This past month I had the pleasure of having being featured in Yahoo Finance for their series “Just Explain It” with Ashleigh Patterson. We had a great wedding budget discussion. The video is about the astounding cost of attending a wedding. The numbers are quite shocking to the naked eye! Click here for the a link to the video.

Rebecca Chan featured in Yahoo finance - The astounding cost of attending a wedding

Some stats on wedding costs:

  • Average cost of attending a wedding: $592 (plus the cost of a wedding gift)
  • Average cost of being a bridesmaid: $1,695
  • Average cost of attending a destination wedding: $1,500 (plus the cost of a wedding gift)

That’s a lot of money!

Why does it cost so much you ask?

Before the wedding there are some events that are common across cultures, all costing money to participate in or host. They include engagement parties, bridal showers, bachelorettes and Jack and Jills.

Beyond the pre-wedding parties, as a bridesmaid it will cost a lot more. Why? Weddings are increasingly becoming bigger, more extravagant Celebrations, with brides asking more of their bridesmaids – commonly, asking them to look a certain way to achieve their overall aesthetic. When you have to look a certain way, it usually means buying a new dress, getting it altered, buying shoes, accessories, and getting your hair and makeup done.

What are some ways wedding parties can cut down on these expenses?

  1. For starters, not all pre-wedding parties are necessary. You don’t want your closest friends to be broke (and bitter) by the time your wedding comes around.
  2. Allow the bridesmaids to consider getting their own makeup done (I highly recommend getting your hair done though, as DIY hair styles don’t often last all day).
  3. Be more lenient in how they choose their attire (for example for their dresses, you can ask for them to match in colour scheme or style, but have the freedom to choose a dress they will wear again but still fits the look. The mismatched look is really in anyway.)
  4. Consider helping pay for a bridesmaids’ makeup and hair (or their dress) to help alleviate some costs.

Ashleigh says it well – remember, a wedding invite is not a wedding invoice.

Most couples spend lavishly on their wedding for a fabulous guest experience and to honour those closest to them for their celebration. Give what you can, and attend if you are able to. As a bride- or groom-to-be, be open in your expectations from the start so your wedding party knows what they are getting into.


Rebecca Chan is a Toronto wedding planner and day of wedding coordinator providing sophisticated planning for the style-savvy couple. Whether you need planning assistance or wedding day coordination, Rebecca can help you create your dream wedding day. Contact her today, she'd love to hear from you.

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