Getting invited to someone's wedding often requires new clothes, a gift that doesn't suck, and in some cases, travel before you RSVP. But getting asked to be IN a wedding can actually turn into a enough credit card debt to send someone on a nice honeymoon. And while you'd think bridesmaids handily outspend groomsmen, the results of a new survey suggest the opposite: men pay more. A lot more.
A firm called GOBankingRates surveyed more than 1,000 recent bridesmaids and groomsmen and found that the average cost of being part of either group easily tops $1,000, when you add up things like clothing, bachelor and bachelorette parties, gifts, and other expenses. And while bridesmaids were found to spend about $214 on their attire for the wedding, groomsmen were shown to shell out about $245 for their tuxes. Additionally, groomsmen tend to vastly outspend bridesmaids when it comes to "pre-wedding festivities, with the average bachelor party setting them back $681.13 versus the average bachelorette party cost of $437.31 -- a difference of about $244.
With that said, it should come as no surprise that the best men were found to spend an average of $998.78 on the bachelor party, while the maids of honor said they spend an average of $552.33. The results also show that as many as 30% of groomsmen drop $200 or more on gifts, but only 20% of bridesmaids spend that much. However, 28% of both bridesmaids and groomsmen report spending at least $300 on incidental expenses, and 30% of both groups said they spent more money on being part of the wedding than they anticipated, according to a press release. We're assuming, though, that these figures don't account for things like bail money and, uh, "dancers."
Cameron Huddleston, Life + Money columnist for GOBankingRates, sums it up perfectly with this understatement: "[Y]ou should think carefully about whether you can afford the costs of being a bridesmaid or groomsman before saying yes. If you do agree to be part of someone's special day, you certainly should create a budget and stick to it.”
No matter what, it'll all be worth the money when you realize it might be closest you'll ever be to getting married. OK, OK, we're just kidding. Calm down.
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Tony Merevick is Cities News Editor at Thrillist and is pretty grateful he's not asked to participate or attend weddings that often. Send news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @tonymerevick.