As the weather warms up, the weddings roll out. Wedding season can be long, stretching from spring to fall. There are a lot of costs to consider when you RSVP “attending” to all those wedding invites. For women, the costs can nearly be doubled as you’re more likely to have the added bridal shower invite. Here are a few ways to get through the next wedding season without going broke.
Pounce on the Registry
Whether you’re gifting for the bridal shower or the day of the wedding, make sure you stay on top of the registry. As soon as you’re aware it’s ready for guests to use, try to be the first one to shop from it. Gift baskets are a popular way to give these days, so pick a few of the cheaper items and put together a package. Waiting will leave you to choose from the more expensive gifts that tend to be left over, or resorting to a lump sum in the form of cash or check. That can be expensive because you may feel pressured on how much to give with the dollar amount so visible.
If you’re attending both the shower and the wedding, don’t be afraid to order for both as soon as possible. It may seem counterproductive to not pace yourself and only spend money as each day gets closer but the money you could save by poaching the cheaper gifts on the registry should allow you to buy both gifts at once without throwing off your monthly budget. If necessary, buy for the bridal shower as soon as the registry is live and wait until you get your next paycheck to get the wedding gift. Hopefully, that is still quicker than most others react.
Plan Your Outfits
These events tend to be quite the production with the ever-growing popularity of social media. People have always wanted to look nice for these kinds of celebrations, but now that they’re so heavily documented and publicly published the pressure to have different outfits for each event is also increasing. If you feel that you can’t just reuse an outfit to save money, there are ways you can sport different looks for each shower and wedding without overspending or adding a ton of formal clothes to your wardrobe.
Secondhand shopping is a very budget-friendly way to find clothing when you don’t want to repeat an outfit. Dress shopping, or formal-wear can be labor intensive anyways and involve bringing a lot of options into a fitting room, so may as well do so with much cheaper options. If you have go-to favorites when it comes to brands that tend to fit you better or are just more your style, then try searching for them on an online consignment store. Trendy brand like Free People usually have great options for fashion-forward women but come with a heavy price tag. Secondhand shopping not only saves you money but allows you to still find the best styles. Nothing says wedding-chic like scoring discounted Free People dresses to wear all wedding season long.
With the minimalist movement growing, maybe you’re just not looking to spend a lot of money adding a pile of extra clothes to your wardrobe, especially pieces that are formal and not very versatile for your day to day. Consider giving a rental service like Style Lend a try. This opens you up to a variety of designer formal attire options that are returned after they’ve served their purpose. This option also has the added bonus of saving money because you’re renting and not buying!
Avoid Full-Priced Hotels
When possible, avoiding a hotel stay altogether is a huge savings. If the venue is close enough to your home, plan on making the commute when the festivities end. Perhaps you’ve got to travel quite a distance and it’s just not feasible to go home after the wedding reception. See if you have any family or friends in the area who would be willing to put you up for the night. If you don’t, you could always try asking around and see if there’s anyone else that would like to split the cost of a room and just book a room with two beds.
If you have a decent-sized group of people you know attending the wedding you could look up housing rentals in the area using a site like AirBnB. By staying in a rented house rather than a hotel room, you are opening yourself to more square feet of floor space. You could split a house with more people and pack it full of as many air mattresses as possible to bring the cost down to be more in line with what everyone can afford. Ideally, you can also carpool with these people and split the travel costs, for even further savings.
Did you find these tips helpful? If you’re on the other end of the spectrum and are the bride/groom trying to plan your wedding without going out of your budget, take a look at this article on our blog!