Here comes the season of wedded bliss. Well, at least for the soon-to-be-newlyweds.
Of course, don’t get us wrong, it’s not that we’re not elated for our friends or family members upon hearing the news of their upcoming nuptials, but you’re certainly not alone if the first word that comes to mind when you receive the same, the date isn’t “bliss” but “budget.”
And your state of financial fret isn’t unfounded. According to a 2018 Credit Karma survey of over 1,000 millennials, this generation is spending a pretty penny when their friends tie the knot.
$770 on average, to be exact, with nearly 20% having spent more than a $1,000 on just one wedding alone. Which might leave you wondering if it is even possible to survive the season of wedding bells without breaking the bank?
If another ‘save the date’ arrival in your mailbox is leaving you stressed, check out these tips for attending multiple nuptials this season without blowing your budget.
By planning ahead, shopping smart and being willing to tap into your DIY spirit, you’ll be able to enjoy any upcoming “I do” without sweating the cost.
How to survive wedding season-without busting your budget
Following are some of the savvy ways for planning a wedding on a budget. Let’s hear about them…
1. Search for savings on travel and lodging
Out-of-town nuptials are a popular trend among those tying the knot, with WeddingWire’s 2019 Newlywed Report indicating that one in four couples categorize their big day as “a type of destination wedding.”
While this could mean an excuse to visit a tropical locale or another picturesque vacation spot, it might also mean travel and lodging expenses costing a big chunk of your wedding budget.
That’s why it’s so important to weigh all your options before making reservations for your trip.
While the couple might have a block of rooms reserved at the hotel hosting the event or other accommodations in the area, with these rooms often offered at a discounted rate, take some time to shop around and scout out other, potentially more affordable, options.
You might also choose to forgo a hotel altogether if a home rental through sites like Airbnb turns out to be the most budget-friendly way to go, especially if you have other wedding guests willing to bunk with you and split the cost.
Go into booking your travel with the same sleuthing mentality, searching for the lowest rates across airlines, looking into alternative modes of transportation like trains, buses or even a road trip if you aren’t traveling too far.
As travel and lodging are likely going to be your biggest expenses as a destination wedding attendee, you can substantially cut down your overall costs by doing your research and booking the most affordable options.
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2. Purchase affordable, but classy wedding outfits
Another money-saving tips for your wedding includes cutting down cost on extravagant buys.
Whether you’re attending an extravagant black-tie event or a low-key exchanging of vows on the sand, there are ways to buy your wedding looks for less.
Especially if you’re invited to attend several shindigs leading up to the ceremonies, you’ll want to shop for looks you feel great wearing, while also feeling great about the price tag.
For bridal showers, rehearsal dinners and the big day itself, purchase affordable, classy outfits that make you feel chic at every event.
Better yet, invest in versatile pieces like a classic little black dress for your wedding wardrobe.
It will look elegant as you clink glasses at your friend’s reception, but work just as well as a dressed-up date night look. Plus, with a timeless piece like an LBD, you can break it out again for next year’s wedding cycle, knowing that it will never go out of style.
3. Get creative when choosing a gift for the newlyweds-to-be
Even with a link to their wedding registry, it can be overwhelming trying to select the perfect gift for the happy couple, especially if you’re working with a budget.
Even more so when you’re attending multiple nuptials, considering that some popular registry kitchen gadgets and cookware sets come accompanied by triple-digit price tags. But that doesn’t mean you have to spend hours crunching numbers, wondering how you’ll afford a gift for every wedding this season.
You just have to think outside the box.
One way to save money on a wedding gift is by ditching the registry in favor of a homemade gift. Not only will it have a personal, heartfelt touch, but it will only cost the price of materials and a little bit of time spent getting crafty.
So, if you’re a seasoned knitter, put your skills to work by making a homemade quilt for the couple to cozy up with or, if you have an eye for photography, offer to do a pre-wedding photoshoot of the engaged pair and frame one of the best shots to give as a gift.
If homespun presents aren’t your thing, look into whether or not the couple has any funds or group gifts set up on their registry.
Popular wedding sites like Zola allow users to mark items, (typically more expensive buys) as group gifts, meaning several guests can contribute any amount toward the purchase.
By putting what your wedding budget will allow toward a fund or group gift, you’ll know you helped contribute toward an item or experience the couple will enjoy, without your wallet taking a hit.
4. Skip the salon and diy your wedding look
While you’ll want to look your best on the big day, you won’t want to spend the entire time thinking about your pre-wedding splurge at the salon.
So, instead of shelling out a pretty penny getting dolled up for the ceremony, opt to do your hair, makeup, nails or any other wedding guest grooming at home.
If you aren’t feeling particularly confident in your ability to achieve an elegant up-do or nail a smudge-free manicure, enlist the help of other close friends or family attending the wedding and make a DIY-spa day out of it.
Especially if you’re attending multiple nuptials over the next few months, saving money on these extras will go a long way in protecting your financial wellness this wedding season.
Remember, weddings shouldn’t be a financial stress, they should be a celebration of a close friend or family member tying the knot with the person they love.
So, next time another save the date arrives in your mailbox, revisit these tips and embrace this season of wedded bliss.