How to be a Wedding Guest on a Budget

by JMoro on June 14, 2012

If you read the previous post, How to be a Bridesmaid on a Budget, you already know that 42 percent of wedding guests will spend $100-$500 per wedding. Here are some tips on how to survive wedding season as a guest.

Budget. The bride and groom aren’t the only ones who need to set a wedding budget. As a guest, it’s a good idea to plan ahead and figure out how much you can realistically spend on each aspect of the wedding. The most important things to include are gifts, dress, transportation, and lodging.

Gifts. Whether it is for the shower or the wedding, buy registry gifts early. The least expensive items are always the first to go. If there is an expensive item that you’d like to buy for the bride and groom, team up with another guest and split the cost.

Outfit. For guys this isn’t a big deal, they slap on a suit and they are good to go. For girls, it’s another story. As a girl, you tend to feel you can’t wear the same dress to more than one wedding. Instead of buying multiple dresses in one wedding season, borrow a dress from a friend. Even better, you can go to and rent designer dresses starting at $50.

Lodging. More often than not you will find that you need to stay over the night of the wedding. The best way to save on this is to plan ahead. As soon as you get the save the date card, call hotels in the area and figure out which ones have the cheapest rates. If you discover that you can’t afford the room on your own, see if a friend will split the room with you. I’ve been to many weddings where we have crammed 4 or 5 people in a room to save money. For one night, it is worth the savings.

Say no. Unfortunately, you may have to turn down a wedding. If 3 of your close friends and 2 of your family members are getting married this summer, and you get invited to your coworkers wedding, you might just have to be honest with her and decline. Make plans to celebrate with the couple after the wedding. If they are a true friend they will understand (not to mention they will be saving at least $100 on your plate).

How many wedding are you invited to this summer? How do you plan on staying out of “wedding season” debt?

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Janice is the Web Content Management Coordinator at American Consumer Credit Counseling. She loves penny-pinching and discovering creative ways to save money without sacrificing too much. As an enthusiastic financial blog follower, she is always searching for new money saving tips and tricks and is eager to share them with others.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Emily @ evolvingPF June 15, 2012 at 4:11 am

Three weddings between April and September, all out of town. Thousands of dollars. We save very aggressively to be able to travel to these events – attending weddings is essentially our only travel. Thankfully I have appropriate dresses from previous years so I don’t think I’ll have to buy a new outfit, but we had to buy my husband a tuxedo for a black tie wedding.

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KatieG August 2, 2013 at 2:55 pm

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