Say “YES!” to being in a wedding party definitely comes with a price tag, as there are certain things your wedding party should pay for. Between gifts and parties, travel expenses and a new ensemble, the costs can add up very quickly. It’s always awkward to talk about money, especially with friends. We suggest having an open and honest dialogue about expectations with your crew early in the planning process. Our list of what your wedding party should (and shouldn’t!) pay for will help you get the conversation started!
Things The Wedding Party Should Expect To Pay For
Wedding Day Attire
Party members should expect to purchase their own attire, whether that means pay for a dress or renting a tuxedo or suit. Accessories like jewelry, shoes, or bowties should also be factored into their overall attire budget. Alternatively, you could help offset the cost by purchasing these accoutrements for them, or make them a part of your wedding party thank you gift.
Travel Costs & Accommodations
Being a part of the wedding party is even pricier for those who live out-of-town since they have to foot the bill for airfare, a hotel room for the weekend, and meals while traveling, on top of everything else. Even local wedding party members who want to get a hotel for the night should plan to pay their own way. Suggest that your friends pair up to carpool or go halfsies on a hotel room to help alleviate these costs.
Whomever is hosting your wedding shower should plan to cover the expenses. If the shower is being hosted by your friends, they should all chip in to the grand total. If your mom or family is hosting the soiree, your party member should still offer to contribute. Of course, this can be financially but they can also offer to help out in other ways that don’t involve an added expense, say by decorating, making centerpieces, picking up the cake, or putting together the favors.
This is where things get a little tricky. If you are doing a traditional bachelorette party with a night out on the town or even something low key like a spa day, wine tasting, or night in, your wedding party should cover the food, drink, activities, and decor.
However, if you are taking a trip, your wedding party can’t possibly be expected to pay for the entire celebration. Each person – including the soonlywed – should cover their own travel expenses, and your group can cover meals as they normally would (split evenly between everyone or everyone manages their own bill). Your wedding party could always chip in and pay the soonlywed’s way for a fun group activity or gift!
As if your wedding party members haven’t already spent enough money to be a part of your big day, they are still expected to get you a shower and a wedding gift. We weren’t kidding when we said being part of a wedding party was expensive!
Things The Wedding Party Should NOT Expect To Pay For
Bouquets & Boutonnieres
Just like the centerpieces, bride’s bouquet, and other floral decor, the wedding party’s bouquets and boutonnieres should be included in the overall flower budget, which is generally covered by one of the engaged couple’s family or the couple themselves. Wedding party members should never have to pay for these.
Hair & Makeup (in some cases)
This is another gray area. If you request that your party members get their hair and makeup professionally done, then you should foot the bill. On the other hand, an appointment with your glam squad could always be optional. In that case, your crew can cover the costs for any services they themselves opt into. A third option is to include one or both services as part of your thank you gift. Don’t forget to factor in a tip!
Wedding Day Meals
Obviously your wedding party members should be treated just like any other guest at your wedding reception and be fed dinner. But you should also think about earlier in the day as well. It’s going to be a loooong one and you should plan to treat your nearest and dearest to breakfast in the morning and lunch or snacks in the afternoon.
Wedding Day Transportation
Your crew will need to get from point A to point B. Whether it’s via a limo, party bus, or vintage school bus (ahem, Antique Coach Excursions is the coolest!), help them arrive in style. You should arrange and pay for wedding day transportation for your party members to get from the hotel or wherever they are getting ready, to the ceremony location, photo locations, reception venue, and then back to the hotel at the end of the night.