Being asked to be a bridesmaid or groomsman should be an honor. It means you get to play a special part in somebody’s big day.

But thanks to a number of factors, more people are looking at the role as an obligation due to the high costs it entails, per CNBC.

On average…

… bridesmaids and groomsmen spend $825 to be in a wedding party, according to a recent survey by LendingTree. Some factors contributing to that expense include:

  • Rising fuel prices, which have made traveling to bachelor(ette) parties and weddings more expensive. In April, flight prices were up 33% YoY.
  • Inflation, which has led to increased costs for wedding attire, which 32% of bridal party members say was their biggest cost.
  • Supply chain issues, which have led to limited inventory for wedding attire, complicating matters further

Of the consumers that were surveyed, 50% incurred debt to participate in a wedding party, and 40% regret spending some of that money.

Making matters worse…

… this year there are expected to be ~2.6m weddings in the US, compared to 2.2m weddings in 2019. The jump is partly due to postponed ceremonies caused by the pandemic.

That means there’s a good chance some bridesmaids and groomsmen will take on those duties in multiple ceremonies, leading to an even steeper financial burden.



But just because you get asked…

… doesn’t mean you have to say yes. Roughly 20% of people who were asked have turned down a wedding party invitation, and of those folks, 69% say the decision didn’t hurt their relationship with the bride or groom.

If you do decide to go that route, here are some tips to politely decline an invitation.

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