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How much does it cost to be in a wedding?

It can be such an honor to be asked to be part of someone’s wedding party, but it can also be an unexpected cost. You’ve got showers and parties to plan, gifts to buy, and an outfit for the big day. Here’s a breakdown of some of the typical wedding party responsibilities and items you might need to account for in your budget. 

Maid of honor and bridesmaids

Costs vary from wedding to wedding, but on average a bridesmaid can expect to spend about $1,200 or more to be part of the wedding.* This generally includes the dress and any potential alterations, shoes, accessories, and hair and makeup. If alterations aren’t a concern, check online, you may be able to rent your bridesmaid dress instead of buying it. You may also be able to sell your dress after the wedding to recover some of the cost.   
In addition to your wedding day attire, you may be responsible to help plan and pay for a bridal shower and bachelorette party, which could include travel expenses and new outfits. However, you don’t have to spend a fortune on these events—from using online travel discounts to dressing up an existing outfit with new accessories, there are ways to save money and stay within your budget.  

Best man and groomsmen

While groomsmen don’t generally have to plan and pay for showers, bachelor parties are common and can be one of the larger expenses, especially when travel is involved. On average, a groomsman spends about $450 to be part of the wedding, which may include expenses such as buying or renting a tuxedo, as well as getting a haircut or shave to look your best for pictures.*

Attending the wedding & your budget

In addition to the specific bridesmaid and groomsmen expenses, you may need to budget for travel-related costs, especially for destination weddings, and bridal shower or wedding gifts. 
Sometimes, when you see all the costs add up, it can feel like a lot to handle. Don't stress. Making a budget and finding affordable ways to celebrate the couple is a smart move to avoid getting into debt.  
If you take a close look at your money situation and realize that you can't afford the extra expenses of being in the wedding party—it's okay. Politely decline the invitation and think about going as a guest instead. It's all about finding the best way to celebrate while staying within your means. 

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The power of having savings goals

Knowing where you want to go with your money can help you figure out the steps you need to take to get there. That's why forming goals is a key step in the financial planning process.
*Maureen Shelly, "The Cost of Being in Someone’s Wedding," August 23, 2022,

This information is general in nature and provided for educational purposes only.

Fidelity does not provide legal or tax advice. The information herein is general in nature and should not be considered legal or tax advice. Consult an attorney or tax professional regarding your specific situation.