Wedding planning has never been more difficult, with bigger budgets leading to larger sums of debt. This is why the trend of using events as a key aspect in marketing companies like AirBnB and Uber are becoming increasingly popular for businesses.

The “biggest wedding expenses” is the amount of money that people are spending on their weddings. This number has been increasing over the years, even though guests are not actually contributing to the cost.

Even guests are overspending on weddings

According to the current LendingTree poll of over 2,100 customers, more than half of Americans who have been in a wedding party have felt pressured to spend more than they could afford.

“Weddings are expensive, even if you’re not the one getting married,” says Matt Schulz, chief credit analyst at LendingTree. That might explain why half of bridal party members said they used credit cards to pay for their wedding expenses.

Learn about the most expensive wedding-related expenditures, as well as how much individuals are spending and how to manage The expense of the bridal party.

Image courtesy of iStock/Artem Zakharov.

The most important discoveries

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  • 50 percent of Americans who have been in a wedding bridal party have acquired debt as a consequence of their involvement. Bridal party members spend an average of $825 on apparel, pre-wedding festivities, and the wedding day, which represents a major financial commitment.
  • Sixty-six percent of bridal party members had felt pressured to spend more money than they could afford, particularly on pre-wedding festivities such as bachelor and bachelorette parties. While 42 percent believe the bride put pressure on them, about the same number (43 percent) think it was self-inflicted.
  • Nearly 40% of bridesmaids, groomsmen, and other members of the wedding party regret spending some of their money. As a side note, around one-tenth of those who attended a wedding are no longer friends with the bride or groom. This is particularly prevalent among those who were married more than two years ago.
  • One of the reasons wedding party members spend so much money is to travel. More than half of those polled (55%) said they flew to attend pre-wedding celebrations or the wedding itself. Nearly a third of those who traveled did so for a bachelor or bachelorette party, which was the most prevalent reason for travel.
  • 62 percent of Americans believe that wedding party prices are out of control. Approximately one-fifth of consumers have declined an offer to attend a wedding owing to financial constraints, with the clear majority (69 percent) claiming that their relationship with the bride or groom has not suffered as a consequence.

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Bridal party members end themselves in debt as a result of weddings.

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This is greatest among millennials (those between the ages of 26 and 41), with 54 percent, and is followed by:

  • 49 percent of Gen Xers (ages 42 to 56)
  • Gen Zers (those between the ages of 18 and 25): 47%
  • Baby boomers (ages 57 to 76) make up 27% of the population.

In addition, males are more likely than women to carry credit card debt (53 percent vs. 47 percent).

The average amount spent by bridal party members on clothes, pre-wedding celebrations, and the wedding itself is $824. Over the last ten years, bridal party members have revealed that they had spent an average of $2,142 on 2.6 weddings.

Many individuals tolerate getting into credit card debt for these occasions because they feel obligated to contribute to making the occasion memorable.

LendingTree is the source of this image.

More than half have felt compelled to spend more than they can afford.

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In fact, more than half of wedding party members (56 percent) report to feeling compelled to spend more than they could afford. Pre-wedding events accounted for 39% of the expenses.

“People feel forced to spend in part because they don’t want to be a downer or because they don’t feel like it’s their place to say anything,” says Schulz. “This might make a prospective bridesmaid or groomsman hesitant to speak out, even if being silent comes at a high cost.”

Many people also appreciate how difficult organizing a wedding can be, and they don’t want to add to the bride or groom’s stress by haggling over money.

LendingTree is the source of this image.

Pressures to spend more money are increasing.

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This kind of pressure has been increasingly widespread in recent years, which is interesting. In fact, 63 percent of Americans who have been a member of a bridal party in the last two years say they have felt pressure, compared to 58 percent who have been a part of one three to five years ago and 41 percent who have been a part of one six to ten years ago.

When asked who they blamed for the stress, a somewhat larger proportion answered themselves rather than the bride:

  • I, for one (43 percent )
  • The bridesmaids (42 percent )
  • Members of the wedding party who aren’t bridesmaids or groomsmen (29 percent )
  • The bridegroom (22 percent )

Millennials blamed the bride, while Gen Zers and Gen Xers acknowledged higher pressure from themselves. The brides and the baby boomers were equally mentioned.

Unfortunately, 41% reported that wedding costs harmed their connection with another member of the bridal party, most typically the bride.

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For some members of the wedding party, excessive expenditure leads to regret.

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Almost four out of ten members of the wedding party say they regret how much they spent. There are a variety of reasons why someone can regret spending money as part of a bridal party, including if the expenditures were considerably more than intended or if the individual lost their job or had a medical problem soon after the wedding and wished they hadn’t spent so much.

“It’s logical that people would desire they could get part of that money back if the marriage itself doesn’t survive long,” Schulz adds.

Another cause for everyone’s remorse? About one-tenth of individuals who have been in wedding parties in the last decade say they are no longer friends with the bride or groom. Among Gen Xers, this figure jumps a few percentage points to 11%.

Deposit Photos provided the image.

Bridesmaids and groomsmen spend the majority of their money on travel and clothes.

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More than half of bridal party members (55%) have paid for a flight as part of the wedding celebrations, with the bachelor/bachelorette party being the most frequent reason (27 percent ). The fact that these pre-wedding events are the second most expensive bridal party expenditure after apparel is largely due to the high cost of flight.

The bachelor/bachelorette party may be quite expensive, and Schulz believes that it’s typically the most difficult thing to say no to.

He explains, “The difficulty is that everyone’s financial condition is different.” “And it may generate genuine strain if the bride or groom has champagne intentions while some of the wedding party has a cheap-beer budget.”

Image credit: iStock/Image Source.

The expense of the bridal party

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However, getting ready for the big day takes up the majority of the wedding party’s finances. Bridesmaid gowns cost an average of $130 per person, while groomsmen suits cost an average of $170 — and modifications may cost just as much. Here’s what members of the wedding party claim it cost them the most:

  • Dress code (32 percent )
  • Party for the bachelor/bachelorette (29 percent )
  • The journey to and from the wedding (21 percent )
  • Shower for the bride (15 percent )

Men differ from the overall trend, with 35% citing the bachelor party as the most expensive, ahead of Dress code (32 percent ).

LendingTree is the source of this image.

Can you say no to becoming a member of a wedding party?

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Overall, 62 percent of respondents believe that wedding prices for bridal party members are out of control – and that inflation will only make matters worse, according to Schulz. As a result, some people may conclude that respectfully declining to be a bridesmaid or usher is preferable than getting in over their heads, as 19% of respondents did.

“[High prices] result in wounded emotions, destroyed friendships, and a lot of stress and drama that might be avoided if individuals involved just communicated better and showed a little more understanding of each other’s specific situations,” Schulz adds.

On the plus side, more than two-thirds of those who denied a wedding party invitation said the bride or groom understood and it didn’t affect their relationship.

There are, however, methods to make the expenditures more reasonable if you decide to stick it out.

LendingTree is the source of this image.

1. Talk to the bride or groom about your budget.

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Although it may seem unpleasant, 45 percent of wedding party members questioned did so — and it may be beneficial. “If they’re genuinely your friends, they’ll understand where you’re coming from,” Schulz adds, quoting his parents.

DepositPhotos.com is the source of this image.

2. Pay for flights and accommodations using travel rewards credit cards.

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According to Schulz, credit card incentives might be a bridesmaid or groomsman’s best friend. “A new credit card sign-up bonus may significantly stretch your budget, and it could even score you a free flight or hotel room,” he says.

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3. If you go into debt, pay it off using a 0% balance transfer card.

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These cards are worth considering if your credit is good. “It will significantly reduce the amount of interest you pay and, as a result, decrease the time it takes to pay off the loan,” Schulz adds.

DepositPhotos.com is the source of this image.

4. Work together as a bridal party to keep costs down.

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“Even if the bride and groom won’t negotiate with you on prices,” Schulz writes, “some of your wedding party members may.” You may be able to save money by sharing a hotel, splitting the cost of a rental vehicle, or splitting other costs.

Deposit Photos provided the image.

5. Begin saving right away.

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According to Schulz, most individuals don’t get married right after their engagement, so you’ll have plenty of time to put money down to cover the expenses of these weddings. Even better, start putting money aside for huge events before you’re invited to participate.

“It might make sense to put away a little money in advance of these major weddings if you believe that several of your friends are going to get married in the near future,” he adds. “If those weddings don’t happen, or if you don’t get invited to the ones that do, you may utilize the money you’ve laid away for anything else.”

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Methodology

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LendingTree hired Qualtrics to conduct an online poll of 2,168 U.S. customers, with 842 of them having been members of a wedding party in the previous ten years. The survey was conducted from April 4 to 8, 2022, utilizing a non-probability sample and quotas to guarantee that the sample base was representative of the whole population. For quality control, researchers looked through all of the replies.

In 2022, we defined generations as the following ages:

  • Generation Z is made up of people who are between the ages of 18 and 25.
  • Millennials are those between the ages of 26 and 41.
  • 42 to 56 years old (Generation X)
  • A baby boomer is a person who is between the ages of 57 and 76.

While the silent generation (those aged 77 and above) was represented in the survey, the sample size was insufficient to include results from that group in the generational breakdowns.

This post was syndicated by MediaFeed.org and originally published on LendingTree.com.

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MediaFeed has more.

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AlertMe

The “wedding for 50 guests cost” is a problem that has been present for a while. There are many reasons why people overspend on their wedding, but the most common reason is that guests feel obligated to contribute.

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  • $50,000 wedding budget
  • average cost of wedding and honeymoon
  • average cost of 150 person wedding
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