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The bright days of spring and summer mean that lovebirds will be calling on you to help them celebrate their nuptials. Unfortunately, those cheery invitations landing in your mailbox can translate into big bites out of your budget. Here are five money-saving tips for surviving the wedding season with your bank account intact.
If you cringe at the expense of buying a dress that you’re not likely to wear in the future, you might want to consider the option of renting one. Rent the Runway is one of the leading dress rental sites, and it offers you the fun of shopping for a one-time event without the stress of straining your budget. They handle the cleaning and insurance, so all you have to do is focus on looking stunning.
Be the first wedding guest to log on to the couple’s gift registry list, and you’ll get to pick the item that’s most affordable. Those smaller items still represent something the couple will be excited to receive, and you can get that expense out of the way in a different budget month than other wedding costs. If the couple has registered at a large department store, look for coupon codes and sales; oftentimes registry items will be discounted at some point.
It won’t show up on the gift registry, but a thoughtful handmade gift may end up being the most-loved wedding memento in the years to come. Think in terms of something very personal, such as a framed collage of meaningful photos, words, map fragments or even beach pebbles from a place that’s special to the couple. Look up “DIY wedding gifts” on Pinterest for an endless assortment of creative suggestions.
Traveling to out-of-town weddings can result in serious expenditures, especially if you end up staying at a destination hotel or resort. Connect with other guests and see if you can split the rental of an apartment or house on VRBO — you could end up having the best after-party ever.
If you’ve been asked to be in the wedding party and you simply can’t see your way clear to covering the necessary clothing, travel, gift and entertainment expenses, it’s OK to decline. Likewise, if your presence has been requested at a destination wedding and you can’t even afford a weekend sanity break these days, your friend or relative will understand. Put together a heartfelt letter and modest gift, and send your love instead of yourself.
Wedding season is full of excitement and new beginnings, and you’re part of what makes it all happen. With a careful approach, you can find affordable ways to share the delight.