Pricey wedding party expenses can ruin friendships, study claims

Avocado toast may not be to blame for millennials' home-buying troubles after all, according to a new study that found at least 30 percent of bridesmaids and groomsmen polled have gone into debt for a friend’s big day. What’s more, many bridesmaids said that the monetary obligations inherent to a role in a wedding party have strained their friendship with the bride, too.

Just in time for wedding season, a new report from financial blog CompareCards found that 35 percent of bridesmaids and 30 percent of groomsmen were forced to spend big on a pal’s wedding, to the point of going into debt. Worse yet, 43 percent of maids of honor and 38 percent of best men said that their special role required them to spend more than they had.

Forty-three percent of maids of honor and 38 percent of best men polled said that their special role required them to spend more than they had.  

Forty-three percent of maids of honor and 38 percent of best men polled said that their special role required them to spend more than they had.   (iStock)

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In a survey of over 700 Americans between the ages of 18 and 53, both men and women agreed that they felt pressured to spend big on wedding party expenses, the CompareCards report states. According to the findings, 58 percent of bridesmaids and 43 percent of groomsmen said that the final cost of celebrating a friend’s marriage made them feel fiscally queasy. More specifically, 32 percent of bridesmaids reported money woes involving the nuptials strained their friendship with the bride-to-be.

From exotic bachelor and bachelorette parties to travel, multiple showers, formal attire, gifts and more, costs can add up dangerously fast — with 37 percent of respondents polled admitting that they’ve declined wedding invitations altogether due to costs.

From exotic bachelor and bachelorette parties to travel, multiple showers, formal attire, gifts and more, costs can add up dangerously fast – with 37 percent of respondents polled admitting that they’ve declined wedding invitations altogether due to costs.

From exotic bachelor and bachelorette parties to travel, multiple showers, formal attire, gifts and more, costs can add up dangerously fast – with 37 percent of respondents polled admitting that they’ve declined wedding invitations altogether due to costs. (iStock)

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While the average cost of an American wedding today is $33,391 – though the median household income in the US hovers around $59,039 – it’s simple math that wedding party woes spark financial heat for many.

Weighing in on the study, psychologist Heather Z. Lyons said that she often hears clients lamenting the financial toll of attending weddings in therapy sessions.

“This is so tricky because drawing a financial boundary [in a wedding party] can be interpreted as a lack of support for the union or can draw unwarranted scrutiny on spending habits,” Lyons commented on the report — and the delicate topic as a whole.

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“Those getting married are so overwhelmed with planning and are also taking a financial hit, so it might be difficult for them to put themselves in your shoes,” she added.