The Cost to Being the Best Man
Now that you know what's involved in being the best man, it's time we figure out how much being the best man can cost you. Calculating how much a best man may spend in the name of his wedding role is dependent on so many factors that a final amount can only be tallied on a case-by-case basis.
Since we can’t tell each and every one of you exactly how much you will end up spending as a best man, we did the next best thing. What follows below is a list of the different expenses a best man may incur, along with the average range of cost for each item. Based upon our experience and research the bottom line is that, at the very least, you should expect to shell out between $200 and $500 as best man. Read on to get a better idea of how much lighter your pockets will be when all is said and done.
Cost: $0 to $100
Traditionally, an engagement party is a meet-and-greet for the bride and groom's family and close friends. Party-goers attend to celebrate the engaged couple, express their excitement for the upcoming wedding, and are in no way obligated to bring a gift. But if you don't want to show up empty-handed, choose a gift that's below $100. Even something below $50 is more than sufficient because, keep in mind, that this is the first of many expenses you'll incur for your buddy/relative's wedding and you don't want to be running on empty as the bigger expenses quickly approach.
Cost for a Rented Tuxedo/Suit: $0 to $100+
Cost for a Purchased Tuxedo/Suit: $0 to $1,000+
If you’re lucky, the purchase/rental of your wedding day attire can cost you absolutely nothing. How, you ask? Some couples, as a thank you gift for the best man/groomsmen, cover the purchase/rental price of the tuxedo or suit their groomsmen wear to their wedding. This doesn't happen often as it can be pricey for the couple but, if it does, consider yourself lucky. Now, if you have to pay for your ensemble, the final cost depends on whether you're renting or buying and, when it comes to this, the where and what will determine whether you need to start working overtime.
Renting Versus Buying: Renting a tuxedo or suit is, oftentimes, more cost-effective than purchasing one in the short term. There are tuxedo/suit rentals that start at $95 and the final cost can vary depending on where you're located, the rental company as well as how many "upgrades" you're required to rent. Upgrades are things like a handkerchief, cummerbund, vest, button covers, upgraded shoe, etc. and are generally chosen/dictated by the couple. The cost of purchasing a tuxedo or suit, on the other hand, can cost you a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars. The price tag obviously depends on the brand, fabric quality, if the item is on sale, and if you're purchasing a ready-to-wear or custom-made tuxedo/suit.
Footwear: $0 to $100+
Some couples cover the cost of their groomsmen's footwear as a thank you gift; and this act of appreciation happens most often with beach and destination weddings. Another instance where you may spend nothing for this item is if the couple isn't particular about
the shoes you wear to their wedding. Just make sure your shoes meet the wedding's dress code and match well with the rest of your outfit as well as with the other groomsmen's footwear. If you have to purchase specific footwear, however, formal shoes can start at $40, Top-Siders at $60, and flip flops or sandals can start at $10. Just like everything else, the price tag depends on where you're located, the store/brand, and if the item is on sale.
Accessories: $0 to $100+
A necktie, bow tie, cuff links, handkerchief, etc. count as an accessory. If you're renting your tuxedo/suit, these items will be included in your order and factored into the final cost. If you're purchasing your tuxedo/suit, these items are in addition to the cost of your tux/suit and the price of each accessory varies primarily by brand. However, most couples gift an accessory or two to their groomsmen so you may spend nothing on the necktie you have to wear to their wedding.
Cost: $100 - $1,000+
Bachelor parties consist of a plethora of factors that affect the total per person price - one night or a weekend, local or destination, chosen activities, etc. - and gauging whether you'll be spending hundreds or thousands of dollars is difficult. But there is a way to get an idea of how much the bachelor party can cost you - ask the groom what he has in mind for his stag party.
By the way, there are a few grooms-to-be who would prefer not to have a bachelor party. So, in these very rare cases, you will be spending neither time nor money - perhaps a celebration is in order?
TRAVEL & ACCOMMODATIONS
Cost: $0 to $1,000+
The total cost you shell out for this category depends on where the wedding is taking place. If the wedding is local, you will likely incur much less in the way of travel and lodging expense. However, if the wedding is a long way from your home (more than several hours travel - via car, rail or air) then expect to spend anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars. As a general rule, the further away the wedding is from your home, the more you will likely spend for travel, food and accommodation.
Cost: $0 (with the potential for a humiliating YouTube video) to $100+
This item doesn't apply for every best man but, since more and more best men are seeking the help of professional wedding speechwriters to assist with their best man speech, this service warrants a mention. Our services top at $250 but the cost of hiring a speechwriter depends on the speechwriter you choose, the ordered service(s), and the length of your speech.
Cost: $100 - $1,000+
Your wedding gift to the couple can be material, sentimental or monetary, and the amount you spend depends on a variety of factors like if it's a group gift from you and rest of the groomsmen, what else you may have had to already spend for your buddy/relative's
wedding, and/or if you're attending with a date. Whatever amount you choose to put towards the couple's wedding gift, just make sure it's an amount you can responsibly afford.
For most, it is difficult to put a price on their time. But as good ol' Benjamin Franklin said, "Time is money." and you will invest a lot of your time into your role as best man and into your friend/relative's wedding. Just food for thought and a reminder that your role as best man affects more than just your wallet.