These days, there aren't any hard and fast rules for who foots the wedding bill. Traditionally, the bride's family has often been the unlucky bunch who gets stuck with the check, but luckily, that old-school (and frankly, über-sexist) etiquette rule is going the way of the dodo. Our 2016 American wedding study revealed that many of today's couples are funding their weddings themselves, with 73 percent paying for or contributing to the cost. Similarly, the royally engaged Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are also bucking tradition by not sticking Meghan's family with their wedding bill. So who's actually picking up the tab?
First of all, can you imagine getting stuck paying the costs of a royal wedding when you're not actually a royal? Rude. These ornate nuptials often come with a bill to match. CNN estimates that the wedding could cost upwards of £500,000 (that's $670,000 for us across the pond). "I can't imagine Harry and Meghan would be able to achieve the wedding they would be looking at on anything less than [that]," London-based luxury wedding planner Aimee Dunne told the news outlet.
So, out of whose bank account comes that six-figure sum? In what is the complete opposite of the long-standing tradition, the groom's family will be funding the festivities. This was confirmed through a statement from Kensington Palace, released soon after Harry and Meghan's engagement announcement. "As was the case with the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Royal Family will pay for the core aspects of the wedding, such as the church service, the associated music, flowers, decorations, and the reception afterwards," reads the statement.
Meghan's family, probably:
But that doesn't mean that the royal family will necessarily be covering all the costs associated with throwing the wedding of the century. According to Town & Country, Meghan will probably be paying for her own wedding dress, as Kate Middleton's family reportedly did back in 2011. (Bummer.)
Town & Country further reports that British taxpayers will also be contributing to the cost of the day—specifically, the cost of security for the couple's venue of St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle and the surrounding streets. Similarly, with the price of police protection not included in the estimated big-day bill, taxpayers covered the costs of Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding security, as the "government provided the police with a special £3.6 million ($4.8 million) grant that was used to cover overtime pay for officers," according to CNN.
"Security at such a historic building would also no doubt be a big consideration, especially with recent security threats and terrorist concerns," added Dunne.
However, the U.K. government can expect to see a sizable return on their royal wedding expenses. According to an estimate from Reuters, the wedding could generate as much as 500 million pounds for the United Kingdom's economy (which translates to a whopping $680 million) through an increase in tourism and souvenirs purchased by royal wedding fanatics—aka us.