The Cost of Being in Someone’s Wedding

January 29, 2020 · 8 minute read

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The Cost of Being in Someone’s Wedding

Pop the champagne! Your BFF is getting married and they’ve asked you to be in the wedding party. How exciting for both of you! It’s such an honor to be there for your friend while they celebrate entering into a new union.

Even though being a part of their day is extremely meaningful, it might come with some unforeseen financial burdens you just weren’t ready to say “I do” to.

From bridesmaid dresses and groomsmen tuxes to bachelor or bachelorette party weekends, gifts galore, and much more, the price of being in a wedding party can add up quickly.

But don’t despair or feel like you need to say no to your friend. All you need to do is understand the costs that go into being a part of the big day so you prepare and budget accordingly. Here are the basics of what you’re likely expected to pay for when you agree to take part in someone else’s wedding.

What Do Bridesmaids Pay For?

Being a bridesmaid is a wonderful tradition that allows you to support your friend as she gets ready for her big day. But it’s important to know what costs you may be responsible for before you agree to participate as a bridesmaid or even as a maid of honor.

Between the dress, accessories, and bachelorette parties, the average bridesmaid can easily spend at least $1,000 to be a part of the bridal party. Here are some of the costs you can expect to cover:

The Dress

As a bridesmaid, etiquette rules say you are expected to cover the cost of your bridesmaid dress, shoes, and any accessories the bride wants you to wear. The average cost of a bridesmaid’s dress (on the lower end) hovers around $150, and you’ll likely also be responsible for any alterations needed.

There are a few ways you could save. If your dress is from a large retailer you could always try to find it on websites like eBay or Preowned Wedding Dresses . If it’s a designer dress, you could try to rent it on websites like Rent the Runway .

As a bonus, by renting the dress you get to send it back after the wedding, because we all know you’re never going to “shorten it and wear it again.

Hair and Makeup

Hair and makeup can be a more delicate subject when it comes to deciding who will pay. Traditionally, if the bride requests everyone in the bridal party have their hair and makeup done in a certain style, she should cover the cost.

If, as a bridesmaid, you ask to have your hair and makeup done and the bride didn’t offer, you should cover the cost. On average, professionally styled hair and makeup for bridesmaids costs around $75 for each service .

If the bride doesn’t offer to pay but still expects you to have your hair and makeup done for her wedding, ask if it’s okay to do it yourself so you can save a little cash. Just make sure to stay within the color palette and style she wants so you won’t clash with everyone else at the altar.

If the bride doesn’t offer to pay but still expects you to have your hair and makeup done for her wedding, ask if it’s okay to do it yourself so you can save a little cash. Just make sure to stay within the color palette and style she wants so you won’t clash with everyone else at the altar.

The Bachelorette Party

The bachelorette party is arguably the most fun part of being a bridesmaid. It’s a night (or several nights) to hang out and let loose with some awesome ladies! But even in all the excitement, the bachelorette party can add stress to an already tight budget.

Some brides will plan lavish parties, and it’s increasingly popular for a bride to do a weekend destination bachelorette party. These costs can ultimately take up a large portion of your bridesmaid budget.

Things a bridesmaid will likely be expected to pay for on a bachelorette party trip might include any of their own personal transportation, accommodations, and meals.

Of course, you’ll likely be splitting the bride’s costs with other friends for the night or the weekend, too.

Wedding Travel and Hotel Accommodations

Traveling to a wedding is a cost anyone invited may incur. But as a member of the bridal party, you may need to arrive early or stay late, possibly incurring extra costs for the extra days. The cost of traveling to a wedding will vary depending on how far away it is and how long you plan to stay.

You may need to cover the cost of a flight or the cost of a road trip on top of a hotel stay. And with destination weddings on the rise, the cost of attending weddings could get even more expensive.

Don’t forget to add any meals you may have to have on your own outside of the wedding night festivities. But if you can plan ahead, try to book a stay at a hotel where breakfast is included so you can at least avoid having to pay for coffee and a bagel in the morning.

To try saving even more, doing a cost analysis to see if a hotel or a home rental is cheaper might pay off. Websites like Airbnb, Vrbo, and HomeAway could be chock-full of listings for homes and apartments available near your friend’s wedding anywhere in the world.

Gifts

Members of the wedding party traditionally give both engagement and wedding gifts. If there is a bridal shower, bridesmaids usually give a gift at that celebration, as well. All those presents can add up quickly. Typically, a bridal shower gift ranges between $25 and $75 , and the average wedding gift is about $100 .

If your budget is tight, you might consider choosing something from the couple’s registry—if they have one—that is affordable for you.
You might also consider contributing to a group gift, which could possibly allow you to give something a bit nicer than you could afford on your own.

What Does the Maid of Honor Pay For?

The Maid of Honor has quite a few more responsibilities than the other bridesmaids. As the bride’s right-hand woman, she is there to assist with any tasks she can take off the bride’s to-do list to ease the stress and burden of the day.

However, financially, she could expect to pay about the same as the bridesmaids. The exception to this is if the Maid of Honor is hosting the bridal shower, she would be expected to cover the costs. In return, the bride typically gifts the Maid of Honor with something special as a token of her appreciation at the end of the wedding.

What Do Groomsmen Pay for?

Groomsmen have similar responsibilities to bridesmaids—to support the groom on his big day and assist with planning the bachelor party.

The average cost of being a groomsman is around $405 , but that cost can also vary greatly depending on the wedding. Here are some of the costs groomsman can anticipate.

Formalwear or Tuxedo Rental

As a groomsman, you’ll likely need to either buy a new suit or rent a tuxedo for the event. On average, renting a tux costs about $135 . You may need to add to that total for certain accessories like cufflinks, a tie, and shoes.

Bachelor Party

As a groomsman, you’ll probably take part in planning the bachelor party and will most likely cover your own costs.
Destination bachelor parties are becoming more and more common, so you may need to factor in airfare, hotel accommodations, food, drinks, and other activities. Again, like bachelorette parties, you may need to split the groom’s cost with the other attendees as well.

Wedding Gift

You should also plan on getting the lovely couple a wedding gift—which usually costs around $100. Like bridesmaids, you may be able to find a reasonably priced gift on the couple’s registry as well.

Paying for All of It

It’s nice to be there for your friends, but being in a wedding isn’t cheap. And, if you happen to be a person who is juggling more than one wedding this year, your wedding party-related expenses may be skyrocketing. If you don’t have quite enough saved and are thinking of putting all of those expenses on a credit card, consider a personal loan instead.

An unsecured personal loan offers you the opportunity to borrow money, if you need to, at a potentially lower interest rate than most credit cards. This means that when you factor in interest, you could spend less money by taking out a personal loan rather than covering the cost with your card.

If money is a big factor in whether you can accept the duties you’ve been asked to take on, having an honest conversation with the bride and groom might be a better route than to take on debt by being in their wedding party.

If you’ve already paid for wedding expenses with a credit card and are managing credit card debt, you might consider consolidating your credit card debt with a personal loan, which could potentially result in a lower interest rate as well.

Those that qualify for a personal loan with SoFi should know there are no origination fees or prepayment penalties. The application process is fast and can be completed entirely online. That way you can get it done quickly and get on with planning all the wedding fun instead.

Don’t let the cost of being in a wedding keep you from celebrating the lovely couples in your life. See how a personal loan from SoFi can help.


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