Being in a wedding party costs an average of $825. How to avoid debt and regret
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It can be expensive to be a bridesmaid or groomsman, especially in the midst of a wedding boom.
Americans spend an average of $825 to attend a wedding party, including pre-wedding events, clothing and the wedding itself, according to a recent LendingTree survey.
Meanwhile, about 2.6 million American adults will be married in 2022, up from 2.2 million typical weddings per year, thanks to pandemic-related postponements, according to wedding website The Knot.
This means that you might find yourself buying multiple bridesmaid dresses or renting multiple tuxedos in a shorter amount of time. You will also face inflation and supply chain issues.
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“The demand is high,” said Esther Lee, associate editor of The Knot. “There is a very ripe appetite to host in-person events again.”
While being invited to a wedding party is an honor, make sure you can handle the financial commitment, Lee said.
Certainly, 50% of Americans who attended a wedding party incurred debt as a result, and 56% felt pressure to spend more than they could afford, according to the LendingTree survey.
Nearly 40% of wedding party members regret spending some of the money they made.
Travel is a big reason people dig deep into their wallets. What was once a one-day event, like a bachelor or bachelorette party, can now be a three-day extravaganza that includes buying a plane ticket. More than half of those surveyed by LendingTree said they had traveled by plane to attend pre-wedding events or the wedding.
During this time, the cost of a ticket becomes more expensive. The airfare index rose 33.3% in April from a year earlier, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
There are ways to manage costs, experts say. Here’s what to keep in mind.
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Have a conversation with the bride and/or groom and be transparent with each other about expectations, Lee said.
“It’s really important to understand the health of your wallet, the health of your relationship, and whether or not those expectations align with what you want for yourself if you’re at a wedding party,” he said. she stated.
To save money
Even if you haven’t been asked to be a bridesmaid or groomsman yet, if you think it could be in your future, start saving now, advised Matt Schulz, chief analyst of the credit at LendingTree.
“Generally, most people have a lot of time to spare before big weddings,” he said. “It’s really important to take money out of your budget each month to save a little.”
At the same time, identify large items you may need to pay for and budget for your expected expenses.
If you don’t have any money saved, you risk racking up credit card debt — and that debt is set to get more expensive as interest rates continue to rise in the months ahead.
If you must resort to a credit card, use a zero-rate one, Schulz said.
“That respite from accrued interest on what you spend to be part of that wedding party can be a really, really big deal,” he said.
Gently decline offers
If you just can’t afford the extra expense of having a wedding party, you can say “no.” About 1 in 5 people declined an invitation due to expense, LendingTree found. Some 69% said it had not harmed their relationship with the bride or groom.
“Just be nice in the process and thank them for the invite,” Lee said.
You can also purchase a gift from their registry and send them a cute thank you card.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by multiple wedding invitations, just remember that this is a rare time in life, Lee said.
“If you do it right, it can be a really special time,” she said.
“You can say, ‘I was there for my friends, I proactively saved for those events, and I’m really proud of myself for being there,'” Lee said. “And you know what? In turn, they will also show up for you down the line.”
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