In this series, we share our tips for living your best life – on a budget. Here’s how to get through wedding season without wiping out your savings.
Although hearing celebratory wedding bells can most definitely be a beautiful thing, being a wedding guest also brings on alarming financial panic bells, because hey, they’re an expensive event.
Let’s be real, being a wedding guest isn’t as simple as it used to be. Before Instagram and the fear of being seen ‘outfit repeating’, one could wear the same floral dress and get away with it.
But now, you’re almost getting as glam as the bride herself; hair, nails, make-up, tan, shoes and let’s not forget the dress; talk about pricey.
Generally, weddings hit us all at once in the form of wedding season, and as luxury as it may be, being a serial wedding-attendee is no cheap feat.
Rather than having major #FOMO and missing out on the special celebrations as a result of a drained bank account or tight budget, you can have your wedding cake and eat it too with these tips.
Scroll for the wedding season survival guide, so you can celebrate in style, but on a budget of course:
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Plan in advance
One of the easiest ways to save money during wedding season is by simply taking note of the ‘save the date’ and planning around the dates in advance. Even if the event is booked months away, it will creep up sooner than you think and getting organised will enable you to pocket your precious pennies and save them for the next event on your calendar.
Getting ahead of the game will allow you to compare prices, keep an eye for deals and arrange plans with others, which can save you money on transport or accommodation.
For example, if the wedding is located out of the country or city you stay in, watching for local deals and booking in your travel dates when the airfare or accommodation is on special is a simple way to save on the overall cost. Often last minute bookings result in a ramped-up price list, that generally isn’t budget-friendly.
If you’re looking at booking an Airbnb, the best (and cheapest) forms of accommodation generally get snapped up first, so keep this in mind too!
Planning early also allows you to organise transport to the event, whether it’s a simple carpool or split fare in an Uber. Dividing your travel to and from allows you to save on an often overlooked cost of a ceremony plus it leaves less room for worry about parking woes!
Buy the gift in advance or split the gift
Often, when the gift registry comes out, wedding guests don’t initially jump at the idea of buying a gift straight away as there is generally a decent amount of time to choose and purchase one.
However, closer to the time guests begin getting their gifts ready, and as a result, the options that are leftover become scarce and sometimes they can be the more expensive items.
By selecting something that you can afford off the registry and buying it in advance, you’ve got peace of mind that your item is purchased and it’s at a comfortable price that you can afford – rather than just choosing one of the leftover options you felt obliged to get in a panic, throwing your budget out of whack.
When choosing the gift in advance, you also give yourself the option to split the overall cost with family or friends. This is a great option for students or those on a tight budget because it allows you to gift the couple something they want but between like-minded individuals, taking some of the financial stress out.
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Rent your outfit
With so many trends coming in and out it can be difficult to find staple pieces to wear throughout wedding season. Instead of investing your money into pieces you’ll only wear once, renting a dress is an easy alternative that’ll keep you up to date with the latest designer fashions too.
With rentals starting as little as $30, this is an easy way to reduce wardrobe waste and it allows you to invest your money in other places besides the back of your wardrobe after it’s been worn once.
Check out our list of some designer rental companies here that could have a dreamy wedding guest dress (or two) for your next event.