Wait a Minute—Do Groomsmen Spend More Money Than Bridesmaids?

You won't believe which wedding party actually drops more dough.
by Carrie Anton
Classic Vera Wang groomsmen tuxedos
photo by Jason + Gina Wedding Photographers

If you've ever been a bridesmaid or groomsmen, you know that wedding costs aren't limited to just the happy couple—the wedding party pays their share too. You might assume that various bridesmaid fashion and beauty costs would far surpass the groomsmen—but get this: When GOBankingRates asked 500 women and 500 men across the country how much they've spent as attendants in the past, they found that groomsmen are actually spending more. Here's why the bachelors tend to rack up a steeper bill.

Groomsmen pay more for their suits than you think.

“Suits don't seem that expensive with their base cost, but when you add on cuff links, vests, ties, pocket squares and socks, the price can jump pretty high," says Alex Chalk, senior planner of Taylor'd Events. Grooms also don't always take as much time as the bride will to find the most cost-effective solutions. Instead they focus on what'll be most convenient for their party. “Their groomsmen are happy to pay a little extra if all they have to do is plug some numbers into a website and know their suits will show up when needed," Chalk says.

Bachelor parties require the big bucks.

According to the GOBankingRates study, bachelor and bachelorette parties have the largest cost discrepancies. Bridesmaids spend an average of $438, versus the groomsmen, who shell out an average of $682. These numbers reflect not only party games, favors and entertainment, but also travel, clothing, food and drinks. And guess what the big kicker is? Drinks! Araceli Vizcaino-S, community manager at Azazie, believes cocktail costs are ultimately what brings the bachelor party bill over the top. “Groomsmen may find themselves paying for more bar tabs in the days or months leading up to the wedding day," she says.

Wedding party prices are inevitable—for bridesmaids and groomsmen.

Regardless of what you make of the numbers, the truth is that a sizable tab usually follows any wedding party invite. “Weddings are supposed to be a very special time in people's lives, and sometimes it can go sour for the wedding party as the costs start to add up," Vizcaino-S says. “One of the best ways to avoid this is to have a conversation with the bride or groom, letting them know your max budget and see if they're willing to work with you. More often than not, they're going to understand."

How to deal with crazy wedding party costs.

As the bride or groom, consider researching more affordable options for your attendants. Vizcaino-S recommends looking at online options. “Online, you can often find similar—if not the same—dresses on sale or at a reduced price compared to most retail locations. Better yet, consider a custom gown purchased online. You could potentially save hundreds in alteration costs," she says.

As a bridesmaid or groomsman, speak up if you're anxious about expenses. “Be up front if things are adding up and you need to sit out one of the events," Chalk says. Can't swing the destination shower? Send a nice note in the mail or to the party with another bridesmaid. In the end, it's the thought that counts.

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