Celebrating a friend or relative’s wedding as a member of the bridal party can be a hit to your young clients’ finances, says TD.

Almost 40% of Millennial and Gen X Canadians who have been in a wedding party say they felt pressured to spend more than they could afford, finds a TD survey.

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

“Including the related costs in your annual budget is a smart thing,” says Raymond Chun, senior vice president of Everyday Banking and Personal and Indirect Lending at TD.

“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,” he adds.

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While the TD survey finds only 18% of Millennial and Gen-X wedding party members think it’s appropriate to spend $600 or more on a single wedding, 25% of them say they actually have spent, or plan to spend, that much.

When looking back on their experiences being a bridesmaid or groomsman, 45% say they, on average, spent more than expected.

The TD survey found some gender differences in expenses. Bridesmaids are more likely than groomsmen to consider attire as the largest expense, 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.

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Share these five tips with clients who are in a bridal party:

1) Set a realistic budget. Include all possible costs, such as attire, grooming, gifts, the bachelor/bachelorette party and travel. For out-of-town weddings, booking travel and a hotel room early can keep costs down, especially if the bride and groom have volume discounts at the hotel.

2) Establish a savings plan. Set up a regularly scheduled deposit to a savings account to cover the expenses.

3) Choose a gift early. Gifts on a bridal registry can range in price, but the less expensive ones are often selected early. For more expensive items, consider teaming up with another bridal party member to split costs.

4) Redeem credit card reward points. 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.

5) Shop around. You don’t have to buy the first outfit, shoes or accessories you find. Research online and in-store before making a purchase, as many bridal stores carry the same designers at different price points.

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