The Sound of Wedding Bells: Cha Ching!
Pay Up to Party
Weddings are expensive events. Of course that is true for the couple getting hitched, but it’s also true for the men and women who are asked to join the wedding party. Between bachelor outings, renting a tux, and the associated travel, groomsmen and bridesmaids are opening up their wallets.
A recent survey from LendingTree found the average spend for members of the wedding party to be $825. Affirm (AFRM) released a consumer spending report showing 36% of consumers have had to say “no” to joining a wedding party because of the elevated cost. With prices rising amid inflation, affordability is unlikely to improve anytime soon.
Plan Well Ahead
Ideally you will have some time to map out your expenses if you are asked to join a wedding party. Once the wedding date is established you can determine the amount of time left to save up, as well as estimate the total costs. The budget should be comprehensive and include travel costs, attire, the bachelor or bachelorette party, and any gift you may plan to give.
From there, stick to the plan. Determine how much needs to be saved each week and where you need to compromise or cut back. Budgeting is a good financial practice anytime, but especially when planning for a specific event. Depending on how much time you have to save up, a certificate of deposit (CD) or high-yield savings account could make sense.
Many weddings are highly structured, including what’s expected of people in the wedding party. This may limit your financial flexibility, but it’s important to know what alternatives are available. For example, if it’s possible to rent your dress, tuxedo, or suit, that’s preferable to buying when short on cash.
That same thinking can go toward hair and makeup. If you can do it yourself, that saves money. Another option is to use credit card reward points as opposed to cash if you’re traveling for a destination wedding. Weddings are beautiful and often a lot of fun, but they’re also very expensive — so plan before you party.
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