This past weekend I was a groomsman in the wedding of my friends Jim and Heather. I have known Jim for 18 years and Heather for 17 years. I was happy to be a part of their big day. There are likely ways to be a groomsman in an extremely frugal way but that is not what i’m going to write about today. Instead I want to discuss the wedding expenses involved when one is a groomsman. I will highlight what my groomsman wedding expenses were but also add how much I could have realistically paid had we not found more frugal options.
Being a part of a grooms wedding party involves the stag or bachelor party. My group of friends has little (and most of us no) interest in going to clubs or strip joints or the like. Instead, we prefer to head to a cottage/camp and hang out with each other starting mid afternoon Friday through to midday Sunday. Fun in the sun and water. It’s great. All 5 of us in the wedding party were able to go up to my cottage (savings!).
The groom is never expected to pay for anything (aside from his own gas money and death sticks if hasn’t figured out how to stop smoking cigarettes). This means he eats for free, gets free beer and usually a nice bottle of whiskey and we split that cost 4 ways.
Here is the breakdown of the stag weekend wedding expenses:
- Cottage Rental: $0 ($300 ($75 each) if we had to rent for a weekend)
- Fuel costs to and from cottage: $40
- Beer (personal) / Scotch (shared): $65 (easily could have been $140 if I’d bought a nicer scotch and premium beer)
- Jim’s beverages: $30
- Food share: $60 (we had some nice black angus steaks, quality cheese, high end burgers I made etc – we don’t skimp on food!)
So my share for the wedding expenses for the bachelors weekend was $195 but could have been closer to $350 if we had slightly different circumstances. But this was weekend 1, the actual wedding was still a week out.
Wedding expenses for groomsmen can add up. I lucked out on a few fronts in terms of being out of pocket.
Here is the breakdown of the wedding day groomsman wedding expenses:
- My wedding attire: In this case a tuxedo rental for $180 but i’ve seen rentals close in on $300.
- New dress for Mrs. SPF: $20. Being almost 8 months pregnant meant Mrs. SPF had to find a dress to buy to wear to the wedding. She has done a great job finding fashionable pregnancy clothes on a budget. She could have easily spent $100+.
- Accommodations: We spent $0 the two nights we were in town as my Mom lives in the same city where the wedding was being held. The suggested hotels were about $160 per night, so had we not had a place to stay we would have paid $320 for the two nights.
- Gifts: $0. We offered our cottage to the happy couple for a valuable Canadian summer long weekend. If my family didn’t have a cottage this type of weekend rental would cost $400 on our lake. A more traditional check as a gift would have been $150.
- On site expenses: $70 for beverages for Mrs. SPF and I a few beers for the groom. Mrs. SPF is expecting and I took advantage of the provided wine and some drinks provided to the wedding party – but I could have spent $150 at weddings past.
- Fuel costs to and from wedding: $45.
- Wedding Day Breakfast with the grooms wedding party: $10 but this could have easily been $20 with some alternative choices.
Add it all up and I accumulated $325 in wedding expenses on the day of the event. However, again, circumstances were kind as I could have been looking at a bill of $1040 to $1290 for the wedding alone!
My groomsman wedding expenses cost me $520 but the whole she-bang could have possibly cost close to $1400! This is NUTS! Thing is, the wedding expenses get paid for over time and until you add up your total bill, or total potential bill, being in a wedding party is EXPENSIVE.