Are you ready for wedding season to come back in full swing? 2020 engagements and postponed weddings are resurfacing now that restrictions are lifted in most places across the United States. But it’s not always flowers and smiles when it comes to the big day.
Saying yes to attending a wedding can be a big financial commitment for many people. Costs can add up quickly, especially if you have a large extended family or social circle. Don’t get stuck among the 20 percent of Americans who say they’ve gone into debt attending a wedding, according to an American Express survey. Instead, follow these tips to make the wedding season a financial breeze so you can enjoy your loved one’s day.
Wedding etiquette and experts say that you should spend no less than fifty dollars on a wedding gift, and, if you’re close to the couple, no less than one hundred dollars. Suppose you’ve been invited to five weddings this year—that’s quite the amount to spend on top of travel and clothing.
Give a joint gift
If you’re bringing a plus one, consider splitting the cost and giving a gift from the both of you. This strategy can work for multiple friends, too. If you know the couple from high school, consider gathering the high school friends together to chip in for one big gift. Not only can this save you money, but it can be heartfelt coming from a group who put their heads together to brainstorm the gift. Plus, more people means more creative gift ideas are bound to be pitched.
If you have a specific item in mind, plan to look for discounts or try a payment plan option, such as Klarna or AfterPay. For spring and summer weddings, start looking after the New Year, when items from Christmas go on sale or clearance. For fall and winter weddings, look at discounts during Memorial Day and Labor Day. Additionally, try shipping the item directly to the couple’s home—this eliminates shipping and wrapping costs for you. Many stores can wrap the item for you for a small fee.
Contribute to a home/honeymoon fund
In lieu of a gift, you can contribute to a fund for the couple’s new home or honeymoon trip. If they don’t have a specific fund allocated for guests to donate to, seal cash or a check in a card to add to the gift pile.
Not every wedding requires black-tie attire. However, you want to look your best and that means planning your outfit, which can traditionally be expensive if you’re purchasing a tuxedo or gown. Below are a few options that can offset these clothing costs.
What’s more fun than going through your friend’s closet? Ask friends around your clothing size if they have anything appropriate for the occasion, and, in return, you can let them borrow your clothes when they have an event.
There are services available for occasions such as this. Stores like Rent the Runway have designer-quality dresses and suits available to rent for specific dates. You can even order a free extra of the item in a size up or down in case it doesn’t fit perfectly. Most of these rental services give you a few days after your event to ship the item or return it in-person to the store.
Hit the town with your friends and family and stop by the local thrift shops. Secondhand items can be just as good, because people tend to donate their gently used formal wear that they won’t use again.
Destination weddings are becoming more popular, which can be a lot of fun—but not for your wallet. Even just traveling a few states away can create a big bill.
Utilize travel rewards
Frequent travelers should consider investing in an airline credit card with flight perks and discounts relevant to your interests. A lot of airline credit cards have signing bonuses that can give you a large number of miles toward your next trip.
Divide and conquer
There is power in numbers. Plan to travel with your loved ones, and split the costs of a rental vehicle, gas, and the like. Chances are, your travel buddies are feeling the financial pinch too. Use this as a chance to adventure with your friends and family and stay within your budgets.
Stay at a loved ones or an Airbnb
On top of traveling with loved ones, you might be traveling close to where your other friends or family live. Ask if you can stay with someone that lives nearby to offset the cost of a hotel. If that’s not possible, consider getting a group of wedding guests together to rent a fun Airbnb, which can be less expensive and more comfortable than a hotel.