If you’ve got a seven-wedding summer looming over you, here’s how to save money on going to a wedding, so you don’t have a financial meltdown every time you get an invitation.
Going to a Wedding: Budget Tip #1
Being photographed (and subsequently tagged on Facebook) in the same dress at five different weddings is a DON’T by most people’s standards. If you agree, join Rent the Runway to diversify your wardrobe without breaking the bank.You’ll have your choice of renting the season’s latest fashions—dresses, jewelry and bags—at a fraction of the retail price.
Going to a Wedding: Budget Tip #2
Alternatively, invest in a basic cocktail dress that you can style for each occasion. “Last year, when I had several weddings to attend, I wore the same dress over and over again with different cardigans, belts, shoes and jewelry,” says Kim Francis, 24, of Fairfax, Virginia.
Going to a Wedding: Budget Tip #3
Find out where the couple is registered, and sign up for the store’s mailing list. You’ll be the first to know about storewide sales and receive exclusive discounts. And, hey, you can always unsubscribe later.
Going to a Wedding: Budget Tip #4
Can’t afford to shower the bride in pricey china? Try going off the registry with a thoughtful (but useful!) gift. “I purchased an inexpensive muffin tin from a friend’s registry and supplemented it with cupcake- and muffin-themed cookbooks that I found on sale at Barnes & Noble,” says Whitney Portnoy, 23, of New York City. “She loved it!”
Going to a Wedding: Budget Tip #5
Don’t pay extra baggage fees at the airport just to lug a gift on board. Most registries offer free shipping to the couple’s home. And for those that don’t, cash or a gift card will work too.
Going to a Wedding: Budget Tip #6
Shop around—for hotels, that is. If being close to the other guests isn’t important to you, don’t rush to book a room at the hotel the couple recommended—it may not be the best deal.
Going to a Wedding: Budget Tip #7
Check out the rewards offered by your credit card company. You may be able to trade in your loyalty points for airline tickets, a car rental, cash or even a gift card to wedding-registry hot spots like Macy’s and Bed Bath & Beyond.
Going to a Wedding: Budget Tip #8
If a string of weddings has you feeling the can’t-afford-a-vacation blues, consider extending your stay at one of them. You’ll get twice the bang for your travel buck and have a little extra time to lounge by the pool.
Going to a Wedding: Budget Tip #9
Ladies, we know you’ve got skills, so why not offer your services to the bride in lieu of a standard gift? She’ll be thrilled to check a vendor off her list—hello, professional calligrapher!—and you’ll be out only a few hours of your time
Going to a Wedding: Budget Tip #10
You’re not obligated to attend every wedding for which you receive an invitation. (In fact, we’ll make the argument that some aren’t worth the trouble!) Separate your must-goes from those you could live without, and then decline politely with a handwritten note. Or if you’re sincerely sorry to miss the big event, send a video of yourself expressing well wishes to the couple.