Wedding inflation hits bridesmaids and groomsmen
There is no reason to fear getting a call from a groom or bride asking you to join the wedding.
Unless you can’t afford or don’t want to afford the dollar expense of weddings.
Nuptials spent an average of $825 on the big event, with travel, clothing, pre-wedding events and the wedding being the big cash culprits, according to data from Lending Tree.
Perhaps that’s why 56% of people who attend a bridal party say they “felt pressured” into spending more than they wanted on the wedding.
“People feel pressured to spend, partly because they don’t want to be a party pooper or they just don’t feel like it’s their place to say anything,” says Matt Schulz, chief credit analyst at LendingTree. “It can make a potential bridesmaid or groomsman reluctant to speak up, even if the price of remaining silent is a good debt.”
Be comfortable with the expenses of the wedding
Any anxiety about wedding expenses can be alleviated with a double dose of transparency and honesty. Take these tips to the chapel (or maybe not at all) when wedding costs spiral out of control.
Set boundaries: Claire Hunsaker, a San Francisco-based financial planner, says setting financial boundaries in a wedding scenario is the way to go.
“By setting a maximum spending limit in advance, you make the financial decision less personal,” Hunsaker said. “Save as much as you can and put it in a sinking fund (i.e. a fund where you can invest the cash that’s available in the fund for a few months).”
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That way, Hunsaker said, you let the bride know that it’s a financial priority assigned to her wedding, and also that it’s a set amount. “It also helps establish a boundary that protects your finances, while strengthening the relationship,” she adds. “It also reminds the bride that her bridal party will have a range of budgets and she needs to consider this beforehand.”
Be honest with the bride or groom
Be honest. It’s okay to be transparent if you have any doubts about the wedding expenses.
“It’s not always comfortable talking about money, but if spiraling costs are causing you anxiety, it’s worth talking to the couple and explaining your limits,” notes Zoe Burke, editor. from Hitched, a wedding industry publication.
The bride and groom should also have their eyes wide open.
“If you’re the one making the plans, when it comes to pre-wedding celebrations, making extra events optional will help ease the strain on the pockets of your bridal party,” Burke adds. “For example, let them know you don’t want any freebies. Plus, talking to your wedding venue or nearby accommodation to negotiate a group booking discount is a good way to cut costs.
Just say no.” In the Lending Tree survey, 62% of Americans believe wedding costs are spiraling out of control. Nearly 20% of people have turned down an invitation to attend a wedding due to expense, and the vast majority ( 69%) say there was “no harm in their relationship with the bride or groom.”
In this context, rescinding a bridal shower invitation is OK.
“Basically, you’re an adult and you have the right to say no,” says Lauren Anastasio, director of financial advice (and CFP) at Stash, an investment, banking and education platform. “It’s hard to feel like you’re going to disappoint someone you love, but you have to be realistic about your financial limits.”
“The last thing you want is to feel resentful towards the bride or groom if you run into financial difficulties committing to the wedding when you can’t afford it,” Anastasio adds.