The Cost of Being a Groomsman

The Costs of Being a GroomsmanA lot of the wedding related articles I read have to do with how the bride and groom can save money on this or that but not many of them talk about how much it’s going to cost other people. I’ve been a groomsmen for one wedding and I’ll be having 7 groomsmen at my wedding so I’ve been thinking a lot about the cost of being a groomsman. The first thing all of my groomsmen actually asked me though, was “Do I need to do anything?” And the truth is, it’s really not that much work to be a groomsman. All you really have to do is just show up.

My brother(best man) will be planning the bachelor party so there isn’t much work to be done on the planning side. But one thing they’re probably starting to realize is that the cost of being a groomsman can really start to add up. We all know about the major items like bachelor party and renting a tux but there are also things like hotel rooms, presents and even haircuts that they’ll have to worry about. You don’t want a bunch of scruffy looking dudes to ruin your beautiful wedding pictures.

The Bachelor Party

I’m listing the bachelor party first because this is where most of the financial damage will be done. If you’re on a budget, then you can probably have a pretty fun day or two in town but even that isn’t going to be cheap. Most bachelor parties involve dinner, drinks at the bar, entertainment and some type of activity at a minimum. All that will probably run you at least $250.

If you decide to make it a weekend trip, you’ll need to double the cost and add the price of a flight. Since most of my friends are near Los Angeles, I decided to hold my bachelor party in San Francisco. I’m pretty excited for SF because it’s a great city for all sorts of bachelor party-related activities, plus it’s close and convenient for everyone to get to. The cost will probably be in the $500-$750 range per person after it’s all said and done.

The Tux/Suit

I’ve heard that some grooms will actually cover the cost of rental tuxedos for all their groomsmen but that isn’t as common these days. Planning a wedding is pretty damn expensive so I don’t think it’s too much to ask a groomsman to cover a $150 suit. A lot of times the tailor shops will actually give you the option of buying the suit so it might be a good idea to look for some discounted suits at a tailor shop or a Men’s Wearhouse type place so that at least your groomsmen would get to keep their suits. The only item I bought was a nice pair of shoes when I was a groomsman and I’ll probably use the same ones when I get married.

Everything Else

There are lots of other ancillary costs that are associated with being a groomsman and a guest in general at a wedding. Here are some things to consider:

  • Hair/Make-up – You probably won’t need any make-up done but you might need to spend $20 on a haircut.
  • Hotel Room – If you’re from out of town, you’re going to need somewhere to sleep so plan on getting a hotel room for at least 1-2 nights.
  • Flights/Car – How are you going to get around on the day of the wedding? If you plan on drinking, you’ll need a taxi or shuttle service and if you’re flying in from out of town, that’s another cost to consider.

Ways to Reduce the Cost

Most couples love to have tons of events leading up to the big day: including engagement parties, wedding showers, rehearsal dinners, etc. And at each one of these events, it’s customary to bring a gift for the couple. But it might be a good idea to tell your groomsmen they don’t have to do that since their gift to you was showing up to your bachelor party for example. Most people spend about $50 on a wedding gift(or more) so that can really add up if you have to get multiple gifts.

Another cool idea that I’ve seen in the past is to let the groomsmen dress more casually. Let’s be honest, nobody really wears tuxedoes anymore and you can look pretty sharp in a nice pair of khakis, button up shirt and a jacket. These items are less money than renting a suit and your groomsmen will get to keep them after the wedding.

Finally, it’s always an economical idea to give your groomsmen gifts that can be used in the wedding. For example, in the last wedding I was in, the groom gave out really nice orange ties to all of us to wear along with our suits. I’m sure those ties weren’t cheap either so it saved us a few bucks and I actually liked the tie so much I still wear it to other weddings!

Readers, so there you have it. What do you think about the costs of being a groomsmen? Would you ask someone to be your groomsmen if you knew that attending the bachelor party or even the wedding would take a big chunk out of their finances?

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Hi, I'm Harry, the owner and head writer for Your PF Pro. I started this site back in 2011 in order to create a place where young professionals could come and get all of their financial questions answered. On the site, you'll find articles on everything from asset allocation for retirement to saving money at Chipotle! So enjoy..

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  1. says

    I am a groomsman in my buddy’s wedding that’s coming up in May and I’m already reaching $700 in costs! First the renting the tux was a little pricey then the plan is to hit Vegas for the bachelor party. The plane ticket and hotel is totaled around $400 plus who knows how much is spent once we’re out there. Good thing I’m not a gambler

    Hopefully we can get cheaper flights and stuff because even though I support my friend, this is money removed from paying down debt.
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    • says

      Yea it can really add up and even if you don’t gamble, Vegas is quite expensive. Especially for a bachelor party.

      If you booked on SW, they’re always lowering fares so you could cancel and rebook if/when that happens. Otherwise my friends and I usually buy tickets to the concerts at the clubs in order to guarantee entry and avoid lines. Way cheaper than bottle service too, good luck :)

      • says

        I just booked my ticket plus hotel. It was right under $500 which brings my “groomsman” total to under $800 SO FAR.

        It’s flattering knowing your friend thinks highly enough of you to be in their wedding and I have no problems with that. What I’m saying is money can be replaced but the memories that will become of my friend’s wedding will last forever. I guess you can say its a good expense in the end.
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        • says

          Yikes, that is a lot man. I don’t have a ton of good friends but 4 of them are getting married this summer in addition to me. Luckily 3 of them are doing a triple bachelor party in Denver so I will only have to go to one party for 3 people. That one will still probably cost a thousand bucks though(or more). Plus another $500 or so for my very good friend’s BP in Tahoe.

          Oh and the cost of my bachelor party in SF haha. Obviously it’s a lot of money but bachelor parties are pretty damn fun and you will have some pretty worthwhile(albeit expensive) memories. I’m pretty cheap but I don’t mind shelling out on BP’s.

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