A new survey shows more than half of Americans involved in a wedding say they've felt pressure to spend more than they could afford to take part.
According to LendingTree, the average bridal party member spends about $825 on attire, pre-wedding events and the wedding itself. And nearly 40 percent say they've regretted it.
More than half of bridal party members - 55% - say they've had to pay for a flight to attend wedding festivities such as a bachelorette or bachelor party.
And the strain on participants' wallets can continue for months or years with 50% incurring debt.
"People feel pressured to spend, in part, because they don't want to be a killjoy," says Matt Schulz, LendingTree's chief credit analyst. "That can make a potential bridesmaid or groomsman reluctant to speak up, even if the price of staying quiet is a fair amount of debt."
Still, 1 in 5 of those surveyed said they've turned down an invitation to be in a wedding due to expenses.
Experts suggest discussing your budget with the bride or groom - 45% of bridal party members surveyed did that. You should also use credit cards with travel rewards for flights and hotels, then use a 0% balance-transfer card to pay it off.
You might also be able to share a room with another member of the party, or split the cost of a rental car.
According to Brides.com, the typical engagement is 12-18 months, so start putting some money away as early as possible.