Weddings have become so expensive, not only for the bride and groom but for the guests as well! According to a Bankrate.com survey, the average cost for attending a wedding was anywhere from $400 to over $1,000! I think we all need to know how to save money as a wedding guest.
That range will obviously depend on several factors. Destination versus local wedding. If they are close friends or family compared to a coworker or acquaintance.
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Take into account that most people get invited to several weddings a year and the cost can add up quickly.
I remember that most of my friends seemed to be getting married during my senior year of college or soon there after. You know, that time when I was broke as a joke!
Not only was I having to look for a full time job and start paying off student loans but it seemed like I had all of these other wedding expenses to cover as well.
Bridesmaid dresses, gifts, bridal showers, and travel expenses to get to and from the wedding venues. It was a bit overwhelming but I survived.
I was lucky that the brides were very gracious and understanding when it came to their friend’s finances. Especially since we were all just graduating.
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Here were a few ways you can save money as a wedding guest without being cheap.
How to Save Money as a Wedding Guest
Save on the Wedding Outfit
This is probably one of the easiest ways to save money as a wedding guest. If you have friends that are the same size in clothing or shoes, ask to shop their closet when you have a wedding to go to.
You can get different looks without the huge cost. Another way to save on the outfit is to invest in a classic cocktail dress that can be worn to every wedding. Something in a solid color that can be jazzed up with different shoes or accessories.
You can find some great options at Nordstrom Rack. I saw some cute cocktail and party dresses for under $30!
If you have to attend a more formal wedding, Rent the Runway is a great place to find gorgeous gowns for a fraction of what it would cost to actually buy them.
Hair and Makeup
Save the $80 is would cost to get a professional manicure and pedicure and just do it yourself at home. Use these secrets to get a perfect DIY manicure at home.
If you need to get them done professionally, check out deal sites like Groupon to save a bundle. This goes for hair styling as well.
If you don’t have the money to buy new makeup, you can always stop by a Sephora on your way to the event. Use the free samples that they have available to get a new look for the day. I’ve seen people do this all the time. The associates are fine with it, just don’t go overboard.
Save Money on Wedding Travel
If you need to travel for the wedding, start booking everything as soon as you get the invite. The longer you wait until the date, the more expensive hotels and plane ticket prices will be.
You can use travel sites like Expedia to start looking for the best deals.
Don’t be afraid to get a travel buddy. If you have friends that will be attending the same wedding, ask if they want to share a hotel room or Airbnb. If you don’t know anyone, ask the bride or groom if they know anyone who is looking to share a room. There may be someone in your area that you could even carpool with.
You can also use these money saving travel tips to save even more on your hotel or airfare.
Save on the Wedding Gifts
No body wants to give a cheap gift but you have to stick within your budget.
You can skip the registry altogether and give toward the couple’s honeymoon or first home fund. Most people are older when they get married and already have all the home and kitchen items that are usually found on the registry. Memories tend to last far longer than a set of bath towels.
For another option, ask other friends if they want to go in together on a big ticket item. That way you are getting the couple something they want without having to spend a fortune on it yourself.
If you are wanting to get something off of the registry, buy it early before all that is left are the very expensive items. Just because the item is on a particular registry doesn’t mean you have to buy it from that store.
Shop around to see if you can get the exact same thing for a better price somewhere else. Look for coupon codes or free shipping offers. Don’t forget to shop through Ebates to get cash back on your purchase as well.
Say No to All The Weddings
If you are invited to more weddings than you can afford to go to, don’t be afraid to say “No”. Just pick the top two or three that you really want to attend. Those of close friends and family over people you don’t know that well.
Just RSVP “No” and thank the couple for an invite. You can even send them a card.
Most people are not going to be offended that you can’t go to their wedding. They will understand!
Use these tips to save money as a wedding guest so that you an actually enjoy the big day and not stress over your finances.