It’s that time of year again: wedding season! If you’re like me, every other weekend in your calendar is booked with an engagement party, bridal shower or wedding. While I couldn’t be happier to celebrate the nuptials of my nearest and dearest, wedding season sure can get expensive for a guest (not to mention the happy couple).
Follow these simple steps for how to tackle wedding season on a budget:
There’s no need to splurge on a new outfit for every occasion. Take one quality basic from your wardrobe and dress it up differently for multiple occasions (this is where a LBD comes in handy!). Play around with different jackets, shoes and accessories to change up your outfit for each event. When in doubt, go with black – it’s classic, flattering and doesn’t stand out in photos as looking like the same outfit twice. If you insist on a new outfit, try renting a dress from companies like Fitzroy Boutique or Rent, Frock, Repeat instead.
Tip: Skip the expensive salon bill by asking a friend to do your hair and make-up. Tag them in a photo of your look on social media to give them a shout-out for a job well done!
When attending a wedding out of town, there’s always travel and accommodations to coordinate in advance. Whenever possible, plan as a group; the more people you can travel with, the more wiggle room you’ll have for splitting larger expenses (like a car service or Airbnb booking).
Tip: Traveling by plane? When booking your flight online, clear your computer’s cache before searching. If a website detects that you’ve been searching for a specific flight frequently, they may raise the prices on your search.
Whenever possible, I always recommend purchasing a gift off of the couple’s registry. Always buy the item online when the retailer is having a sale. You can often double your discount by signing up for the retailer’s e-newsletter (this will typically get you an instant 10-15% off coupon code towards your first online order). Many online retailers like Hudson’s Bay will ease the gift giving process even further by gift wrapping the item, adding a greeting card and shipping it directly to the couple’s home. Talk about efficient.
Tip: Redeem your credit card points or AIR MILES rewards for kitchen appliances, electronics, gift cards or travel vouchers to give as gifts.
As a guest, I like to approach wedding season worry-free and ready to party. This means not stressing over the expenses that can pile up from fussing over new outfits, accommodations, and gifts. I recommend setting a budget at the start of wedding season to support all of the events you plan to attend. Remember: It’s perfectly acceptable to decline an invite, especially if you can’t afford it.