How to Survive Wedding Season on a Budget

Posted May 31st, 2018

It's that time of the year again. Love is in the air and you can almost hear the destination bachelorette parties, the awkward bridal shower games, the seating charts being thrown across the room in exasperation... It's wedding season!

Each summer and fall, it seems like everyone is tying the knot. While that means it's a great time to catch up with old friends, it also means your wallet is taking a hit. According to the, wedding guests spend an average of $888 per wedding. And the price only goes up if you're in the wedding party!

So how do you celebrate your friends without breaking the bank? We've got a few tips.

Getting There

You got the save the date. You RSVPed to the invitation. Now you just have to get there. Travel is often the main expense for a wedding guest, especially if it's a destination wedding. Get more for your money by going in on an Airbnb with some friends. Split the costs with others and set yourself up to throw a rad after party!

If you're flying, set a travel alert on Google. Google will let you know when prices increase or decrease to ensure you get the best deal. Once there, use Uber or Lyft to take you around town for relatively cheap. Bonus points: you can use the app to split the fare between friends!

The Age Old Question...What to Wear?

I get it. You don't want to show up at all four weddings wearing the same dress. However, that doesn't mean you have to splurge on a new one each time. Start by splurging on one awesome dress then change it up with new accessories. A bold necklace, a colorful scarf or a patterned sweater can make the dress unrecognizable!

But what if rocking a new dress is half the fun? I get that, too. Start with your cheapies but goodies (TJ Maxx, Ross, Marshalls) or check your local Facebook resale groups. There are groups dedicated to formal attire and most have only been worn once or twice.

Designer digs still calling your name? Rent them! Sites like Rent the Runway offer expensive dresses for a one time rental price that can be as low as $30. They also offer shoes, bags and accessories, which can save time and money.

Giving Gifts

Ah, the art of giving gifts. What do you do when you know your BFF and her new man deserve a mansion, but you can barely afford McDonald's? Three letters: DIY. Use your time and talents to make something personal for the bride and groom. I've seen beautiful hand made and heart felt gifts that cost under $20, but took hours and hours to create. That's the gift the couple will cherish and remember. Are you feeling crafty? Check Pinterest for some ideas.

Do you struggle to cut a straight line and the thought of creating an entire gift gives you anxiety? Don't worry - you have options, too. First, run to that registry! Check out the wish list before it starts looking scarce. If you wait until the last minute, you could be stuck spending much more than originally planned.

So what happens if you accidentally waited too long and the only item left is a $300 blender? Grab a couple procrastinating friends and go in together.

The Power of "No"

Last, just because you were invited, does not mean you have to go. Don't be afraid to say no, especially if you're invited to the pre-wedding events as well. Attending a bachelorette party, bridal shower and a wedding can add up fast. If you aren't in the wedding party, don't feel obligated to attend every event. The bride and groom will understand!

Save, Save, Save

Final thoughts: start saving early! If you know you've got multiple weddings in the near future, start putting something back into a separate bank account each pay check. If you really want to plan ahead, open a vacation club account so you are always prepared.

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