A 2016 report found that the average guest was $703 poorer after attending a wedding! That was one year ago, and since the cost of hosting a wedding has increased this year, we can only guess that the price to be a guest has probably grown as well.
What’s a friend to do? Here are a few ways to be a polite, happy guest – without sacrificing your savings account.
Plan ahead on travel and hotel.
As soon as you get the save the date and decide to go, talk to mutual friends about carpooling together or sharing a hotel room. Don’t know anyone at the wedding? Just ask! The bride and groom may have other guests who would be interested in giving their checking account a break. Bonus: by carpooling, you’ll have a ready-made friend when you get to the ceremony.
Heading out of town for a wedding? If you’re a Green Checking account owner, don’t forget to take advantage of Travel & Leisure Discounts, available standard with your account. You could save money on items like car rentals, restaurants, hotels, and more. Ask us how you can take advantage or open a Green Checking account.
Set a budget aside early.
If you suspect you may have a wedding-heavy summer, start saving and investing early. Watch for sales on dresses, or deals on flights and hotels. (Even better: borrow dresses or ask around about offering to pay your friends in exchange for some of their hotel points. Heavy travelers may have loyalty points that they’d happily use to book a room for you in exchange for some cash.)
It’s ok to say “no.”
After you determine your budget, it’s time to prioritize. This may mean skipping the wedding, or skipping a gift. Remember, good friends would rather have your presence be your present. And they’d also rather you didn’t go broke on account of wedding attendance. Keep in mind, those elusive wedding etiquette rules do stipulate that you can give a gift up to a year after the wedding, so it’s also ok to show up without a gift at the main event.
Save on attire.
If you’re a guest, consider borrowing or renting a dress. Sites like Rent the Runway offer everything from breezy and casual sundresses to floor-length formals at a fraction of the cost of buying.