Attending Weddings While on a Budget

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Having a wedding is expensive, but so is attending one. Now that wedding season is back in full effect, one wedding after the other can eventually begin to add up. The average wedding guest spends more than $300 to attend – and if it is a destination wedding, costs can get up over $1200. While you may be excited about your friend or family member’s big day, you may also understandably be worried about your wallet.

If you don’t want to circle decline on your next wedding invite, but you aren’t prepared to spend an arm and a leg to attend, check out some ways to fit the next wedding in your budget.

Save on Travel and Hotel

Travel is often where guest spend the most money. Today’s couples have global guest lists, are choosing destination weddings or are getting married back in their hometowns.

If you have to travel to attend your next wedding, look at these money-saving tips:

  • Split travel expenses. Book travel and lodging with a group of people to secure better rates and lower costs. Driving to the venue? Make sure to share the costs of gas money and the rental car for major savings.
  • Skip the hotel and look at other options. That swanky hotel could set you back hundreds of dollars, instead explore other less expensive accommodations in the area, such as rental sites like AirBnb or Homeaway.
  • Choose your event. Traveling for an engagement dinner, bridal shower and bachelor/bachelorette party can begin to add up. Understand you may not be able to afford them all and be selective about which additional festivities you choose to attend to save money for the big day.

Save on Wedding Apparel

Weddings are important events and it’s necessary to be at your very best. However, looking like a million dollars doesn’t mean you have to spend a million dollars.

Resist the urge to splurge on a one-time wear with a tip below:

  • Incorporate recyclable pieces. Try to add a few key, versatile items to your closet that can be worn multiple times. Instead of purchasing an entirely new outfit for each wedding, switch up your look by incorporating different accessories.
  • Rent. Check out services like Rent The Runway or Le Tote that allow you to rent designer clothing and accessories for a few days at a fraction of the retail price. 

Save on the Wedding Gift   

The old saying goes you should give a wedding gift roughly equivalent to the amount spent on you to attend the wedding, including food and venue. By today’s standard, this is considered pretty antiquated and most etiquette experts agree that you should simply gift what you can afford.

If a surge of weddings or expensive nuptials have left you broke, save some money with these tips:

  • Go in on a group gift. Again, taking the time to round up a few friends or family members to split the cost of an expensive registry item can help to alleviate the pressure of a wedding gift. Gather enough people until the per-person cost is a reasonable price.
  • Give cash. By giving cash you won’t feel pressured to give more than you can afford. Plus—no matter the amount, the newlyweds will thank you.
  • Think thoughtful, not expensive. A meaningful, heartfelt gift can often be worth more to a couple than anything on the registry. Test out your crafting abilities and make something homemade from the heart.

Weddings can be stressful for a variety of reasons, but if you keep these tips in mind your budget won't be one of them.

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