Saying “I do!” to Being in a Wedding Party Could Cost You Big

Wedding budgeting isn’t just for the bride and groom – it’s also for the bridesmaids and groomsmen. While being part of a wedding party is an honour, it can also be quite a hit on your finances.

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. And, when looking back on their experiences being a bridesmaid or groomsman, many (45 per cent) say they spend more than expected on wedding-related costs.

Based on that survey, here are some suggestions from Raymond Chun, Senior Vice President, Everyday Banking and Personal and Indirect Lending at TD, should you find yourself saying “I do!” to being in a wedding party, yet wondering how to say “I don’t!” to overspending.

1)      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.

2)      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.

3)      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.

4)      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.

5)      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.

Me, being a pretty fab bridesmaid, in 2008.
Me, being a pretty fab bridesmaid, in 2008.

These are great tips! I haven’t been in a wedding party for 7 years now but from what I’m hearing from my girlfriends, the costs have increased significantly. I was surprised to learn that destination bachelorette parties are more common now (I used to budget for renting a hall, now bridesmaids are budgeting for a spa weekend at Banff or a shopping weekend in Vegas!) and gifts of course have increased in price over the years. As with anything, you have to be smart and also ensure you make wise choices and don’t get yourself into a situation where you’re overspending for fear of stepping on a bridezilla’s pedicured toes.

If you’re asked to be in a wedding party and have concerns about the costs involved, ensure you have a frank discussion with the couple ahead of time to manage expectations on both ends. Hopefully, having everyone on the same page will ensure a smooth wedding planning process and amazing wedding day for everyone!


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  • great tips! It is actually my first time in a wedding party (getting married march 2016) thankfully she is my best friend and has been really easy going thus far. she let us pic out our own bridesmaid dress so the cost was totally up to us which I thought was great and she is only doing a stag n doe as opposed to some people doing stags plus bridal showers etc. So fingers crossed my wallet won’t be TOO empty lol

    • I’ve noticed a trend of bridesmaids picking their own dresses, which is helpful for the budget for sure!

  • i found that oul the hard way so when my daughter was asked ,,she has 4 children and her and her husband struggle to pay the bills,i told her to tell the bride that only if the bride pays can she do it,,and the bride was okay with that,,

  • I so agree with this post! I recently just got married in January, and we had a destination wedding in Jamaica. We had only 2 bridesmaids(one being my MOH) and two groomsmen. We did everything on the cheap. Did our research online, and only bought the bridesmaid dresses on sale, same with the groomsmen & their attire. We also gave our wedding party two years in advance to book their trip to Jamaica with us & our travel agent, (and since we booked our trip way in advance, we all got a cheap deal). We told all our bridal party (& guests) not to bring gifts as the biggest gift that they could ever give us was just the fact that they were there on the beach that day to celebrate with us.

  • I am surprised most brides make the bridesmaids pay for their dresses, isn’t the point of asking someone that you’ll pay for it as thanks for all their help with planning and getting everything sorted? I have heard such stories about the bride being so picky about the bridesmaid dresses and the person feels pressured because that’s what bridezilla wants and then they have to shell out the bucks to keep her happy. My advice, elope! Lol

  • It can definitely add up! I think you need to talk with the bride too when you are asked and let her know how much you are willing to spend so things don’t get out of control and you feel “obligated”.

  • I am surprised most brides make the bridesmaids pay for their dresses,renting is the cheapest way to go and I think the bride should pay

  • I stood in two weddings and both times it was a little hard on the pocket book. I loved doing it though. the nice thing was we got to pick our own dresses and we all agreed on the choice. We made sure they were dresses we could wear later for other occasions.

  • People don’t usually think about this, but yes it’s quite costly. Between dress or suit/tuxes and parties etc, it adds up

  • Great tips. Being in a wedding party is EXPENSIVE. Nice to lessen the cost where you can yet still support your loved ones.

  • The year we got married, we also had four other weddings to attend. We were broke for a long time. The fortunate thing is that I was only in one of those other wedding parties.

  • I know! Weddings in general are so pricey, regardless of what level of involvement you have.

  • I’ve been a bridesmaid 3 times and and have been lucky to have very understanding, considerate bride friends but yes, it is very expensive. Twice I had to fly internationally for the weddings.

  • Great tips. I asked very little of my Wedding party and let them pick their dresses. I know it can add up quickly!

  • I have been in several wedding parties, and as much as I love the experience and am honored – oy! It certainly is a huge cost!

  • It is so expensive and nobody wants to say no to a close relative or best friend. I think today the bride and groom are aware and are very understanding.

  • Some great tips. And yes, being involved in a wedding can add up very quickly. Thankfully all the times I was a bridesmaid the brides were reasonable.(although I never wore any of the dresses again)

  • Very good tips. I was a bridesmaid 2 years ago, luckily the bride was very understanding so the costs for everything wasn’t too excessive and fairly manageable.

  • I agree being married and being a guest are both expensive. Sometimes one has to admit to being on a budget.