groomsmen
Adria Lea Photography

Groomsmen of the world, get ready to open your wallets. You earned the honor of being named a groomsman and now, in celebration of your dear pal getting hitched, you are saddled with the honor of spending a week's salary to make sure that your dude gets the wedding of his (or his partner’s) dreams. We all know that attending weddings can get very expensive very quickly, but you might find yourself surprised when you learn what groomsmen pay for.  

Before you set your budget for the year, it may help to know the answer to “what do groomsmen pay for?” and double-check this list to see if you need to skip buying holiday gifts this winter and save up for those hidden groomsmen expenses instead.  

What You're Wearing

Whether the groom decides to go formal and put all his groomsmen in tuxedos or opts for a more casual route with suits, there's a better than good chance that you're going to spending money on a new set of threads for the wedding. Tuxedo rentals will cost you a couple of hundred dollars – and don't get all smug thinking that you've got a tuxedo in your closest ready to go. Most grooms want their wedding party to match the particular style of tuxedo that they choose, so that baggy tux you bought online five years ago isn't going to cut it. Same goes for suits. Just because you have a blue suit, that doesn't mean you have the right shade of blue to match the groom. The number-one answer to the question “what do groomsmen pay for?” is attire, so be ready to shell out some cash because nothing ruins wedding photos faster than a groomsman who didn't get the sartorial memo.

What You're Doing Before the Wedding

You may think a couple of shots of bourbon will be the biggest expense of the bachelor party, but the costs really add up. Dinner, drinks, and whatever the entertainment may be (those italics are merely for those that choose to include anything with the word “exotic”) can be very pricey. The tab skyrockets if the best man has chosen to take the bachelor party on the road. A recent bachelor party trip to MLB spring training in Arizona set me back more than $500, and that was with the understanding that we were doing everything with budgets in mind. Get ready to spend freely when that drunken night of debauchery turns into a weekend filled with meals and activities.

What You're Giving

When you go to a friend's wedding, you can get away with a gift that blends in with the crowd. When you're part of the wedding, though, you want your gift to reflect the honor of being chosen as a groomsman. There are no hard and fast rules about the size of the gift you should give when you're part of the wedding party, but it's not out of the realm of possibility to double what you normally give as a sign of respect and friendship. Sorry, (grooms)man, but that prominent spot during the ceremony costs more than just your time.

How You're Getting There

Traveling to a wedding can get expensive and that doesn't just include out-of-town events, like a destination bachelor party. If you’re wondering what groomsmen pay for, travel and accommodations are pretty high on the list. Just the very act of getting to a wedding where you live can be pricey. A lot of grooms want to share the entire wedding day with their boys and that means groomsmen have to get there early and stay late. Unless the wedding venue has its own free parking, there's a good chance you're paying for an all-day parking pass somewhere. If you're planning on drinking, you might even be considering a ride-share service (you better be considering it, buddy) and that's going to set you back a few dollars for sure. And what happens if you have a pup at home? Dog sitters don't come cheap. You probably didn't even think about the travel expenses, but they'll definitely be part of the final tally when you wonder why you're eating instant ramen for the next month.