Hey there sis!
Welcome to the wedding guest series!
You know I love a good series, so we are kicking off this month’s series as wedding season approaches us yet again. I absolutely love weddings. There is nothing better than celebrating people you love starting their journey of life together. The food, the dancing, it’s all a great time. But if you’re finding yourself as an overbooked wedding guest it can be easy to overspend.
Weddings are expensive but no one ever talks about how expensive it can be to be in someone’s wedding or to attend lots of weddings. Please don’t read me wrong here by saying that I am ever ungrateful to be in a friend’s wedding or attend their big day. The absolute opposite is true, I am overjoyed to take in a small part of their celebrations. But Pierce and I are attending almost eight weddings this year and the cost of that can quickly add up so I wanted to write a post on simple ways to be consistent about how to save money during wedding season.
How to Save Money Attending Friends Weddings
SHARE HOTEL COSTS
This is something Pierce and I started doing recently and it has really been a game changer for those out of town weddings. Heck, even when we are in the wedding party at a local wedding we still want to stay with our friends at a local hotel. Sharing the cost of a hotel room with another couple or a group of friends is an easy way to cut back on the expenses of being a wedding guest. Weddings are so fun anyway you’ll spend all night out on the dance floor and just need a place to crash come midnight. Try to go in a hotel room with some of your friends by asking them early on before they book hotel rooms. We have all our travel planned for our next four weddings and we are sharing a hotel room at each one!
TRACK FLIGHTS EARLY WITH HOPPER
As soon as I get a save the date in the mail, I’ll create a Hopper flight alert for the weekend of the date if the wedding is out of town. Hopper is a free to use app that allows you to track flight prices by predicting trends that allow you to book at a low fare date. Also being able to see the cost of a fare early allow you to budget in advance for the airfare months in advance. I’ll also closely watch flights on weddings over holiday weekends since there are typically flight price increases on those weekends.
SHOP THE REGISTRY EARLY TO GET THE MOST OPTIONS IN PRICE POINT
I’ll always try to shop a couples wedding registry early so I can have the most options in items within my price point. It can be easy to leave the wedding gifting to the week or month of but buying early allows you to have the biggest range and choice of the couples wedding registry. Especially if you know you are going to be invited to multiple wedding showers and buy multiple gifts, it can be easier to stock up on multiple gifts at a lower price point.
BORROW FRIENDS DRESSES INSTEAD OF ALWAYS BUYING NEW
It can be easy to always feel the need to buy a new dress for a wedding. My friends and I have talked about creating a pdf of all our formal dresses we own so we can look at it almost like a magazine when browsing for a borrowed dress. I’ve also rented dresses for black tie or fancier weddings from Fashion Pass, you can see my full review of the subscription service here.
CREATE A WEDDING SAVINGS ACCOUNT FOR FRIENDS WEDDINGS
When I graduated from college, I started working at a new cooperate job where a friend of mine who was older than me told me how it can add up to be a wedding guest or in a friends wedding. It got me thinking about how I needed to start saving now so I could participate in all the activities. I created a separate savings account where I put a certain dollar number into every month to use once my friends started getting married. Now a few years later, the savings account is so incredibly helpful especially when buying flights or bridesmaid dresses. Budgeting in advance is key to being a successful wedding guest.
DON’T FEEL PRESSURE TO ATTEND EVERY PRE WEDDING EVENT
This is one I’ve just recently learned myself and it can be hard. With friends weddings, there can be multiple engagement parties, bridal showers, bachelorette parties, couples showers, stock the bar showers, the list goes on. It can be easy to get caught up in going to everything for every friend. But know what you are comfortable spending and what makes realistic sense for your budget. You don’t have to attend every shower especially if a shower costs you another plane ticket.
I’ve never felt pressure from a bride or couple to attend every pre celebration so don’t feel like you need to be at everything. There can be a lot of events and it can be hard to attend everything. I’ve recently had to step back and say no which can be hard sometimes mostly for FOMO and I want to be there to support my friends. But especially if a wedding is out of town, plus the bachelorette party, it can be hard to also fly out for a shower. You have to do what makes the most sense for you financially.
ASK TO DO YOUR OWN HAIR AND MAKEUP
When in a friends wedding, you’ll likely start paying for your hair and makeup to be done every time. I love getting my hair and makeup done but it can range between $110-$200 every wedding. Once you add up all the other associated costs, this is where I like to cut costs in my spending. I usually just opt to just get my hair done and ask if I can do my own makeup. Most brides will not care if you ask. Obviously it is their day so if they did have a preference I would 100% pay for it but it is always worth the ask to try and cut spending.
DON’T FEEL PRESSURE TO STAY AT THE HOTEL ROOM BLOCK
Typically, couples will pick a hotel or two and create a room block with discounted rates for wedding guests who choose to stay at the hotel. Sometimes the wedding block can be at the hotel where the wedding takes place, and while it can sound so ideal to go from wedding to hotel room, it usually is the more expensive option. When possible and a cost cutting option, I’ll try and book at a nearby hotel or at the hotel block that is cheaper and maybe just not as convenient.
BE COMFORTABLE SAYING NO
Know what you are financially capable of doing and don’t be afraid to say no to things that are not within your budget. Pierce and I went to almost eight weddings this year and already have at least five maybe more planned for 2022. It can easily add up so know what you’re comfortable spending and don’t be afraid to say no to things you can’t do.
Now that I’ve attended so many weddings and seen the associated costs, I feel more comfortable saying no. We are sometimes forced to say no to out of town weddings from people we haven’t seen or talked to in years just because we can’t afford it.
You can’t allow the cost of being in a wedding or attending one to not allow you to reach your financial goals.
If I leave you with nothing else let it be that. Only you know what makes the most financial sense for you. If I had all the money in the world there is no doubt I’d be at everything. I need to pick and choose the best way to support my friends in a way that makes the most financial sense for me and I hope you will do the same for you!
My friends mean the absolute world to me so I love being part of their special day and celebrate this season of multiple weddings a year in the absolute fullest.