’s parents
Bridesmaid’s attireBridesmaidsBridesmaids or bride’s parents
Groomsmen’s attireGroomsmenGroomsmen
Bridesmaid’s travel & accommodationsBridesmaidsBride’s family
Groomsmen’s travel & accommodationsGroomsmenGroomsmen
Bachelor party GroomsmenGroomsmen, groom’s family or friends
Bridal showerBridesmaidsBridesmaids, bride’s family or friends


Before you get busy budgeting, have some fun exploring what our incredible Lake Tahoe destination wedding venues have to offer. Visit our homepage or click on one of these venue names to start exploring:

Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe

Valhalla Resort

The Landing Resort & Spa

Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel

The Ridge Tahoe

Beach Retreat & Lodge

Zephyr Cove Resort

Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority