I don’t know about you, but it seems like weddings just keep getting more and more expensive. And I don’t just mean for the bride and groom; it is becoming more and more expensive to be a wedding guest as well!
Maybe you saw this article here on Business Insider about the woman that moved back home with her parents to still be able to afford to attend her friends’ weddings. And maybe like me, you kinda freaked out when you saw just how much she spent on those weddings!
Seriously, $13k is an insane amount of money, and even though I do agree that the cost of attending weddings has gone up since destination weddings and bigger “to-dos” are now the norm, I don’t agree that you need fork over that much money.
So let’s break this down into how you can save money this year as a wedding guest.
1. Pick Your Dress
Okay, so here’s the thing, you do not need a brand new dress for every single wedding. But as a true Southern woman, I get it. You can’t wear the same thing to all ten weddings this year because people will notice. So what’s a girl to do?
If you haven’t tried Rent the Runway, you definitely need to give this one a go – especially for fancy weddings where the cost of a dress would be a small fortune. You can just rent the dress and return it and lot cheaper than having to buy one.
StitchFix is fantastic for helping you pick out dresses for big events. I used StitchFix to help me pick out my dress for my brother’s wedding (I’m in the green dress in the photo above). The great thing about StitchFix is that your stylist is the one that will pick the dress out for you based on what you tell them. This will help you coordinate looks, and you can even tell your stylist a budget that you want to stick within.
Granted StitchFix is not always the most frugal option, but if you need some help picking out clothing that works with your body type, then StitchFix can be a great way to make that happen.
Thrift stores and consignment sales are fantastic places to find great deals on prom dresses and even former bridesmaids dresses. And the great thing is that since the dress is likely to cost you a fraction of what it would brand new, you may have enough left over in your budget to have it professionally altered to give it your own touch.
Related Post: Our $500 Debt-Free Wedding
2. Pick Your Staple
Okay, so going along the lines of your dress, when it comes to shoes for a wedding I recommend that every girl should have in her closet a pair of nude color heels. You can make nude heels work with just about any dress, and if you also keep a pair of black heels in your closet, you’ll always be set!
So pick your staple shoes in basic colors – seriously, look at The Duchess of Cambridge, the majority of the shoes she wears are either nude or black, and she wears many of the same shoes numerous times. You for real can’t go wrong with a few staple shoes in your closet.
Also, keep a “staple” jacket or sweater in your closet as well. You know, something that you can use with any outfit in a neutral color, so you don’t have to worry over if your jacket matches your dress or not for outdoor/cooler weather events.
3. Keep it Simple
Okay, so let’s talk wedding gifts. I give the same wedding gift at every single wedding I attend. It’s a copy of The Total Money Makeover. Yes, I know I’m strange, and you may even think I’m rude for not giving money to the bride and groom, but when I tell you that that book saved my marriage, I’m not kidding.
My husband and I finally got on the same page with money because of the insights in that book, and I believe it’s a book that every couple should read at least once. So, it’s my gift of choice. And I recommend you come up with a “staple” gift of your own. You can simply just give money in a certain denomination or a gift like The Total Money Makeover.
If you keep it the same for every wedding, then you don’t have to worry about wrecking your budget or stressing over what you’ll get the bride and groom because you’ll already know!
4. Updo anyone?
One of the most expensive things a girl can pay for is to get her hair done. #amiright? Seriously, it’s insane how much it can cost to have fancy looking hair for the night. And I honestly can’t tell you how much money I’ve spent over the years on having my hair done.
Well, for my brother’s wedding, I decided that I wasn’t going to do that. For both the rehearsal and the wedding, I did my own hair. And let me be clear here, I am not a hair person. I suck at doing hair!
From the rehearsal (and yes, that’s a Walmart dress I’m wearing…I told you I’m not fancy 😂):
But, after watching a few YouTube tutorials, I made it happen. I even got compliments on my hair from others at the wedding and even from the hairstylist that did my sister-in-laws hair! This is my favorite channel for all things hairstyles. Just practice at home a couple of times and you’ll be prepped and ready to go for the big day!
5. The Big Question
Okay, so I saved this for last because everyone wants to dismiss this one, but it’s important. Can you really afford this wedding? If it’s a destination wedding and you don’t have the room in your budget, and it’s not an immediate family member, and you are not in the wedding, then don’t feel bad for not being able to attend.
Seriously, do not feel bad for not being able to attend a wedding if it is going to strap you financially.
I mean that – DO NOT feel bad! It’s not a sin to say “no.”
I know that you’ll probably feel bad about it, but it’s not the end of the world. I’ve been in that spot more times than I can count. I’ve even had to back out as a bridesmaid because I couldn’t afford to buy the bridesmaid dress. Yes, I know that sounds harsh, but only you can decide if attending the wedding is worth it financially to you.
Okay, so you tell me – what are your tips for making being a wedding guest more affordable?
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