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Susan Breslow Sardone

Honeymoon Q & A: Who Pays for the Honeymoon?

By February 19, 2010

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The Groom's Mother Writes:

    My son is getting married in 2 months and tonight told me the honeymoon would cost $10,000. He insists that the groom's parents pay for this traditionally. I have never heard of this.

    My husband and I cannot possibly deal with this at this late date, and feel that even if this is true, the considerate thing to do would have been to let us know a year ago, 6 months ago, not 2 months from the wedding.

    Is the honeymoon in fact the groom's parents' responsibility?

    I thought the couple saved for their honeymoon and went somewhere they could afford. I don't want this to ruin what should be a happy time for the entire family.


In this day and age there is no set rule on who pays for the honeymoon. However, while the bride is deeply involved in the wedding planning, the groom often takes the responsibility to plan -- but not necessarily pay for -- the honeymoon (with the bride's input, of course).

Often a couple will fund the honeymoon themselves, especially when parents pick up the tab for the wedding. A couple who can't afford an expensive honeymoon can delay their getaway, take a shorter one than planned, drive instead of fly, or visit a place in the off season to save money.

Another way to deal with the expense of a honeymoon is by having the couple register for travel gifts at a Honeymoon Bridal Registry.

August 16, 2007 at 9:46 pm
(1) H says:

Everything I’ve read says that the groom and his family are responsible for the honeymoon, not to mention everything for the groom and the flowers.

Sounds to me like you want someone to agree with you on getting out of paying for your responsibility. If the bride’s family is footing a massive bill, the least the groom’s family can do is put up for the honeymoon.

August 16, 2007 at 10:07 pm
(2) honeymoons says:

That the bride’s family pays for the wedding and the groom and his family pick up the tab for the honeymoon reflect the old rules, when couples married at a younger age. Families can still agree to abide by those terms, but there’s a lot more flexibility now, especially since lots of couples now foot the bill for their own wedding and don’t depend on parents.

April 1, 2008 at 1:43 am
(3) Nancy says:

A professional couple has lived together for over a year, and own their own home. The bride is a close relative. The bride’s father and stepmother have given a gift of $10,000 for the wedding (never expecting to be completely excluded from any planning. Their friends are not allowed to be invited. No children are allowed (outside morning wedding). “No gifts please, but we are accepting donations toward our honeymoon.” Honeymoon about 1-1/2 hours away. Staying at the ranch of a friend for a week. Would you give money? I’m from the old school and say, “No.” Would you just send a congratulatory card?

April 1, 2008 at 7:55 am
(4) honeymoons says:

Sounds like they’ve handed you a lot of rules. And the one shilling for honeymoon donations is tacky. But the rule I stick by is, if you go to the wedding, you give a gift.

If you don’t want to buy help to fund their low-cost honeymoon, make a donation in their names to a charity they support and include the info in the card you send.

Keep in mind that couples do remember if they’ve been stiffed by guests, and you don’t want things to get off on the wrong foot.

Good luck.

November 21, 2008 at 12:10 am
(5) Senorita says:

That is the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard! In this day & age, there is no such thing as the bride or groom’s parents having to pay for any part of the wedding. If they wish to do so, then great but if not, them it should be the sole responsibility of the couple who decided that they want an elaborate honeymoon which they cannot afford!

March 25, 2009 at 6:11 am
(6) blushing bride says:

If the families are big then it is fair to have a contribution from both sides – but not for the honeymoon.

June 5, 2009 at 10:13 am
(7) laura honeymoon says:

Traditionally speaking the brides family picks up the bill for the wedding and the grooms family the beverages. The Couple then pays for the honeymoon.

This day and age everything is changing but there is NO way that traditionally the grooms parents pay for the honeymoon.

As I do book honeymoons I know that some parents make a contribution but most people these days set up a honeymoon registry like the one mentioned above.

Clare from African Honeymoons

June 10, 2009 at 12:35 am
(8) John Sunset says:

Your son is being cheap and rude to both
his father and mother.Just think what next
he will want you both to for him.

Groom wake up and smell the roses

July 30, 2009 at 3:48 am
(9) Bali says:

I want have my honeymoon but my parent cannot pay for me…

July 30, 2009 at 4:05 am
(10) Honeymoon says:

What couple can pay for a luxury honeymoon today

, , ,

July 30, 2009 at 4:11 am
(11) Honeymoon says:

The honeymoon destination is more and more easy to find but the luxury honeymoon is rare.

, , ,

August 25, 2009 at 3:35 pm
(12) beverly says:

When I got married my parents paid for the wedding and my new husband and I paid for our honeymoon with the money we received from the guests who were invited to the wedding. We also paid for the flowers, band and booze. My in-laws paid for the rehersal dinner, filled out their families invitations and helped pay for stamps. If the bride and groom would worry about the MARRIAGE and stop worrying about the wedding I guarentee more marriages would last.

October 24, 2009 at 11:08 am
(13) Melly says:

I don’t know a single person whose parents chipped in more than a few hundred dollars for their wedding. My husband and I got married as broke college kids and we had to front everything except for my dress, which my mother gave me 200 dollars to spend on it. I had to make my own flowers and everything. It’s now been 3 years since we got married and my parents have yet to get us a wedding gift. This is not abnormal. It is important to note that they think my husband is great. It’s not that they are poor, either. A marriage is a declaration of independence from your parents financially– a merger of estates between you and your spouse. If you can’t afford a big wedding then get married at a courthouse, or in someone’s back yard. The wedding is the least important part of a marriage. Why spend so much on it?

September 9, 2010 at 10:32 am
(14) Patti says:

I think it shouldn’t be specifically just the grooms side or the brides side that should be responsible for the honeymoon. I think that if a wedding is the union of 2 people, than the two families can help out with everything, including the honeymoon registry

June 3, 2011 at 6:43 pm
(15) Becky says:

I am a bride, getting married in a month.

My advice would be: pay something toward the honeymoon. Even $50 bucks would make your future daughter-in-law feel like you care.

July 29, 2011 at 1:29 pm
(16) Angela says:

Has everyone forgotten how horrible the economy is? If 2 people want a 10,000 dollar honeymoon, then stop being so selfish and pay for it yourself. My mom and I aren’t close and I haven’t talked to my dad in over 5 years. My future husband will have to deal with us paying for the wedding and the honeymoon together. Its a new day people. It’s 2011. Its not the parents “responsibility” to pay for anything. Get with it.

October 13, 2011 at 10:56 pm
(17) Tammy says:

Charge it!!!! Just kidding .. a honeymoon should b enjoyed ans not stressful

May 17, 2012 at 12:41 pm
(18) Future Mother N Law says:

I went and looked up all the old traditions. You can google and ask who pays for what. Traditionally it says: Brides parents pay for wedding. Groom pays for Honeymoon. However, there are some other responsiblities for the parents of the grrom like the grooms cake and the rehearsal dinner. If you go by the old ways. I think however its lovely if everyone can work together and help pay for what they are able. A good suggestion is to try and prepare ahead. Do your homework on pricing things and it will help let others have a better idea how they can help.

June 17, 2012 at 6:18 pm
(19) spike says:

I was curious about what was considered traditional and how it was being done in more modern times, but the situation in the original post is truly a jaw-dropper. While I can appreciate the fairness in asking the groom’s and bride’s family to at least somewhat equally share the expenses including rehearsal, wedding and honeymoon, It is also a fact of modern times (unlike when these traditions were founded) that the bride and groom might come from vastly differing backgrounds financially speaking. To ask one family to spend three years of mortgage payments while the other family merely sacrifices their usual four week holiday in Greece is hardly “fair.”.

The right thing to do would be for the bride and groom to discuss wedding finances well ahead of time with their own families respectively and get a more realistic grip on what, if anything, would be asking too much.

July 13, 2012 at 4:18 pm
(20) Weddinggirl says:

I just got married a year ago. My husband and I both have good jobs and are 30 years old. I sat down with both my inlaws and parents and let them know that we would be in complete control of the wedding and they had no responsibility financially. We paid for our wedding, reception, and honeymoon ourselves. We had a ceremony and honeymoon that we could afford and it worked out beautifully.

Therefore, it is not the 50′s. People are getting married later than even 15 years ago, as they establish careers. Unless the wedding is a ‘shot-gun’ wedding, the bride and groom should have a wedding and honeymoon that they can afford. We have all seen too many of the spoiled kids turning into ‘bridezillas’ on tv and that is horrible. Pay for a wedding and honeymoon you can afford or save up for one!!!

August 24, 2012 at 10:41 am
(21) Khall says:

What a rude thing for someone to suggest that a family is “trying to get out of” their responsibilities for a wedding.

There are many incidences where a family simply cannot afford to pay for such a horrendously expensive honeymoon, and in this day and age, a lot of newlyweds are saving for their own getaway.
If these children wanted a 10k honeymoon forked over to them, they needed to give their family a lot more notice.

In our situation, a 10k honeymoon would mean we don’t pay our bills, and my children understand this.

October 8, 2012 at 10:55 pm
(22) MOTG says:

Why would anyone think they deserve a honeymoon that someone else should pay for? You are husband and wife after the ceremony, now act like it and pay for a nice vacation yourself! Kids these days expect way too much, lavish weddings, bachlorette/bachlore parties out of state, designer dresses etc, and what is the divorce rate? It’s ridiculous! There is no dowery anymore!

December 10, 2012 at 2:53 pm
(23) eric says:

Not your responsibility. Rude. Son needs real wake-up call from mom & dad. I’d not pay a dime simply due to how he racks up a $10K honeymoon bill & *expects* you to pay for it, with a 2 month notice.

December 30, 2012 at 4:44 pm
(24) Sheila says:

I’d never heard of the groom’s family having any responsibility for the cost of the honeymoon, tho money towards it was always welcome. Certainly there was no question of that when I was married. Seems to me if you are old enough to consider yourself sufficiently mature to marry, you are old enough to be responsible for the planning a honeymoon you can afford – part of the ‘adulthood’ entry fee, as it were.

I’d have been terribly embarrassed to have been ‘treated’ to my own honeymoon by my parents; would have seemed like they hadnt accepted I was grown up yet and still needed my presents from them.

February 16, 2013 at 3:55 pm
(25) Father of 6 says:

You can’t pick and choose the traditions you want to stick to when it comes to marriage and weddings. If one wants to use the original traditions, the honeymoon was paid for by the groom, not his parents. The newer “tradition” of the groom’s family paying seems to be more popular, for obvious reasons. But if they want to say it’s traditional for the parents to pay, to that I would say let’s stick to the other traditions as well; like not having a baby first, like having a real job so you can properly support a family first, like not already having debt you can’t afford, like not living together for months beforehand. If the kids get to be selective about which traditions count, then so do I.

August 30, 2013 at 11:56 pm
(26) Laeuca says:

They have been living together for about a year and a half. I was just informed that we the grooms parents are responsible for the flight to Hawaii. Who needs a honeymoon? They have been playing house and didn’t think of anyone else when they decided to move in together, now they want a big wedding and honeymoon.

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