Money Matters: Joining Your Friend’s Wedding Party Without Going Broke



By Nathaniel Sillin

If a close friend or family member is getting married it’s an honor to be asked to join the wedding party. However, if your budget is tight because you’re saving up for a financial goal, paying off bills or have had a recent financial reversal like the loss of a job, you might need to do some thinking before you say yes.

The average spend by bridesmaids and groomsmen can exceed $1,000 for clothing, wedding and shower gifts, bachelorette or bachelor party expenses and other incidentals. Add any number of factors – more expensive dresses, a purchased tuxedo, an upscale gift registry, a destination wedding – and suddenly, the cost of standing up for a friend’s wedding can rival a rent payment, or beyond.

It can be tough to refuse a friend who wants you to be in his or her wedding – planning, saving and bargaining can help you avoid having to turn them down. Here are some ideas to potentially lower the wedding party’s costs on the key items:

il_340x270.436561487_rgvnClothing. Men luck out a bit in the tuxedo rental department because group discounts are often available for wedding parties. (Note to guys: If you’re not going to get at least four wearings out of a tux, you may want to forego buying one.) However, for women, the landscape can get trickier – you’ll probably never wear that dress again. So maybe it’s time for negotiation with the couple. If the dresses or suits don’t have to be identical, you can consider second-hand shops and online resale sites that can save significant money. Second-hand can be a big winner as well.

Gifts. With more pre-wedding events going co-ed, men and women in wedding parties may be buying both shower and wedding gifts for the couple. How can you cut that cost? The attendants can split a bigger gift at a lower cost per person. If you’re already investing a significant amount of money in the wedding, consider a more sentimental gift that won’t cost as much but will still be meaningful. If you want an alternative option to the typical registry gift, think about contributing to the couple’s honeymoon fund.

Travel. Start searching for discounts the minute you’re asked to participate, particularly on air and hotel – waiting will likely impact your budget. If the wedding is out of town or if overnight stays become a necessity, driving or rooming with other attendants can be a good option. Food costs can be cut by packing food for the drive. If friends live near by the wedding destination, ask if you can stay with them. Stay close to the proceedings – after all, cabs and onsite rental car costs add up, so it’s wise to minimize travel distances. One last tip – check all your travel options one last time before you head to the wedding. Check to see if there are any special deals, price changes or upgrades to your travel or accommodations that you can take advantage of.

Pre-wedding celebrations. Bachelor and bachelorette parties are notorious for being over-the-top, but that doesn’t mean you have to empty your savings to show the couple a good time. For safety and savings, consider locations with plenty of restaurants and bars close together so you can walk from place to place. Home-based parties can be a fun option, too.

After considering all these options, what if you still need to say no? Don’t wait. Be early and be honest with your friend. And offer to help in any way you can.

Bottom line: Before you say “yes” to the dress, the tuxedo or the other list of expenses common to the wedding party, do some thinking about alternatives the couple might go for. The right amount of finesse and creativity can preserve your friendship and your budget.



Athlete of the Month: R.J. Boyle

RJ Boyle Photo 2

By Steve Svetovich

Holy Cross Crusaders senior R.J. Boyle once again was the staff ace as his team won the Lackawanna League Division II title and entered district playoffs with a win.

The Crusaders finished the regular season with a 12-2 record, 8-2 in league play.

Boyle finished the season with a perfect 6-0 record and 1.35 ERA. He was 6-1 the previous season and has 20 career wins.

Son of Rich and Michelle Boyle, the ace hurler also plays second base for the Crusaders. He has a .280 batting average.

Holy Cross, coached by the veteran Sandy Menichetti, beat Wyoming Seminary, 8-5, in the first district playoff contest. “We work hard as a team and we put out results,” said Boyle. “We have a real good shot to win the district playoffs and go far. We have the momentum right now. We all feel this is our year.”

The pitcher-infielder said he learned a lot from his parents. “They always tell me to be the best person I can be. They tell me it is more important to be a good student than it is to be a good athlete. Be a student first and an athlete second.”

And Boyle has learned plenty from coach Menichetti. “He tells us if we put in the time then all of our hard work will pay off.”

RJ Boyle Photo 3Boyle, the student, has an impressive 3.6 grade point average. He is a member of the National Honor Society, Pro Life, the Language Club and Crusaders for Compassion. He said Math is his best subject.

He enjoys listening to music in his spare time and would like to see country artist Luke Bryan in concert.

A four-year member of the Holy Cross varsity baseball team, he played one season of freshman basketball.

He will enter his eighth season of travel baseball with the East Coast Sand Hogs this summer. He also plays American Legion baseball in Dickson City.

He talked about what it takes to be a good pitcher. “You need to work hard and put the time in. And then you will get results.”

Boyle is going to study biology next year at Gwynedd Mercy near Lansdale.

He eventually would like to become a physical therapist.

“I want to do something in medicine that is going to help people, especially young athletes.”

He also is expected to play baseball in college.

He talked about his Holy Cross experience.

“I have been very happy here. It is a small school and you get to knowR.J. Boyle leads Holy Cross pitching staff

everyone. That makes for a good baseball team and experience.”

One aspect of the game has been a sure thing. The Holy Cross Crusaders always play confident with R.J. Boyle on the mound. “I enjoy pitching for this team. We have a great group of guys.”

Little Sisters of the Poor host 10th annual golf tournament

little sisters golf tournament pic

The Little Sisters of the Poor will host their 10th  annual golf tournament on Saturday, June 11, at the Scranton Municipal Golf Course, Lake Ariel.

Golf tournament registration begins at noon with a shotgun start at 1 p.m. The format is captain and crew. Singles will be placed on a team. The cost is $100 per golfer which includes green fees, use of a cart, an official tournament shirt, a gift bag, a pre-tournament refreshment reception, a light meal during the tournament and a post-tournament dinner at the course clubhouse. Golfers will also have a chance to win prizes based on their performance in the tournament including a new car courtesy of Matt Burne Honda, Scranton.

Several types of golf and sponsorship packages, which are great advertising vehicles, are also available including hole signs for $100 and sponsorships of $250, $500, $750 and $1,000. There will also be a grand raffle of the Sisters’ famous gift baskets as well as prizes valued at over $100.

For more information, please contact Mrs. Jackie Galvin, M.S., director of development and communications, at (570) 343-4065 ext. 3144 or Golf registration is also available at

All proceeds will be used to purchase a new bus for the residents of Holy Family Residence.

Committee members for the Little Sisters of the Poor golf tournament on June 11 include, seated from left: Jerry Musheno, tournament cochairman; Patrick J. Sheridan, tournament cochairman; Gene Cosgrove, Mother Theresa Louisa, l.s.p.; Sister Marie Therese, l.s.p.,and tournament cochairman, and Bob Blaker, maintenance director. Standing: Lisa Blaker, director of activities and volunteer coordinator; Janet Skibinski, MaryCarol Kanton, Jackie Galvin, M.S., director of development and communications; Karen Caruso, development assistant, Ann Kwak; Pete Kanton, and Charlie Butler. Also serving on the committee are Debbi Bean, R.N., director of nursing; Joan Blaker, Atty. Jim Conaboy, Atty. Kevin Conaboy, Mike Crossin, Theresa Durkin, Tracy Genell, Bill and Kathy Hughes, tournament cochairman; Chris James, Bill McDonough, Carole Paswinski, Eddie Ruddy, Pat Salmon, Kim Simchak, business office manager; Tim Speicher, and Dave and Joyce Tressler.

Keystone UNICO scholarship recipients

UNICO scholarship winners pic

The Keystone Chapter UNICO National recently awarded three High School Seniors $1,000 each and a certificate of achievement for both their academic standing and community service involvement.

Pictured in the front row, from left are scholarship recipients Maren Lindemuth, Dunmore High School, who will attend Penn State Worthington majoring in Mathematics; Cassandra Diehl, North Pocono High School, who will attend Penn State Main majoring in Chemistry and Secondary Education; and Christina Brannon, Holy Cross High School, who will attend The University of Scranton majoring in Biology and Philosophy.

Standing in the second row are Cathy Bianchi, Keystone UNICO President-elect; Valerie Riggi, Keystone UNICO Treasurer; and Sandra Collins, Keystone UNICO Scholarship Director.