Blushing brides will be walking down aisles all across the country this month, and statistics show that many of us will be attending at least one wedding this year. With the cost of attending a wedding having surged almost 75% over the past two years, it’s a good thing that invitations go out months ahead of time – just so we can begin saving and budgeting for the big event. A recent American Express study revealed the average cost of attending a wedding is $592 (and that doesn’t include the cost of a gift, or if we happen to be in the wedding party). Weddings can break the bank (even if we’re not the ones getting married). Here are a few stress-free money-saving tips to help save and budget for an upcoming wedding:
• Save the Date – Check your calendar and save the date. See how many months you have to work with before the wedding.
• Airfare and Hotels – If the wedding is out of town, try using any frequent flyer miles or credit card reward points to offset the cost of travel and hotel accommodations. Book early to take advantage of lower rates. When booking a hotel, be sure to ask the bride if she blocked rooms at a discounted rate for her guests.
• Wedding Gift – Check the bridal registry to see the “Wish List” of the happy couple. Typically, the majority of these gifts are purchased for the bridal shower, so look early to choose a gift that fits within your budget. Group gifting is also a great way to give a more expensive gift without busting your budget. Ask any friends or relatives who are also planning on attending if they would be interested in sharing the cost.
• Wedding Attire – Most attendees will opt for purchasing a new dress, suit, shoes or accessories. If purchasing a new outfit is not in your budget, take an inventory of your formal wardrobe to see if you have a dress or suit that you can update with a few tweaks – such as a trendy new necklace and earrings, new dress shirt, or a fun tie. • Wedding Fund – Save a set amount of money out of each paycheck for the months that lead up to the wedding. This will ensure you have the cash to pay any expenses to eliminate any unwanted debt.