For our grandparents, wedding season meant seeing Bobby and Sally tie the knot at the local church and a small backyard reception at home. But times have changed.Thanks to shows like “Bridezillas” and “My Fair Wedding,” the trend for weddings leans toward extravagance, over-the-top decor, and opulence. Even couples who are not wealthy have opted to throw the fanciest of fiestas complete with fun and fanfare for all in attendance.
Expenses for weddings are not just at an all-time high for the couples lucky enough to be throwing the shindig of the summer. Wedding guests are often now required to fork up hefty sums just to be present to witness their best pals exchanging vows. Destination weddings require travel and lodging costs; local weddings in the same city or state will at least require a drive and perhaps new wedding attire. To stick to your budget, there are many factors to consider as wedding season sets in. But you can stay on track and still wish your favorite couples well as they start their lives together.
Smart people set boundaries. Because your close friends are probably near your age, chances are they will all start tying the knot around the same time. This circumstance could lead to unintentional calendar crowding with more bridal showers, bachelor parties, and wedding receptions than you can keep up with. Before the invitations start rolling in, give yourself some guidelines.
As an example, you could allow yourself one destination wedding per season plus two local weddings. It could make more sense for you not to attend any weddings at all, but maybe you can purchase gifts for your friends that are on the higher end of a registry. Preparing ahead of time will help you assess your upcoming wedding schedule and choose wisely.
Maybe you can’t go to every single wedding this year. But could you visit the happy couple a few weeks after they return from their honeymoon and help them as they get settled into their new home? Perhaps you can coordinate a sentimental video to be played during the wedding reception that is endearing, humorous and shows them just how much you love them—even if you can’t be present.
Finding alternatives to expensive travel that still celebrate the happy couple will show your loved ones that while you care for them, your budget comes first.
Add up the costs
As soon as you make the decision that you’re going to attend a wedding you’ve been invited to, look into flights, fares, and hotel reservations. In the travel industry, spring and particularly summer are high seasons; flights and hotel stays will be a lot more expensive, especially if you wait until the last minute to book.
Decide where it makes the most sense for you to stay during the event and reach out to mutual friends or family members who may also be traveling to the wedding to discuss the possibility of rooming together to lessen the financial burden.
Everyone likes to look nice and weddings are a prime opportunity to play dress up for a good reason. However, if you’re spending an extensive amount to participate in seeing your friends say “I do,” consider wearing something you love that still looks great instead of purchasing something new. Your presence at a wedding, especially one that’s out of town is the gift.
Don’t stress yourself by feeling pressure to also buy expensive gifts and clothes in addition to the money you’ve spent to get there. A handmade gift or even a borrowed dress from a friend that looks great will more than suffice. After all, what’s important is being a part of a momentous and memorable occasion with loved ones.
This wedding season, don’t throw your budget to the wayside. Make a plan, stick to it and celebrate wedding season with these simple ideas in mind.