Attending a Wedding on a Budget

Published on May 13th, 2015

How many wedding invitations have you received so far in the mail? Tis the season for wedding season, and for those that attend several over the summer may find themselves short on cash by the time it’s over. The American Express Spending & Saving Tracker Survey found that the average wedding guest spent $592 per wedding in 2014! How can you enjoy wedding season without using all your extra cash?

Attire. Men have less concern when it comes to a wedding outfit, as a suit can be worn many times for many occasions. It can be more difficult for women who don’t want to wear the same exact thing to every wedding. However, wearing the same, simple dress to several weddings can be acceptable if you mix it up with your accessories. A black, navy or other neutral color allows you to get creative with all sorts of add-ons: necklaces, sashes, shoes, belts, and more. Another option is to rent an outfit online; there are several sites out there that offer dresses for $30 to $50 to rent, as opposed to over $100 to purchase.

Gifts. You can’t show up to a wedding without a gift for the couple. The same survey mentioned above reported that the average wedding guest spends $74 on a gift for an office friend, and $200 for a family member. There is no rule about how much you should spend on a gift, so stick to something thoughtful that won’t break the bank. If you want to go for a big-budget item but want to spend less, there are a variety of sites that list coupon codes for all sorts of retailers. Some other options are:

  • Use your talents: Are you a skillful painter? Good at crafts? Handmade gifts are thoughtful and will last a lot longer than a blender.
  • Help with wedding plans: If you are close with a bride or groom, ask them if they need help with anything that goes into wedding planning. This is especially helpful if you are very organized or good at decorating. A lot goes into putting together a wedding, so your help will definitely be appreciated.
  • Split a gift: Go in on a gift with your group of friends and share the cost.

Transportation. While you may be quick to purchase a plane ticket for an out-of-town wedding, look at what else is out there. Often, bus rides can cost as little as $5 to $10. Factoring in the time you need to spend at the airport, it may take around the same amount of time, depending on how far away the wedding is. If you do decide to fly, avoid Friday and Saturday flights, as these are usually the priciest days to fly.

Hotel. Unless you or a friend or family member live nearby the wedding site, you will likely have to stay at a hotel. While couples generally reserve blocks of rooms for guests, these aren’t always the cheapest option. Look at other rooms at the hotel, or other hotels nearby to see what options you have. It is also worth it to consider Airbnb or other similar home and apartment rentals.

Happy wedding season!


Courtesy of Money Crashers

Back to News