Very few things are as heartwarming as being invited to be part of someone’s wedding party. Your friend or family member appreciates your connection so that they want you to be part of the best day of their lives. But, the one thing you might not have realized when you agreed to be a bridesmaid or groomsmen is how expensive the role can be. Back in 2017, the average person would spend $1,200 to attend a wedding party. But between the outfits, the flights, and the bachelor or bachelorette’s accommodation, this result is definitely on the rise. Suddenly, what was originally considered an honor begins to look like a financial burden.

“There’s a constant narrative of ‘you only get married once’ or ‘my dream wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime experience,'” says Raya Reaves, founder and financial coach of City Girl Savings, LLC. “Both of these stories make it difficult to set a price limit on occasion. If you’re the friend who tells the bride a budget is ideal, it could be taken the wrong way and no one wants to upset. a bride.

But what if it didn’t have to be like that? What if it was possible to show up for your loved one without blowing your budget? To help you out, check out these expert-approved tips for navigating this costly situation.

Communicate clearly

Chances are the bride or groom in your life is focused on planning their dream day and probably hasn’t given much thought to how much you’re spending. (It’s not personal; the bride and groom have a lot Instead of waiting for your loved one to ask you questions about your budget, stand up for yourself and set limits in advance.

According to Pamela Eyring, president of the Washington School of Protocolit is a good idea to learn about financial investment before you accept the position. But, if you’ve already said “yes” to attending a wedding party, you’ll want to manage your spending expectations as soon as possible.

“We tend to avoid confrontation and instead harbor bad feelings or wait until the last minute to refuse, which can strain relationships,” she shares. “If you don’t ask questions about investing, you won’t be able to make a good decision for your financial situation.”

When your friend or family member starts talking about their wedding, gently tell them that you have to stick to a tight budget. “Help calm their emotions by explaining how important their wedding is to you and your desire to attend,” Eyring adds.

Create a compromise

With so many wedding chores to do, it’s next to impossible to make everything—especially if you’re working on a tight budget. So what should a person do if they have to miss a bridal shower or a bachelor party? For Eyring, honesty is the best policy.

“Talk honestly to the bride about your financial situation, emphasizing that while you’d like to attend, you can’t,” she says. “Suggest a compromise: you can pay for your bridesmaid dress, travel to the wedding, attend the rehearsal and her wedding, but you can’t attend the bachelorette party if it’s too much expensive.”

Another way to master money talk is to take a solution-focused approach. “If the problem is that you can’t afford the bridesmaid dress, one solution might be to rent a similar style for the big day,” Reaves shares. “As long as you approach the conversation honestly, focus on solutions you can make work, and keep support high, you shouldn’t feel bad about reining in your own spending. There is life after marriage!

Don’t take it personally

That said, it’s possible (and completely understandable) that your future groom will be disappointed to learn that you can’t show up as he had hoped. (No matter how legit your budget limits are, your loved one might see it as an affront to their special day.)

“That friend at your wedding party doesn’t want to disappoint you, but she doesn’t want to add to her debt either,” adds Reaves. “Your best wife cares about your financial well-being. She’s just focused on one of the most important days of her life.

Instead of letting your emotions get the better of you, it’s important not to take any conflict personally. If your fiancé or fiancé is disappointed that you weren’t present at certain pre-wedding festivities, see how you can support your loved one from a distance. Whether you’re sending a bottle of champagne to their bachelor party or researching hotel options, small gestures will remind them that you’re a team player.

start saving

These days, being invited to be part of a couple’s wedding party isn’t exactly a surprise. In fact, you probably have a vague idea of ​​how many times you’ll be a bridesmaid or a groomsman. So why not get ahead of any financial fervor by saving in advance?

“If you have a lot of friends planning to get married in the next few years, open a dedicated savings account for future marriages, including yours. Reaves recommends. “You may not know what the price is at the start, but having something saved up in advance will take the financial pressure off.”

According to the financial coach, setting aside as little as $25 a month will make a huge dent in the price of your wedding party. That said, you may not be able to set up a long-term savings plan for a wedding in a few months. Instead, Reaves encourages you to cut back on non-essential expenses. “This is a temporary situation, and it is better to save as much as possible to avoid having to resort to credit.” After all, that luxurious vacation or designer bag can wait until your special someone says, “Yes.”

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