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TD survey shows being in a wedding party may cost more than you expect

TORONTO, April 28, 2015 /CNW/ - Celebrating a friend or relative's wedding as a bridesmaid or groomsman is an honour, but it can also be quite a hit on your finances. A recent TD survey found that almost 40 per cent of Millennial and Gen X Canadians who have been in a wedding party say they felt pressured to spend more than they could afford.

The amounts can be significant: half (50 per cent) of those surveyed said on average they spent – or plan to spend – between $200 and $599 to be in wedding party; and a quarter (25 per cent) said they actually spend $600 or more for the average wedding.

"Most people can expect to participate in quite a few weddings throughout their lifetime, particularly when they're younger and their friends or family members are getting married, so including the related costs in your annual budget is a smart thing to do," said Raymond Chun, Senior Vice President, Everyday Banking and Personal and Indirect Lending at TD. "Having a realistic amount in your budget also helps you stay within a spending range that you're comfortable with and know you can afford."

Chun notes that while the TD survey found that only 18 per cent of Millennial and Gen-X wedding party members think it's appropriate to spend $600 or more on a single wedding, 25 per cent of them say they actually have spent, or plan to spend, that much. So it's no surprise that being in a wedding party may cost more than what is expected. In fact, when looking back on their experiences being a bridesmaid or groomsman, 45 per cent said that they, on average, spend more than expected on wedding-related costs.

The TD survey found some interesting gender differences in these expenses, with bridesmaids more likely than groomsmen to consider attire as the most expensive part of being in a wedding party, while groomsmen are more likely to say it's the bachelor party or the gift that's the priciest. Bridesmaids are also more likely than groomsmen to consider it appropriate to spend less than $200 on a wedding gift.

"One of the best ways to cope with the costs of being in a wedding party is to start saving money as soon as the engagement is announced so you don't have to scramble to find the money when asked to take part in the festivities," said Chun. "By setting up a separate tax-free savings account and depositing a regular amount into it each month or pay day, you'll be able to build a savings fund for things like wedding attire, the gift and any related travel costs."

Chun offers these tips to help prospective bridesmaids and groomsmen prepare for the costs of participating in a friend or relative's wedding:


Set a realistic budget: Include all of the possible costs, including wedding attire, grooming, gifts (including a shower gift), the bachelor/bachelorette party and travel. For out-of-town weddings, remember that booking travel and a hotel room as soon as possible can often help to keep those costs down, and make sure to check if the bride and groom have volume discounts at the hotel.


Establish a savings plan: Figure out how much time there is until the wedding and set up a regularly scheduled deposit to a Tax-Free Savings Account so you'll be able to save to help cover the expenses.


Choose a gift early from the bridal registry: There can be a wide range of gifts (and prices) in a bridal registry, with the less expensive ones often selected early, so don't wait to choose your gift or you may be left with one that costs more than you budgeted for. For more expensive items, consider teaming up with another bridal party member to split the costs.


Redeem credit card reward points for as many expenses as possible: Depending on the type of credit card you have and where you shop, you may be able to use your reward points to cover the cost of a gift and your wedding attire as well as any hotel and travel costs. Whatever money you're able to save by using points can stay in your Tax-Free Savings Account to help cover the costs of future weddings. Additionally, charging the costs to your rewards card will allow you to earn rewards faster.


Shop around: You don't have to buy the first bridesmaid's dress, shoes or other accessories you find. Do your research online and in-store before making a purchase as many stores could carry the same designers at different price points.

About the TD Canada Trust Bridal Party Wars Poll
TD Canada Trust commissioned by Environics Research Group to conduct a custom survey of 6,149 Canadians aged 18 years and older with a subgroup of 1,351 Millennials and Gen X respondents who have been a bridesmaid or groomsmen for this release. Responses were collected between January 20 and February 8, 2015.

About TD Canada Trust
TD Canada Trust offers personal and business banking to more than 11.5 million customers. We provide a wide range of products and services from chequing and savings accounts, to credit cards, mortgages and business banking, to credit protection and travel medical insurance, as well as advice on managing everyday finances. TD Canada Trust makes banking comfortable with award-winning service and convenience through 24/7 mobile, internet, telephone and ATM banking, as well as in over 1,100 branches, with convenient hours to serve customers better. For more information, please visit: TD Canada Trust is the Canadian retail bank of TD Bank Group, the sixth largest bank in North America.

SOURCE TD Canada Trust

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