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Your Wedding Financial Questions Answered: Who Pays for What?

Who pays what, for your wedding? A guide to the costs of your big day.

Who's going to pay for your big day?

Planning a wedding involves navigating a myriad of financial responsibilities, both for the couple and their guests. Questions about who pays for what can cause stress and confusion. Here, we address some common financial questions, including whether the bride or groom should pay for their hen or stag party, acceptable amounts to spend on wedding presents, and the appropriate amount to budget for attending a wedding.

Should the Hen or Stag Pay for Their Hen or Stag Party?

Traditionally, the cost of hen and stag parties (also known as bachelorette and bachelor parties) is covered by the attendees, typically the bridal party or close friends of the bride and groom. This custom stems from the idea that these celebrations are a gift to the soon-to-be-married individual. However, modern interpretations of this tradition can vary significantly.

Some couples prefer to contribute or cover the entire cost, especially if the celebration involves travel or significant expenses. Ultimately, the decision should be based on open communication and the financial comfort of everyone involved. If the bride or groom chooses to pay, it’s a generous gesture that can alleviate financial strain on their friends. On the other hand, if friends are covering the costs, they should be considerate of everyone’s budget and plan accordingly.

The amount spent on a wedding present can depend on several factors, including your relationship with the couple, your budget, and cultural norms. Generally, spending between £40 and £120 is considered appropriate. For close family or friends, you might lean toward the higher end of this range, while for more distant acquaintances, the lower end might suffice.

A helpful guideline is to consider the cost of your attendance. If you're attending a lavish event, you might feel inclined to give a more generous gift, although it's important to stay within your means. Many couples also create registries with a range of items at different price points, which can help guests choose a gift within their budget.

How Much Should You Budget as a Wedding Guest?

Attending a wedding can be an expensive endeavour. Here’s a breakdown of potential costs and what you might expect to spend:

  1. Travel: Depending on the location, travel expenses can vary greatly. Domestic weddings might require only a tank of petrol or a short train journey, while destination weddings could involve significant airfare and accommodations. On average, you might spend £150-£400 on travel.

  2. Attire: The cost of attire can also vary. Renting a tuxedo or purchasing a new dress can cost between £80 and £250. If the wedding has a specific dress code or theme, this might increase costs.

  3. Accommodation: If the wedding is not local, you’ll need to budget for accommodation. Hotels can range from £80 to £250 per night. Many couples reserve blocks of rooms at discounted rates, so it’s worth checking this option.

  4. Miscellaneous: Other expenses include gifts, meals outside of the wedding events, and possible activities surrounding the wedding, like a pre-wedding dinner or post-wedding brunch.

On average, being a wedding guest can cost between £ 300 and £800. It’s essential to plan ahead and budget accordingly, considering all potential expenses.


Weddings are joyous occasions that come with financial considerations for everyone involved. Whether deciding who pays for hen or stag parties, determining how much to spend on a wedding present, or budgeting for attending a wedding, it’s crucial to communicate openly and plan within your means. By understanding these financial norms and planning accordingly, you can fully enjoy the celebration without undue financial stress.


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