It’s that time of year again: Prime wedding months are approaching, and the invitations are starting to pile up. The costs of gifts, travel and that pretty new dress can add up quickly, especially when you’re attending more than one or two weddings. Follow these easy tips to get through wedding season without acquiring extra debt or guilt.
Check out the couple’s wedding registry as soon as you receive the invitation. Most couples register for gifts at a wide range of prices, so picking out your present early gives you first dibs on the more affordable items. You can also save dollars with some sale-stalking. With a little online detective work, you can track down almost any item at a lower price than its original listing on the registry. It takes patience, but the money you save will be totally worth it. (Just make sure you buy from a vendor that allows refunds or exchanges in case the couple gets a duplicate gift.)
Rethink vacation plans
Instead of choosing between a friend’s destination wedding and your intended vacation, why not combine the two? The wedding will probably be on the weekend, so arrive a few days early to sneak in some fun just for you. Most hotels offer group rates for the couple’s family and friends, so you may actually wind up spending less than you would have for your original vacation. Sightsee, party and lounge in the sun while you wait for the wedding weekend to kick off; then spend the plane ride home enjoying pictures of the wedding and your fab vacation.
Each additional wedding invite doesn’t need to mean an additional outfit for you. Shop for one or two basic outfits that are versatile enough to work for more than one occasion. A solid-colored dress for the ladies and an earth-toned suit for the guys should satisfy almost any wedding dress code. Keep the look from getting stale with a great hat or fun accessories.
If you’re planning to attend the same wedding as a few friends, think about teaming up on gifts or transportation. Splitting the cost of an expensive registry item is totally acceptable wedding etiquette and will save you some serious money. Talk to your friends about this idea as soon as possible so that someone doesn’t make a solo purchase first. If the wedding is out of town and you’re planning to drive, go as a group to save on gas and rental fees.