Wedding season is well underway! It’s so exciting to be able to spend that special day with your loved ones. But beware! The cost of attending weddings can sneak up on you if you don’t prepare ahead of time. You may have lots of friends get hitched within just a couple years, which can really put an unexpected damper on your cash flows. Don’t fret! A bit of advanced planning, and you’ll be ready to take part in all your friends’ and family’s special days without going into the red.
The costs of wedding attendance:
Let’s talk averages. Wedding goers spend anywhere from $400-$650 per wedding. That’s just for being there! If you’re in the wedding party, those costs go up to around $728-$1,070. Then think about the engagement party, bachelor/bachelorette party, and every other shindig in between. Wedding gifts alone can range from $160-$245.
Have multiple weddings on your calendar this year? You could come out on the other side with pretty drab looking cash flows. While it’s tempting to front-load your wedding expenses on credit cards with the mindset of paying it back later, that’s a slippery slope. You don’t know what other unexpected things may crop up between now and then that you’ll need to take care of.
Why not to take part in the wedding season celebrations without dreading the price tag? Here are a few tips for keeping it all budget-friendly:
- Travel and accommodations:
These are typically the largest expenses, especially if you’re attending a destination wedding. The easiest ways to save some travel bucks are to book early and with a group of friends. For accommodations, browse hotel alternatives like Airbnb and HomeAway. Both are solid options for the budget conscious traveler. Plus, you can “live like a local” for a few days and get a real feel for the location while you’re there. Win. Win.
Buying a new outfit for each wedding is expensive! Ladies: Try renting with Rent the Runway or repurposing a bridesmaid’s dress you already have hanging in your closet. Gents: Consider investing in a custom suit or tuxedo. It may seem expensive now but could save you cash in the long run. Re-wearing outfits to multiple weddings is completely fine too. You’re probably the only person who will even notice.
- The gift:
There is usually a wide range of low, medium, and high-priced items on any gift registry. Purchasing a more expensive present with a group is a great way to cut costs without the unnecessary gift-giving guilt. If you want to avoid the registry all together, go for it! Sometimes it’s those inexpensive but thoughtful gifts that make the biggest impact anyway.
An invitation is NOT an obligation:
Whether it’s the engagement party, bachelor/bachelorette party, bridal shower, or the wedding, opt out if you need to. It can be so hard to decline, but if you simply can’t afford the extra expenses on top of your day-to-day budget, it’s completely acceptable say “no”. Don’t let FOMO get the best of you. You can always send your friends a note explaining why if you feel the need to. Most people have had budget constraints at some point in their lives. They’ll understand.
Wedding season can be such a fun time of year. We hope you’re able to make the most of it! In the meantime, if you’d like to take a few minutes to check on your overall financial health, give our Financial Wellness Quiz a try. If there’s anything we can help with, just give us a call.