So the invitations have started rolling in and wedding season is nearly upon us. The average cost for a wedding guest is almost £343 and rising year on year. From gifts to travel almost everything, you need as a guest seems to have a price tag. Making it hard to know how to fit it all into your budget.
When you get lots of invitations rolling in, its often worth thinking about which ones to priorities attending. Weddings also usually have several pre-events and all this combined may mean that you have to prioritise what events you can attend; perhaps consider either only attending the Wedding or the bridal shower (or other pre-event) as a compromise.
Prioritising is hard and must be done in a way to ensure no feelings are hurt. Though things to consider are how close are you to the couple and how much will it cost you to attend the Wedding. For Chris and I one of the Weddings we have been invited to has a reception in Helsinki, Finland. This was during the period Chris was paying off his credit card, so financially we had to prioritise that goal. The cost of flying there takes it well out of our already tight budgets. Whereas, more local weddings are easier to prioritise, especially if it is a ceremony only.
- Consider car sharing travel and splitting the cost of petrol. Car sharing is a great option and if it is a long journey can mean you don't have to drive the whole way. It may also make it more possible to avoid staying overnight if you only have to drive a portion of the journey and are able to share it.
- Book travel and accommodation early. Often the wedding party will book a block of rooms off at their chosen hotel, but don't assume this is the most budget efficient choice, don't be afraid to book a room elsewhere. If you are traveling on your own consider sharing a room with a friend.
- Consider a handmade gift (Pinterest is filled with cute personal DIYs). This is a great opportunity to give a truly individualist gift. You are not bound by the gift list the couple sent out, instead, treat it as guidance as to the things they want.
- Or make something for the wedding, i.e., the cake as your gift. For the couple this can be such an amazing gift, knowing the vendor personally brings such comfort. Plus if they are on a budget gifts of help can help make the wedding of their dreams achievable.
- If you prefer to shop the gift registry, do it early, as the less expensive gifts ofter go first meaning you get less of a selection the later you leave it. Generally the bride and groom will include items of a variety of price ranges in their registry to allow all guests to be catered for but that is not always the case. If you can't find anything on the registry you want to get (or can afford) consider buying a gift card for the company who the list is with (i.e John Lewis, Debenhams). Zeek is a great site for getting new gift cards at discounted prices.
- There is no need to buy a new outfit for every wedding try to find something versatile that can be worn again and again (this one is more for the ladies). Consider getting a dress in a neutral colour which you can switch up with different coloured belts and cardigans/jackets.
Just remember it is all about finding a balance between finances and supporting the couple who are getting married.
What are you top tips for staying financially sane as a wedding guest?