How Much Weddings Cost in 2014


One of the bonuses of writing a budget and tracking your spending is that, at the end of each year, you can add up the numbers and find out what your totals were for each category. This past weekend, I attended my final wedding of the year. Many of you (and family and friends) have commented that 2014 has been a busy year of weddings for me. I can’t deny that, but I think it’s seemed especially crazy because 4 of the 6 I attended took place in the past 6 weeks. Anyway, now that the last one is over, I decided to add up the numbers and see how much money weddings cost me in 2014. Are you ready for this…?

Bridesmaid x 1

In April, I was a bridesmaid in one of my girlfriend’ weddings. We’ve been friends since we were 11 years old, so there was no question of whether or not I’d accept her invitation to be in the bridal party – but it certainly wasn’t cheap. The bridal shower, bachelorette party + wedding were all in Victoria, so I had to make 3 separate trips to the island for those. As a member of the wedding party, I had to pitch in for the bridal shower + bachelorette party. Then I had to buy gifts for the bridal shower + wedding. I also had to pay for my dress + alterations, shoes and some other wedding-related expenses that I just labelled “wedding”. I took out and used cash for a bunch of purchases in Victoria, so there were some estimates in this budget, but I always overestimated and punched in a little more than I probably spent.

Here are the final numbers:

Altogether, it cost me $1,417.47 to be a bridesmaid in 1 wedding this year. Compared to other weddings I’ve been in / heard about, this actually seems somewhat cheap – especially considering that 30% of my budget was spent on travel. What do you think? Is this fairly average? What’s the most it has cost you to be in a wedding party?

Guest x 5

From September 6th – October 18th, I attended 4 other weddings as a guest. The first was my boss’. I decided to get my nails done (an “other” cost) when I was in Ontario, which lasted for both her wedding + Kathleen’s wedding in Portland. You may also remember that I bought a dress to wear. Surprisingly, though, I didn’t incur any travel costs for either of these 2 weddings. Work paid for my extended trip to Toronto in August/September, and I was already planning on going to Portland before Kathleen invited me to her wedding. No, the travel costs all came from my trips to Denver + Victoria, for the 2 weddings this month. There was also a fifth wedding I was invited to in the summer, which I couldn’t attend but still wanted to give the bride a gift for. So, I went to 4 weddings, but still felt like I was a “guest” at 5. Cool?

Here are the final numbers:

Altogether, it cost me $2,181.61 to attend 5 weddings this year. I know that sounds like a lot of money (and it is), but my trip to Denver accounts for almost 2/3 of that, because I had to pay for flights/hotel/rental car. Even with the discounts my Visa Infinite credit card got me, it was still an expensive trip. (Thank goodness for freelance income, which paid for most of it!)

In total, I spent $3,599.08 on weddings in 2014. YIKES, right!? That’s about 7% of my annual budget (including freelance income). When you break it down, the cost per wedding isn’t actually that high, but the grand total does give me something to think about. Considering that I don’t ever plan on having a big wedding myself, it feels a little crazy to think about the fact that I’ve spent so much money on other people’s big days – not that I regret any dollar spent, it’s just a little ironic. Fortunately, my 2015 wedding calendar is looking pretty empty, so I don’t think I’ll see a repeat of this anytime soon. But who knows – a few of this year’s weddings were a surprise to me. Anyway, let’s talk about how to decide which wedding invitations you should accept – especially those that include a spot in the wedding party – on Wednesday…

Have you ever had a busy year of weddings? How much do you think they’ve cost you?