How much can you ex­pect to spend if you’re asked to be in the wed­ding party?

Milwaukee Weddings - - Content - BY RICH ROVITO

The sticker shock of stand­ing up in a wed­ding.

ME­GAN COSTELLO has in­vested con­sid­er­able time, money and en­ergy in wed­dings. At an Au­gust cer­e­mony at a Walker’s Point cof­fee shop, the MPS spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion teacher (and a new­ly­wed her­self ) served as maid of honor for the third time in three years. She’s also been a brides­maid four times. That’s a quar­ter of the way to Kather­ine Heigl’s 27 Dresses, for those keep­ing track.

“It’s a big honor but it comes with a lot of re­spon­si­bil­ity, costs and some stress,” Costello says. She has planned bri­dal show­ers and bach­e­lorette par­ties, in­clud­ing ar­rang­ing for trans­porta­tion, drinks, food, party fa­vors, en­ter­tain­ment and dec­o­ra­tions. Then there’s the cost of buy­ing a dress, al­ter­ations, shoes, jew­elry, hair, makeup and nails. “I was told for one wed­ding to get a spray tan be­cause of my tan lines,” she says. “It all adds up.”

She has at­tended wed­dings in Den­ver, St. Louis and Mex­ico, which meant travel costs brought the to­tal out­lay even higher. “The costs to stand up in a wed­ding have grown far beyond what they used to be,” says Terry Pow­ers, an event plan­ner at Golden Chic Events & Con­sult­ing. “And men don’t al­ways have it eas­ier.” Beyond the tuxedo rental, there’s the bach­e­lor party, for which a trip has be­come vogue, she adds. Plus booze, party buses, “maybe a tra­di­tional shave and hair­cut, and a round of golf.”

So how much should you ex­pect to spend? Costs can be any­where from $1,000 to $3,000 for best men and maids of honor, depend­ing on the type of wed­ding and lo­ca­tion, says Jan­ice Rosen­thal, owner of Party Pro­duc­tions. Costello says she spent $700 to $1,000 for each wed­ding she was a part of. “Imag­ine a bach­e­lorette party in Ve­gas or a wed­ding on an is­land. It sounds won­der­ful, but it could be very costly,” Rosen­thal says. ◆


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