Wedding Finance

How to talk about important topics with your wedding party

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You’re getting married and you can’t wait to have your loved ones by your side when you say your “I do”. There’s no doubt that your bridal party is thrilled to be a part of your festivities, but they’re also likely a little worried about the costs involved – and for good reason.

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The average bridesmaid dress costs $130, according to a 2021 study by TheKnot. Plus, hairstylists and makeup artists cost an average of $80 per person. Add to that the cost of a two-day bachelorette party, which had a median spend of $350 per person in 2021 — or $150 per person for a one-day party — according to The Knot.

If you think it’s cheaper for men, you’re wrong. Groomsmen attire costs an average of $170 per person, according to TheKnot. Seriously expensive, The Knot study found that a one-day bachelor party has a median spend of $350 per person, rising to $550 for a two-day celebration.

Of course, these costs do not include expenses such as travel, a range of gifts – i.e. for your engagement party, bridal shower and wedding – and expenses that bridesmaids may incur to arrange a bridal shower.

While you may already know exactly who you want to be in your wedding party, Jodi RR Smith, president of Marblehead, Massachusetts-based Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting, says don’t ask anyone immediately after your engagement.

“Relax in the glow of this moment before you rush out to plan the wedding,” she said. “Once you have your location, venue, date, and general logistics, you can start thinking about attendees.”

Before asking your loved ones to be part of your bridal party, Smith said it’s important to think about the costs – meaning travel and accommodation costs for the wedding and all pre-wedding activities. wedding, wedding day attire and grooming services. She recommended creating a basic spreadsheet of cost estimates, so everyone can plan accordingly.

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“You’ll have to decide what you can and can’t fund,” she said. “While it’s fabulously generous to cover all costs for all your attendants, it can be prohibitively expensive.”

For example, she said you could pay for all of the hotel rooms for the wedding party on the weekend of the wedding, as well as cover the cost of attire for two attendants who couldn’t otherwise afford it.

When it comes to expenses that your bridal party will pay for itself, there is a difference between expected costs and those that are simply unreasonable.

“You just can’t expect anyone to go into debt to attend your wedding,” Smith said. “Be honest about costs, while understanding that you can’t decide how someone else spends their money.”

For example, she said if someone has saved up for a trip to Costa Rica, you can’t tell them to spend that money on your wedding instead.

She also stressed the importance of including your bridal party in decisions that affect their wallet.

“Don’t make monetary decisions and then tell your attendants after the fact,” she said.

For example, she said there’s a big difference between asking all bridesmaids to wear silver platform shoes and forcing them to buy a specific brand for $600.

Your wedding day – and the festivities that go with it – should be one of the happiest times of your life. It’s an honor to have your closest family and friends by your side through the process, so don’t stress them out with overspending.

Being on the same page from the start about wedding expenses is a must as it lets your bridal party know what is expected of them. This should make your big day a happy occasion for everyone, as your bridesmaids and groomsmen won’t be burdened with unexpected costs — and will be constantly preparing for the next bill coming their way.

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This article originally appeared on How to Discuss Important Topics with Your Wedding Party