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Women used to be seen as a financial burden on their parents and then on their husbands, so it was expected that the bride’s family would pay for the wedding as a sort-of unofficial dowry. And while the idea of a woman being a burden has waned significantly over generations, the tradition of a woman’s family paying for the nuptials has persisted. Today, the costs of a wedding are a discussion between the engaged couple and their families. Sometimes both families and the couples split the cost, and sometimes the couple will just pay for the whole party themselves.