While a wedding places some financial pressure on the bride and groom, it also causes the guest to spend quite a bit of money on the big day as well.
While guests don’t have to pay for large expenses like food or the venue, they do have to purchase gifts, attend pre-wedding celebrations, pay for their attire, and most likely cover their own travel expenses.
In 2015, the average cost of a wedding guest was $673 but it could be more if you factor in out-of-state travel. If you go to quite a few weddings in your lifetime, you could spend that money several times over.
Weddings are a happy occasion and if you want to be supportive and still stick to your budget, here are some helpful ways to cut the costs of attending a wedding.
Reuse Attire or Order Online
If you’re not in the wedding and you’re just attending as a guest, it’s not considered tacky at all to re-wear an outfit you already have or an outfit that has been worn to another wedding. As long as your outfit looks nice, you’ll still look great in pictures and won’t have to spend money on new clothes for the occasion.
If you’re in the wedding party, see if you can order parts of your attire online. I know for men, this will be harder since they usually need to get fitted for a tux with a tux rental company. But for bridesmaid’s, you can easily find a nice dress online.
Bridesmaid’s dresses in boutiques can cost $100+ and that’s a lot of money for someone to pay for a dress they’re going to wear once. I didn’t want my bridesmaids spending a ton of money on their dresses so I chose a $40 dress I liked on Amazon and they all ordered one.
Get Clear on All the Wedding Details
Most couples will send out wedding details several months in advance and this isn’t done by accident. Look at your save-the-date reminder and invitation and even feel free to ask questions so you can get clear on all the wedding details and start saving up ahead of time.
If someone you know is planning on having a destination wedding, you can start budgeting for it and evening earning extra money if you wish so you can afford the added expenses of attending.
Split Costs With Others
If you are attending a wedding with a guest, be sure to split the costs on items expenses like travel and the gift. If you are in the bridal party or a best man or maid of honor, see if you can split costs with others in the party if you are expected to plan and fund things like the bridal shower or a bachelor party.
Don’t Be Afraid to Shop Sales
As you shop for the perfect wedding gift, don’t be afraid to take advantage of sales and deals. If a holiday sale comes up, you can usually get a discount on romantic and engraved gifts or even household items around Black Friday, Christmas and Memorial Day.
Also, homemade gifts are also not a bad idea. If you have a nice picture of the couple and want to put it in a nice frame so they can open it on their wedding day, or make candles or bath salts, it could make a great personalized gift.
Book Travel Early and Use Rewards
If you know that you need to travel for the wedding, try to book travel early and take advantage of any loyalty or credit card rewards you might have. If you usually fly with a certain airline, it wouldn’t hurt to sign up for their loyalty program so you can earn points or miles for travel.
You could also use Uber or Lyft to for transportation while you’re in town for the wedding so as to avoid having to pay for a rental car. Sometimes, if a big group is coming in for a wedding, a reasonable group rate for the hotel can be offered. If this isn’t the case and you can’t afford a pricey hotel room, see if you can book your stay at a nearby AirBnb property to save.
As a wedding guest, your expenses could really add up. Be sure to keep these tips in mind and plan ahead when you receive your next wedding invite.
How much have you spent to attend a wedding? Have you ever implemented any of these saving tips?
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