Weddings are fun, but the expenses can quickly add up. Between the gifts, the outfits, and any traveling, your bank account is going to take a hit.
If you’re savvy, however, the big day doesn’t have to sap your financial resources. These tips and tricks will allow you to be an excellent guest without ending up in the red.
1. Share Costs With A Friend
A survey conducted by wedding experts at The Knot found that people spend an average of $118 on a wedding gift. While generous, that’s a lot of money for a single person to shell out. Splitting the cost with a friend is an easy way to get the artisan pot holders from the bride’s registry without having to foot the whole bill.
This approach can also help with any travel or lodging expenses that come up. If your friends are all planning to attend a wedding, it may be more cost-effective to turn the event into a road trip instead of flying.
2. Online Deals
3. Rent, Don’t Buy
When you have to attend multiple weddings in a single season, the last thing you want to do is wear the same outfit over and over again. Buying a new dress or suit for each event isn’t practical. Luckily, there’s the rental option.
Sites like Rent the Runway and Menguin rent out designer dresses, accessories, shoes, and suits for a fraction of the cost. These sites will keep you looking trendy at any event, and you won’t max out your credit card.
4. Get Creative
If you can’t afford a big gift, you can always donate your time or talents. If you’re a professional musician, baker, florist, or anything else that would benefit the bride and groom, offer up your services. Chances are that your friends planning the wedding could use some guidance and will gladly accept the help.
5. Be OK With Saying No
If a friend asks you to be in the bridal party, you’ll have even more trouble sticking to your budget. Take a moment to think about what would be expected of you, financially and otherwise, before saying yes. If you don’t think you can swing it, don’t feel bad for turning down the request. According to the Emily Post Institute, it’s completely fine to say no—just let the bride and groom know your status ASAP.
“A guest’s first duty is to respond promptly to any wedding invitation. Check your schedule and consult with anyone else included in your invitation, then make your response as soon as you can. If you cannot make it and regret promptly, the couple will have time to invite someone in your place if they wish.”
If that’s true for guests, it’s especially true for bridesmaids.
Rather than letting your finances deprive you of the blessed event, see if you can work with the bridal party to keep everything reasonably priced. Does the bride want all the bridesmaids to wear a $400 dress? If so, be proactive and find an identical option that costs less, or see if you can find the dresses on one of the rental sites mentioned earlier.
Whatever you do, enjoy the wedding—it’s not every day your friends get hitched.