As Wedding Season Approaches, 56% Felt Pressure to Spend More than They Could Afford

LendingTree®, the nation’s leading online financial services marketplace, has published the findings of its latest survey revealing that more than half of Americans who’ve participated in a bridal party say they’ve felt pressure to spend above what they could afford.

Key findings

  • 62% of Americans think bridal party costs are getting out of hand
  • 56% of bridal party members have felt pressure to spend more than they could afford, especially on pre-wedding activities like bachelor and bachelorette parties.
    • 42% say the pressure to spend came from the bride, 43% say it was self-imposed
  • On average, bridal party members spend about $825 on attire, pre-wedding events and the wedding itself.
    • Nearly 4 in 10 bridal party members say they regretted how much they spent on wedding-related costs

More than half of bridal party members (55%) have paid for a flight to attend part of the wedding festivities, with the most popular reason being the bachelorette or bachelor party destination (27%). Expensive airfare is likely why these pre-wedding parties are the second biggest bridal party expense behind attire.

The financial burden doesn’t end once the vows are spoken, guests still feel the strain on their wallets for months or years to come. The survey found that 50% of Americans who’ve been part of a bridal party incurred debt as a result. “People feel pressured to spend, in part, because they don’t want to be a killjoy or they just don’t feel like it is their place to say anything,” says Matt Schulz, LendingTree’s chief credit analyst. “That can make a potential bridesmaid or groomsman reluctant to speak up, even if the price of staying quiet is a fair amount of debt.”

While the cost to attend is racking up, even the most demanding bridezillas can have a soft spot for concern. 1 in 5 consumers have turned down an invitation to be in a wedding due to expenses, and the vast majority (69%) say there was no harm to their relationship with the bride or groom as a result.

5 tips to manage bridal party expenses

  • Discuss your budget with the bride or groom. It may feel awkward, but 45% of bridal party members surveyed did just that — and it could help.
  • Use travel rewards credit cards for flights/hotels. Credit card rewards can be a bridesmaid or groomsman’s best friend.
  • If you incur debt, use a 0% balance transfer card to pay it off. As long as your credit is solid, these cards are worth considering.
  • Work as a bridal party team to keep expenses in check. For example, you might be able to save by sharing a room, splitting the cost of a rental car or dividing other expenses.
  • Start saving ASAP. According to, the typical engagement period is 12-18 months, so you’ll likely have some time to put some money away to prepare for the costs of these weddings.

Full Report:

LendingTree commissioned Qualtrics to conduct an online survey of 2,168 U.S. consumers, including 842 respondents who’ve been bridal party members in the past 10 years. The survey was administered April 4-8, 2022, using a non-probability-based sample, and quotas were used to ensure the sample base represented the overall population. All responses were reviewed by researchers for quality control.

About LendingTree:
LendingTree® is the nation’s leading online marketplace that connects consumers with the choices they need to be confident in their financial decisions. LendingTree empowers consumers to shop for financial services the same way they would shop for airline tickets or hotel stays, comparing multiple offers from a nationwide network of over 500 partners in one simple search, and can choose the option that best fits their financial needs. Services include mortgage loans, mortgage refinances, auto loans, personal loans, business loans, student loans, insurance, credit cards and more. Through the LendingTree platform, consumers receive free credit scores, credit monitoring and recommendations to improve credit health. LendingTree proactively compares consumers’ credit accounts against offers on our network and notifies consumers when there is an opportunity to save money. In short, LendingTree’s purpose is to help simplify financial decisions for life’s meaningful moments through choice, education and support. LendingTree, LLC is a subsidiary of LendingTree, Inc. For more information, go to, dial 800-555-TREE, like our Facebook page and/or follow us on Twitter @LendingTree

Morgan Lanier