Weddings Are Expensive
Lately it seems that attending a wedding as a guest can be almost as pricey as being a member of the bridal party. Once you add up the cost of travel, housing, gifts, clothes, food and transportation… you may be in for a nasty surprise.
According to MarketWatch, the average cost to attend a wedding is $673. If you have been invited to a wedding, (or… gasp… more than one!), do not fret. Our team has come up with five tips to help you save money as a wedding guest so that you can enjoy the wedding festivities without breaking your budget.
1. Take Advantage of Hotel Room Blocks
Hotels will provide big savings for big groups. Make sure to ask your host whether they have any deals with a local hotel, especially one close to the venue (hello transportation savings!) You can get a discounted rate as a guest if you are on their list.
*Extra Savings: Split the cost of the hotel room with your date, or another close friend who may be attending the wedding. Still more than you had hoped? Check out websites such as airbnb.com.
2. Break The ‘Can’t Wear it Twice’ Rule
Once that wedding invitation is received, “What am I going to wear?!” may be one of your first thoughts. If you are on a budget, it might not be in your best interest to splurge on a new outfit. Go through your closet, and see if you can reinvent something that you already have, or see if you could borrow something from a friend. It’ll give you the thrill of a new outfit, but without the price tag.
3. Skip the Cash Bar
Not every wedding is an open bar, and if the couple whom you are celebrating has opted for a cash bar, do not feel obliged to partake. Those drinks add up over the course of the evening, so you should make a note to leave the cash at home to avoid temptation. You might still get a glass of champagne if they are having a champagne toast prior to dinner, and you can still take advantage of other options such as tea and coffee towards the end of the night (assuming they are included).
4. Jump on the Registry
Check out the wedding gift registry as soon as you can. Often, the more affordable gifts are available earlier rather than later. Also, sign up for mailing lists to the places they are registered – you will most likely get savings coupons sent to your inbox that you can use.
5. Get on the Uber Bandwagon or Try Skiplagged
If the event is in (or convenient to) a major city, it might be worthwhile to use a service such as Uber, versus renting a car. It is most likely that other guests will need a ride from the hotel to the ceremony, and back again…. Try finding out who might be able to coordinate a carpool.
If you are feeling adventurous try something called skiplagging. To ‘skiplag’ you basically buy a one way ticket that has a layover in the city you actually want to go to and then you just skip the connection once you land. For example, occasionally you will find flights that travel from Los Angeles to New York via Philadelphia that may be cheaper than setting Philadelphia as your destination. If you take this connecting flight and just disembark at PHL instead of heading onward to New York you may save money!
View this great website called Skiplagged.com. (Note: Though this is not illegal, if you use this method a lot you may be eventually flagged by your airline. Once or twice is not enough to get you into trouble, but if you become a skiplag junkie you may run into trouble with the airlines! Be aware!)
If you follow these five tips to save money as a wedding guest, you should be able to attend a wedding (or two, or three!) without breaking the bank.