How to Save Money as a Wedding Guest is a post originally published on: Everything Finance - Everything Finance - A Good Personal Finance Blog - Its all about Money!
I do not know if this is just happening in my life or in everyone's life, but it seems like the wedding bug has been biting everyone and anyone. While I am so happy for friends and acquaintances to get married, it can add up in costs. Between the costs of shower gifts, wedding gifts, and wedding attire, weddings can put a damper on your budget. There is no reason to be a stingy wedding guest or to miss these joyous occasions. Here are a few tips to save during wedding season.
[Related -Hewlett-Packard Company (HPQ) Q3 Earnings Preview: Margins the Difference]
1. Save on Wedding Gifts: When I was getting married, I told my friends that they were invited to the bridal shower, bachelorette party, and the wedding, but to only get me one gift, if they wanted to give a gift. I think the same assumption can be applied to most brides and grooms. Just because you are invited to three events, this does not mean you have to provide three different gifts.
[Related -American Express Company (NYSE:AXP): No Longer an Endangered Species]
Some fun gifts to give that are not usually on a gift registery but are still needed by the bride and groom are nice blankets/throws and picture frames. Both can be found at Kohls or JCPenneys and bought with a money saving coupon. Also, you can find many nice home décor objects and frames at craft stores, such as Michaels, Joanns, or Hobby Lobby. Every week, these stores have 40-50% off coupons in the newspaper or online.
To save on wedding gifts without looking cheap, you can also make up a gift basket for the couple. I received a fun gift basket of microwave popcorn and classic movies in a large popcorn bowl. I have also given the gift a basket full of bath and body necessities, such as razors, toothbrushes, shampoo, etc. The receiver loved the gift because it meant she did not have to buy those items for a few months, and I loved that I was able to give something nice that cost me close to nothing, due to the items being free after coupons. Another gift basket idea can include all the little things needed in the kitchen – such as a sponge, spatula, cheese grater, and more.
2. Save on Wedding Attire: If you are just a guest at the wedding, there is no need to go out and buy a new, fancy outfit. Make an outfit in your closet look new by accessorizing it differently. For example, women can look great in a black dress accented with colorful heels, a shawl, and necklace that you already had on hand. Men can look dapper by pairing nice, dark jeans with a dress up shirt and blazer or suit jacket. Go shopping in your own closet to find an outfit combination you have not worn before.
If you are part of the wedding, it is expected that you will need to pay for your own outfit, as well as get your make up and hair done. Help the bride look for ways to save, even at a bridal store. For example, at David's Bridal, if the bride purchases her gowns there, all the bridesmaids receive $20 off their gown. Men's Warehouse has a similar deal that if you rent or buy five suits/tuxedos, you get one free. Truthfully, it is just best to budget for the dress instead of playing the "broke" card. If you are not close to the bride or groom, do not feel guilty about turning down the offer to be part of the wedding party in a classy manner.
3. Save on a Sitter: It is just easier and respectful to keep your child at home. Some brides and grooms make extra arrangements, such as having a macaroni and cheese bar, so that kids are welcomed. However, most couples would love for your children to stay home, but do not know how to say it without hurting feelings. Ask a family member or family friend to babysit in exchange for another favor, such as buying them dinner or babysitting their kids next weekend. This should cost you less money and stress while you dance the night away.
Attending weddings is fun but can be pricey if you do not plan accordingly. If you get the save the date card six months prior, budget $20-$30 to have enough money for all the extra costs of attending a wedding.