With wedding season coming near, those that are in wedding parties might be hit with more expenses than imagined. A recent TD survey found that almost 40 per cent of Millennial and Gen X Canadians who have been in a wedding party say they felt pressured to spend more than they could afford.
The fact is, celebrating a friend or relative’s wedding as a bridesmaid or groomsman is a huge honour, but it can also be quite a hit on your finances. So much that it could directly effect your entire budgeting in place for everyday living.
In fact, the amounts spent to be in a wedding party can be significant: half of those surveyed said on average they spent – or plan to spend – between $200 and $599; and a quarter said they actually spend $600 or more for the average wedding.
It’s no surprise that being in a wedding party may cost more than what is expected. In fact, when looking back on their experiences being a bridesmaid or groomsman, 45 per cent said that they, on average, spend more than expected on wedding-related costs.
Plus, with the rise on destination bachelor/bachellorette parties – that is an additional cost that is much higher than before. While some still opt for local venues to celebrate before the day, many do choose to whoop in up in Vegas for example – adding the price of a vacation onto each bridal party persons total monies spent.
As a member of the bridal party, you might feel the pressure to get an extra-expensive gift and let’s not forget the cost of the wedding attire as well. Aside from clothing, there’s additional cost of hair & makeup and even a day at the spa for the ladies in the party.
Another dip in the wallet: perhaps you said ‘I do’ to being a bridesmaid and your spouse – a groomsman. If you have children, they could also very well be added to the party as well, as a flower girl or ring bearer. In this case, the financial hit might feel like a hurricane. After all, a family so dressed up is the perfect excuse to get professional family photos done, right? Turns out the pre-wedding jitters extends beyond the bride and groom themselves!
“Having a realistic amount in your budget also helps you stay within a spending range that you’re comfortable with and know you can afford.” says Raymond Chun, Senior Vice President, Everyday Banking and Personal and Indirect Lending at TD.
There’s no need to run from the alter, Chun has some more advise to help prepare for the cost!
Here are some great Budgeting Tips for the Wedding Party:
- Set a realistic budget: Include all of the possible costs, including wedding attire, grooming, gifts (including a shower gift), the bachelor/bachelorette party and travel. For out-of-town weddings, remember that booking travel and a hotel room as soon as possible can often help to keep those costs down, and make sure to check if the bride and groom have volume discounts at the hotel.
- Establish a savings plan: Figure out how much time there is until the wedding and set up a regularly scheduled deposit to a Tax-Free Savings Account so you’ll be able to save to help cover the expenses.
- Choose a gift early from the bridal registry: There can be a wide range of gifts (and prices) in a bridal registry, with the less expensive ones often selected early, so don’t wait to choose your gift or you may be left with one that costs more than you budgeted for. For more expensive items, consider teaming up with another bridal party member to split the costs.
- Redeem credit card reward points for as many expenses as possible: Depending on the type of credit card you have and where you shop, you may be able to use your reward points to cover the cost of a gift and your wedding attire as well as any hotel and travel costs. Whatever money you’re able to save by using points can stay in your Tax-Free Savings Account to help cover the costs of future weddings. Additionally, charging the costs to your rewards card will allow you to earn rewards faster.
- Shop around: You don’t have to buy the first bridesmaid’s dress, shoes or other accessories you find. Do your research online and in-store before making a purchase as many stores could carry the same designers at different price points.
“One of the best ways to cope with the costs of being in a wedding party is to start saving money as soon as the engagement is announced so you don’t have to scramble to find the money when asked to take part in the festivities,” said Chun.
“By setting up a separate tax-free savings account and depositing a regular amount into it each month or pay day, you’ll be able to build a savings fund for things like wedding attire, the gift and any related travel costs.”
Have you ever been in a wedding party and faced an unexpected expense?