Planning on attending a wedding or two (or three or four…) this summer? If you’re not careful the costs will add up fast, especially if travel is involved. Here are five tips to survive the financial cost of wedding season:
- Give a price-savvy wedding gift. Most people want to give a wedding gift that, on some level, reflects the relationship they have with the couple. That doesn’t mean it has to be expensive. Check wedding registries early to give you more reasonably priced options before they’re gone, consider splitting the cost of a bigger gift with family or friends, or if you’re handy, make a thoughtful homemade gift. Sometimes your presence is a gift by itself, especially if you travel a long distance.
- Be smart about lodging. If traveling to a wedding, start looking at lodging options as soon as you know the date. First, check to see if you have family or friends in the area where you would be comfortable staying. If so, you might have a free place to stay! Next, consider reconnecting with friends that are attending and share a room. Perhaps the wedding couple saved a block of rooms in a local hotel at a special rate. If so, compare the cost of that hotel with nearby hotels and home rental options like Airbnb and VRBO. Remember to figure out your accommodations early so you don’t get stuck with just one expensive option.
- Rent your attire. Going to a bunch of weddings in a short amount time can cause a wardrobe problem, and buying a new outfit for each one will cost you some serious cash. If you take the one-and-done approach with your formal wear, renting a dress or suit will only set you back a fraction of the cost of buying new clothes for every wedding.
- Share your travel expenses. As mentioned earlier, odds are you will have some friends or family attending the same wedding as you. If the wedding involves some travel, split some of the costs with them. This can include carpooling (if you are taking a road trip), sharing a rental car, teaming up on taxi or ride-share expenses, as well as sharing hotel accommodations.
- Respectfully decline. Whether it’s the cost of travel, bad timing or a different reason, it’s OK to decline the invitation. The wedding couple expects some people won’t be able to make it to their big event. But it’s important to let them know you won’t be there. When sending back the RSVP, include a kind greeting and reason for your absence, but you don’t need to go into detail. When the wedding date comes, remember to send a card or a gift.
Wedding season is a time of fun and celebration. Knowing you made the best financial decisions possible makes it even better.