Mandy Wright Photography

Weddings aren’t just expensive for the happy couple – the bridesmaids and groomsmen need to chip in, too! Planning bachelor/bachelorette parties and buying presents can get pretty pricey, so you’ll need to make sure you know how to manage your money before you start spending. We’ve broken it all down in this article to help you be the best wedding party member you can be while staying out of debt.

Here are a few money managing tips that every wedding party should know.

Put someone in control
Every ship needs a captain, so ask a money-savvy person in the wedding party to take on the role of treasurer. This person will be the one who handles all the cash, makes sure everyone has chipped in and actually pays the vendors or purchases the presents. The ideal candidate would be a super organized, type A kind of person who doesn’t mind doing a bit of extra work to make the guest of honours dreams a reality.

Plan your spending
Before you book any party venues or buy any gifts, you’ll need to sit down with your squad and do a bit of planning. Write out everything you’re going to have to purchase – party decorations, transportation, food, drinks, gifts – and estimate how much it will cost. Have everyone in the wedding party write down how much their willing to invest - then you can start searching and crunching the numbers.

Gift wisely
Being a part of a wedding party means you’ve got yourself a gifting squad. What exactly does that entail? It means you can pool your funds with the rest of the bridesmaids and/or groomsmen to buy gifts and take care of pre-wedding party bills and presents. There will be bachelorette/bachelor party expenses, bridal shower expenses and gifts and probably a number of dinner parties and drinks to pay for, so plan accordingly.

Keep it even
You’ll want to make sure no one is footing more of the bill than anyone else. Fairness is key in this situation, so once you’ve figured out the total cost of a gift or party (including taxes) do the math and split it up evenly among the wedding party. Note: One or two people in the wedding party may have smaller budgets. If this is the case, have a meeting and ask the rest of the party if their willing to chip in a few more bucks. If not, you’ll have to rethink your party plans or go for a less extravagant gift.

Don’t break the bank
While this day is important to you, it’s not your big day, so you shouldn’t be breaking the bank to make it a success. Of course, there are some things that the wedding party is expected to pay for, but if the happy couple (or whoever’s managing money for the wedding party) starts asking you to purchase outrageous additions, you can absolutely explain that certain things are not financially feasible for you.

Save a little for later
Even if you’ve planned out everything perfectly, some extra expenses may creep up on you. Maybe the bride wants to throw an extra soiree or turn her bachelorette party into a bachelorette weekend? Well, it’s probably going to cost you. Make sure you have some extra cash in your account so that you have a bit of a financial buffer to fall back on. Remember, if these additional costs are beyond your budget, you can absolutely say no. Just explain to your guest of honour (or the person planning the events) that you want to support them, but it’s beyond your means.

Use technology to your advantage
You’ve probably got gadgets and gizmos aplenty, so why not use them to your advantage? There are plenty of cost splitting apps (like Cost Split and Splitwise) that’ll help you plan out your spending and keep track of how much every person in the wedding party owes. These will hold everyone accountable and ensure that no one person is paying more than they should be. P.S. if you’re not exactly technology savvy, you can go the simple route and make a Google sheet, Excel spreadsheet or have your treasurer create a physical log on paper.

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