Financially Surviving the Wedding Season

David Sung | May 19, 2014

Weddings are joyous occasions, for the newlyweds and the attendees. Everyone enjoys themselves and the company, but as the invitations pile up in the spring and summer, you can start to notice the toll they take on your wallet. From gifts to new clothes, weddings have a way of quickly becoming expensive for the attendees. We’ve compiled this list to help you be as thrifty as possible, while still looking your best.

What to wear?

In simpler times, you could wear the same dress or shirt and tie to multiple events and no one would be the wiser. But in this social media age, people may begin talking when you’re tagged in a photo wearing the same clothes every weekend. Rather than buying new clothes for every wedding that you may only wear once, consider using a rental service (such as Rent the Runway) or simply borrowing a friend’s clothes. Both men and women can style outfits differently with wraps, cardigans, ties, accessories, or shoes to give the same clothes a different look for each occasion.

Gift Buying

Don’t fall into the trap of purchasing a gift at the last minute. The registry list will probably be slim, with most of the expensive items left. Or, you may rush into buying a gift, leaving no time for price shopping. Once the registry is announced, begin bargain hunting. Sign up for the retailer’s newsletter or shop around. You may also consider gathering a group to buy one gift for bigger ticket items. It may also be a perfect time to re-gift that crockpot or other item you got as a duplicate gift from your own wedding.

Declining Invitations

At some point, you’ll have to decline a wedding invitation for one reason or another. A general rule of thumb is to send a gift anyway if you are declining the invitation. Of course, some couples may not mind that you can’t make it or be sincerely disappointed you can’t come. In lieu of a gift, consider calling and catching up to relay the news in person. After all, they really wanted you there, and that’s why they sent you the invitation in the first place!

Out of Town Weddings

Many people end up moving around the country while still maintaining friendships, or your local friends may elect to have the wedding in the bride’s hometown in another state.  And, that may necessitate the need for many attendees to travel to the wedding. Depending on how close you are to the bride or groom, you may ask if they have any relatives or friends nearby with whom you can stay. Even if they have hotel rooms reserved at a discount, you may consider looking elsewhere for a room that is cheaper still. And, if it’s a destination wedding – usually held at resort towns, which can be more expensive – considering working a vacation around the wedding to avoid another set of travel costs later in the year.

Outside of these tips, be sure to budget and save leading up to the wedding. This will help you avoid being strapped for cash when the wedding is “suddenly” next weekend. Weddings are meant to be fun, so be sure you can get the most enjoyment out of them. If you have any other wedding saving tips, leave a comment and share them with other readers.

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