Just how much money are members of a wedding party suposed to put out?

From this thread: [URL=http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=369041] about a second wedding and how tacky asking for gifts was.

What? This could run into thousands of dollars at a big wedding. Is this really expected? And while we’re at it, is it pretty much standard to have your wedding party pay for all the necessary…stuff…that goes along with it? I have always had a problem with this. My husband has been part of 3 wedding parties recently; each event cost several hundred dollars all said and done. For the record, all were close friends of his and it would have been a big no-no to decline. It seems to me that, since the bride and groom pick out the clothes their party must wear, the ticket price should come out of the wedding budget. Am I just cheap (yeah, I know, I am) or is it rude to ask people to spend so much on your wedding?

One last thing–a poll: How much (cash) do you usually give for a wedding gift? Does it depend on the perceived cost of the wedding? Just currious.

I’ve never heard of it being the best man’s responsibility to keep the open bar going, nor have I heard of the bride & groom paying for the clothing bill for the wedding party. I thought each person footing the bill for their own tux/dress to be in a wedding was just one of those things that goes along with celebrating your friend’s/relative’s march down the aisle.

As far as a cash gift, if they’re a close friend, I usually give a few hundred bucks. No connection to the relative cost of the wedding.

I skipped right over the word “money” when I read the thread title.

In my opinion it is not out of line to decline the request to stand up at a wedding, particularly if the cost is prohibitive. I would tell the close friend I couldn’t afford it. No shame in that.

Re: the best man digging into his pocket…I think that his job is to make sure things run smoothly. He would get a receipt and submit it to the groom for reimbursement. It’s just a “helping out” thing…not expected to actually foot the bill. That’s my take, anyway.

Its his job to make sure the WEDDING goes smoothly. Making sure the reception goes smoothly is the job of the host and hostess of the wedding. For a big wedding, these are roles (similar to maid of honor) not held by the bride or grooms parents, but often an uncle or someone else who can write checks and bill the appropriate person.

I’ve never heard of members of the wedding party being asked to cover part of the reception. They usually are expected to provide their own clothing, however. I think brides/grooms should be sensitive to the financial situtations of their wedding party as much as possible and plan accordingly.

A best man and maid of honor are often also the hosts of a bachelor party or bridal shower, which can also be expensive.

Regarding gifts, there was a thread about that just recently…

If you can’t afford to purchase the necessary clothing/accesories to stand up for a friend at their wedding, it’s totally appropriate to decline the invitation.

If you can afford it, but just resent paying it, it’s totally appropriate to decline the invitation.

If you can afford it, resent paying it, and accept the invitation anyway just to later bitch about it on a message bord. Well, then you’re cheap.

Regarding keeping the bar open - I believe the idea is the best man helps things at the wedding go smoothly - if this means covering the bar tab to be reimbursed later, so be it. While the bride’s parents (and possibly the groom’s) are usually the hosts of a wedding, most likely they’ll be busy with other stuff, so the attendants can be called upon to help out.

Luckily the place we had our reception didn’t have a bar so while in a way the question didn’t arise - we had to provide all the after dinner drinks ourselves, boxes of wine, kegs of beer, some soft drinks and a few mixers bought off the net - we looked really generous.

As for weddings I’ve been to however, well, in France the drinking generally stops when the food does so again, case closed. In other places, don’t think I’ve ever had an open bar after the meal was over.

Wedding parties - we didn’t pay for a scrap of anyone else’s clothing but then nor did we tell anyone what to wear - the best man was in a siut, the groom in tails, even my “bridesmaids” bought their own dresses, three children from three different countries were just asked to find a pink dress, even the colour was chosen by the eldest. OTOH, when I was a bridesmaid my dress colour and style was dictated and it was given to me as a gift (for the same wedding I was told that, as I"d travelled to the UK twice for dress fittings and again for the wedding I was not to buy a present).

We paid for the flowers and button holes.

Tickets - people from 5 different countries came to our wedding, we only paid for the priest coming over from Ireland, however we did put a note in with the invitations saying that as they would be going to so much trouble (read “expense”) to come to the wedding we considered that our present and we did not want/expect anything else, we also timed the wedding so that people could make a long weekend in Paris of it. (Some even came to Paris but skipped the wedding :dubious: )

Asking for gifts may be tacky but you wouldn’t believe how many people asked us for a wedding list, despite the fact we expressly said we didn’t want anything.

Reading threads about weddings on this board makes me thankful that a) I’m not in the States where here seem to be so many ‘rules’ & b) realise how lucky I am in terms of both friends and family that this sort of thing wasn’t an issue. My take has always been, if someone wants you to come to your wedding they will ask you and, if asked, you should do everything you can to get there but … a true friend (family member or not) will understand your reason if you can’t make it.

I agree with Kalhoun, it’s more about managing the situation. (And how very unprofessional on the part of the venue, I hope the parents in question followed up with a very strongly-worded complaint!)

When I’ve been as a bridesmaid, I’ve done a number of such problem-solving task forces, both at the wedding itself and at the reception. I think part of it is because you’re easy to pick out in a crowd, what with the dress and all.

In terms of actual expenses, I try to come prepared to shell out for some incidentals, if need be. Tips and carfare always seem to come up. As an attendant, you never know when you might be the only recognizable member of the wedding party at any given moment, and it’s often easier to deal with things as they happen. I’ve always said they call them bridesMAIDS for a reason.

I admit, without wanting to pick on anyone, that this sort of wedding custom drives me absolutely bugfuck. When Lady Chance and I were married (1993!) we paid for everything (my mom threw down some but that was it. She tossed us $5K and told us to keep what we didn’t spend.) as well as we could. We paid for tuxes, dresses, food, drinks, and so forth. I wanted to puke at the idea that our pals should pony up to go to our wedding which is, essentially, a party thrown by us. I wouldn’t do it any other time and I wouldn’t do it here.

In short, if they care enough about us to be there that should be enough.

Urgh! Sometimes the crassness of such things drives me nuts.

I had a WTF reaction to that, too. But then, in Britain, cash bars are the norm at weddings, because otherwise nobody could ever afford to get married.

So you throw a big party, and you find it odd that you’re guest would have to purchase appropriate clothing for themselves?

Well, thats…novel. What if it were a birthday party - would you buy new outfits for your guests then as well?

I’m throwing a shower for my best girlfriend in August. Should I also purchase new outfits for her mom, and future sister’s in law?

Not to speak for Johnathan, but I assumed he meant for the people that are “required” to dress a certain way (i.e. the groomsmen and bridesmaids).

I was married in a courthouse, so my wife and I didn’t incur these expenses, but I would have expected to pay for:
[li]Wedding clothes (tux for me, dress for her, bridesmaids dresses, groomsmen tuxes).[/li][li]Open Bar for a couple of hours post-meal.[/li][li]A “fund” for drunken guests…cabs, etc.[/li][li]Airfare for family, if needed.[/li][/ol]

And no, neither of us come from money. I agree with the proposition that it’s a party thrown by you, the married, and you should pony up to make the attendance an easy thing.

Again, I married in a courthouse, so my total wedding expenses were around $50.


Cem, I got ya beat - we got married at the courthouse and then went to Trackside for our “reception” - Mr2U hit the first race Trifecta so we ended up MAKING money. :smiley:

In my mind, the best man (aside from the general duties of being a best friend or brother) is responsible for the following expenses:

[li]Sufficient liquor to get the groom drunk at the bachelor’s party[/li][li]Strippers[/li][li]Any emergency medical or tailoring expenses incurred in the process of wrestling the groom out of the bathroom window on the day of the wedding, should the urge to flee strike him.[/li][/ol]Although I admit that I’ve neither married nor been a best man.

Whose job is it if the bride and groom are the hosts?

I think it falls to the attendants again.

I think it falls to the attendants again.

I’m going to be a Best Man at a wedding this weekend. I have no intention of paying for shit. I have no intention of “managing” shit. My job is to hand over the ring. After that, I’m done. Nothing that goes wrong is remotely my problem. I’m an invited guest, not a host, and I hate weddings anyway.

Are you also going to leave immediately after handing over the ring? To be honest, with an attitude like that, I wonder why the groom chose you as best man.