My Best Friend’s Wedding…

Last week we traveled to the DC area to be a part of my best friend’s wedding.  In general, I try to avoid a lot of the expensive (and stereotypically girly) things in life.  But when your best friend is getting married and asks you to be a part of the wedding party… well, let’s just say that wasn’t a request I felt like I could turn down, however girly or expensive.

Some quick background on my friend.  She’s a lot like me in many respects,  that she didn’t want to waste tons of money on a wedding.  However, unlike me, she has a HUGE extended family that is very close and would be very disappointed if they weren’t included in her celebration.  So her parents provided two things: 1 – a healthy dose of familial guilt, and 2 – promises to help with the cost of the festivities, and she agreed to a “relatively simple” wedding that included family and close friends.  (For the record, family + close friends here was about 130 people, which I’m told is a pretty reasonable size for an average wedding.)

Some day I’ll try and pin her down to figure out what she actually spent on the wedding and compare it to nationwide average wedding spending…  (Somehow it seemed inappropriate to talk costs of everything while we were buttoning the 8 million buttons on her dress that day.)  So for now, what did WE spend on the wedding?

  • Travel Costs: $289 for gas, travel motels (2 nights), and caffeine and small snacks along the drive.  Originally we had assumed that we would fly, but plane tickets + rental car for the time we would be up there would have brought travel costs to over $1,000.  Driving took longer, but saved a bunch of money.
  • Hotel: $205 for 2 nights at the hotel the bridal party was staying at, spent two other nights crashing at friends
  • Bridesmaid Outfit: $107 for a new dress ($11) and shoes ($64)  of my own choosing, so there’s a good likelihood I’ll wear them again.  I also got some costume jewelry ($32) to go with it since my MIL insisted all my other jewelry was too small and would look silly in photos
  • Restaurant Food While Traveling For a Week: $193 – includes taking the friends we stayed with for a couple of nights out for a nice meal as a “thank you”
  • Gift for the Happy Couple: $155 for a nice gift that I *hope* they really like.
  • Total: $949 in spending for the week of travel and festivities

That’s definitely more than what we spent on our wedding, but from what I gather, we definitely got off relatively easy on the expenses for a wedding that we had to travel to and be a part of.  I’ve heard stories of thousands of dollars being dropped on bachelorette parties in Vegas and Key West, not to mention mandatory hair stylings and mani/pedi sessions.

And really, even though I’m never really excited about paying almost $1,000 for anything, this is an experience that meant a lot to my friend and her family that I be there to share  in, and I know those memories, and not the cost are going to be what stick with me in the long run on this one.


What’s the most you’ve ever spent to attend or be in a friend or family’s wedding?  Did you regret any of the costs at the time or afterward?


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