Wedding Season Expenses with the Happy Hour Ladies


Wedding Season Expenses with the Happy Hour Ladies

Today is the last Friday of the month and my regular listeners know that on the last Friday of the month, I host a happy hour, where I gather great friends with me to drink cheap drinks and talk about money topics. Today is not only the last Friday of the month but it’s the beginning of Memorial Day weekend which is the official kick off to the summer in the US and with the beginning of the summer season, we are kicking off wedding season as well. For the last six years, I’ve worked with clients to both plan weddings and also plan to attend and participate in weddings and as you will hear in the episode, my experience has led to some very strong opinions on weddings. I hope you enjoy my wedding rant over cocktails.

What are we drinking?

Melanie from Dear Debt — Negroni

Tonya from Budget and the Beach — Pinot Grigio (Kirkland)

Liz, Mrs. Frugalwoods, from — Hard apple cider

Shannon — Bombay Sapphire Gin and Tonic

Podcast Notes

  • It is more difficult to manage the expense of weddings when you are a guest. When you are planning your own, you are in control of how much you spend.
  • What is your worst wedding fail and how did you handle it? Has money ever come between you and celebrating a wedding?
    • Liz: It is all about making the decision about spending in advance. Either she is going to spend the money and feel good about it or she cannot attend. She has no regrets about the weddings she chose to attend. Go into it with your eyes open.
    • Melanie: She said no to one wedding last year in NYC, because of the timing and circumstances. She has gone to a few weddings in Portland, but has offset the cost by staying with friends and flying with rewards points.
    • Tonya: She missed a few weddings in Michigan in her 20s. If she could combine it with something else she would fly back and attend. She hasn’t felt bad about saying no or had any fallout by not going to the bachelorette parties or weddings.
    • Shannon: Too many clients go through this. If you are in a wedding party and it’s local, it will be $1,000 minimum. If it is out of town, it will be $1,500 to $2,000. If you agree to be in the wedding party, you have no choices. Would you spend that much on your friend if it was just the two of you going out for a night? The biggest financial downfall happens when you are part of the wedding party. Before you say yes to anyone, think about how much it is going to cost you – it is a big financial decision, especially when you have more than one a year.
  • If you want to go to these weddings, save for it every month. Shannon breaks down the costs she sees clients have to pay to be in the bridal party.
  • Shannon shared wedding season stories of Gym clients and a bachelorette party she was in that included a $1,000 table cost in Chicago.
  • None of the Happy Hour ladies have been invited to a destination wedding, only out-of-state weddings. The ladies talk about destination weddings and the costs associated with them.
  • Liz didn’t have any bridal showers or baby showers, because they make her uncomfortable. Her friend offered to throw her a baby shower, and Liz asked her if she would watch her dog when they were at the hospital. Her friend wanted to do something to support Liz.
  • The ladies talk about funding Roth IRAs for the newlyweds and throwing showers for break ups and divorces.
  • If you are a bride, please be empathetic to your bridal party and your guests and assume that everybody coming to your wedding is in a shitstorm of a financial situation. Put yourself in their shoes and plan your wedding with that in mind.
  • Shannon has coached many women to just say no to being in the wedding party. It is okay to just be a guest.
  • If you can’t be honest with your friend and say you are not able to be in the wedding party due to a financial situation, why would you want to be in their wedding party anyway? You won’t ruin their wedding by saying no, you will ruin their wedding by being a Debbie Downer about how much debt you are in.
  • You have a year to give a gift after a wedding. If you can’t afford a gift at the wedding, wait to give it.

TAKEAWAY: Be compassionate and considerate of your friends’ financial situations when planning your wedding. Getting married is an incredibly exciting moment but I hope that you won’t let your joyous moment lead to many stressful and sleepless nights for your guests as they figure out how to afford it.

If you have any topics you would like for us to talk about during happy hour, please feel free to email me at or tweet to me at blonde_finance or join the private martinis and your money facebook group and let us know. Until next time, take care!!


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