Guidelines for Wedding Party Financial Etiquette
Acceptable financial etiquette for wedding party members has changed in recent years. Whether you’re the bride, groom, or part of the bridal party, we all need a refresher from time to time on the proper etiquette to follow.
No one wants to deal with a groom or bride with unrealistic expectations, and on the other hand, the happy couple shouldn’t be expected to foot the bill for the entire wedding and all of its ancillary festivities or have a wedding party that isn’t willing to help out when needed.
Want to avoid etiquette snafus and keep things operating on a happy, even keel? Brush up on wedding niceties with these tips below:
Members of the bridal party are traditionally expected to pay for their own wedding day apparel. This means the dress and shoes the bride selects. However, many brides are currently allowing their attendants to choose their own styles of bridesmaid dresses so that they feel comfortable in them and can wear them again. While the color and store location is the bride’s to choose, giving bridesmaids this option offers them more flexibility in cost and comfort.
Groomsmen also are expected to pay for the cost of their tuxedo rentals or purchases, as well as their shoes and all requested accessories such as cufflinks and ties.
In some weddings, the bride, and possibly the groom, may offer to pay for their attendants’ apparel. When this is offered, it is customary for attendants to accept.
Members of the wedding party who have to travel are expected to pay for their travel expenses and hotel room. While a bride’s family may offer to pay half of their way, this is not to be expected. As an alternative, a lot of brides’ families reserve discounted blocks of rooms for out-of-town guests, which helps to offset some of the expenses.
Bridal showers are especially problematic when it comes to proper etiquette among a wedding party and even the bride’s family.
To make it easier on everyone involved, bridal showers should be optional for your attendants and reserved only for those closest to you. This cuts costs and keeps energies focused on the big event itself.
Traditionally a friend or member of the wedding party should offer to throw the shower instead of the bride or groom’s family (after all, they’re hosting the wedding and rehearsal dinner).
Whoever does host the shower takes on the entire financial obligation for the event, and should not bill bridesmaids or other guests (who should plan on bringing a gift). If other bridesmaids are going to be a part of the planning process, every individual’s role should be clearly understood before invitations are postmarked.
Bachelor and Bachelorette Parties
While bachelor and bachelorette parties do not require guests to bring gifts, all guests should expect to invest in the activities. It’s customary for the groomsmen and bridesmaids to chip in with the costs involved in organizing and executing the respective events. This means they will pay for their portion of the event as well as the bride or groom’s expenses.
There are guidelines on both ends of the spectrum. Brides and grooms are expected to give gifts to their attendants. These gifts are a way to say thank you to your bridal party for being a part of your special day. Gifts can vary from jewelry for the women to wear on the wedding day to flasks and money clips for the guys. The typical amount you should spend on your attendants ranges from $25 to $75 per person.
Attendants, if you are invited to a shower, gift cards, and cash aren’t ideal for this occasion, as so much of it revolves around watching the bride open her gifts. Typically shower gifts should be cheaper than wedding gifts and are a great opportunity to get the little things off of the couple’s registry.
In addition, if bridesmaids and guests are invited to more than one shower, they should only be obligated to give a gift at one event.
If you don’t have a lot of excess income to throw around, hosting or taking part in a wedding can be simply too much monetary stress. Know that you can always tactfully decline the request to participate in a wedding party if you know the financial burdens will be out of your budget.
Likewise, brides and grooms, be open to these concerns from friends and family whom you’ve asked to be part of your big day. You can welcome your loved ones to participate in any way they’re able.