Even if you’re not a bridesmaid or groomsman, attending a wedding is almost never cheap: we’re expected to purchase gifts, get ourselves to the celebration and find a place to stay, all while dressing to the nines. But if a busy wedding season and the pretty penny it might cost are keeping you up at night, there are a few tricks to contain costs and allay your fears. Celebrating your friends’ and family’s holy matrimony doesn’t have to break the bank to be a blast:
Get a Gift Ahead of Time
Take a look at the couple’s registry and start thinking about what you can afford as soon as possible. Once you’ve determined how much you can throw down on a gift, buy one as soon as possible before all the more affordable gifts on the registry are taken.
Recycle Old Outfits
Don’t be afraid to wear an item of clothing that you’ve already used for a wedding. An old outfit can become almost unrecognizable with a tasteful flourish: for men, a new tie or shirt can make that one suit shine; and for women, new life is breathed into a dress by something as simple as a headpiece or a colorful shawl. Rather than buying or renting an expensive outfit, use what you already have to come up with a creative solution.
Do Independent Research
Even if the bride and groom have set up a block of discounted reservations at a hotel near the wedding venue, it’s important to look around and see what your options are. It’s entirely plausible that a hotel a couple blocks away is much cheaper, or better yet, that a room in the very same hotel can be found at a lower price on a travel website or through a special offer with your travel rewards card. Always be sure to consider the costs that come with each option: the money you save by booking a hotel room a few miles away, for instance, could easily be eaten up by the roundtrip taxi fare.
Don’t Be Afraid to Pool Resources
If you’re worried about how much it’ll cost you to honor your friends’ marriage, chances are good that you’re not alone. Reach out to friends or family who are also attending the wedding, and see if they’d like to coordinate. There are so many ways to save money by forming a large group: a carpool to the wedding could be a great way to save on transportation; an expensive, otherwise unaffordable gift can be split many ways; or, best of all, a group of friends could rent a whole house instead of taking out multiple hotel rooms.
Above all else, be sure to remember that you’re invited to a wedding because your loved ones want you to be there. What you buy for them and what you wear don’t matter nearly as much as your presence and support on the first day of their life as a married couple. Do what’s best for you, pay for what you can afford and don’t forget to enjoy this special occasion.
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