Between the gift, travel, and buying a dress, attending a wedding can cost over $1,000..for only one day! And you thought I was crazy for spending $1,400 in four days! I can’t justify spending $1,000 to attend a wedding, even if I love the couple. While skipping the wedding is an option, I discovered 11 ways to attend a wedding without blowing through your savings account.
11 tips to attend a wedding on the cheap
Rent Your Dress and Accessories – The website Rent the Runway is a great way to look like a million bucks while spending under $100! The website has a category specific to weddings and includes subcategories for different types of weddings. Whether the wedding your attending is formal, semiformal, during the day or at night, this website has a dress for every occasion. You can even rent jewelry and handbags! Jewelry prices start at $5 and handbags at $10. With dresses starting at $35 you could score your whole outfit for under $50. Wow!
Borrow a Dress – When I was in high school my friends and I would always swap prom dresses. It was just too expensive to buy a new dress every year we were invited…especially when we all loved each other’s dresses anyway. You can use this same idea to borrow a dress for the wedding. Do you have a friend with great style that’s the same size? Ask to borrow a dress and cut out the cost of buying a dress entirely. What’s better than looking great for free? If the friend won’t wear the dress again, consider tailoring it to fit.
Snag Cheap Jewelry – There are many websites that offer highly discounted jewelry. A few of my favorites are Overstock.com and ExboyfriendJewelry.com. They both offer large discounts on high quality jewelry. Our list of 12 places to find inexpensive jewelry will be sure to help you find some beautiful pieces within your price range.
Travel with a Group – Are any of your sisters, family members, or friends also invited to the wedding? Save money by sharing a hotel room and carpooling (if you don’t have to fly to the wedding that is) to cut costs. By splitting the prices for room and travel you can score big savings.
Score a Cheap Flight – You can use Yapta.com to get the best price on flights. Just sign up for Yapta.com and they will track ticket prices on the flight you want to take. When the prices drop they’ll immediately send you an email. Watch flight prices as they tend to increase over the weekend then drop again mid-week.
Cut Your Hotel Costs – Even though the bride and groom typically negotiate a cheaper price for rooms, it still might not be your best bet. If you don’t mind being away from other guests, you may be able to score a cheaper hotel room. I like to use Expedia to compare prices. If a room at a nearby hotel is only $20 cheaper it may not be worth it, but if it’s $50-$100 less it may be worth considering. If you’re really trying to save you can also check out AirBnB to find a cheap room nearby. When you book your hotel, start the booking process at Ebates.com, which offers a cash back rebate for every dollar you spend.
Buy Gifts Early – Often, the cheaper gifts on the wedding registry are bought up quickly. You’ll want to make sure to buy a gift within your budget before they’re all gone! You should be safe buying your gift 4 to 5 months before the wedding and you’ll get it out of the way.
Sign Up for Mailing Lists – When you find out where the couple is registered, sign up for the store’s mailing list. You’ll be the first to know about deals and will even receive exclusive discounts. After you score your discount, you can always unsubscribe from the email list.
Give Handmade Gifts – Do you have a skill with photography, music, knitting, or any other DIY activity? Use your skills to make a gift for the couple. Even the least creative can still make a great handmade gift. Simply print out an old photo of the bride and groom in black and white and buy a nice frame. This is an easy and sentimental gift.
Use Credit Card Rewards – Do you know the rewards that are offered by your credit card company? You may be able to trade in those loyalty point for airline tickets, car rentals or even cash! Also, some cards allow you to redeem rewards for gift cards to stores like Macy’s and Kohl’s which are common spots for wedding-registries.
Buy Discounted Gift Cards – To score extra savings on a gift, you can buy a discounted gift card. My favorite website is Gift Card Granny. Right now they have $100 gift cards to Bath & Body Works for $80. That’s an extra $20 for free! BB prefers Cardpool because of the 100% guarantee and the ability to get email alerts with a particular gift card is available.