According to USA Today, 69 million Americans will attend at least one wedding this year and they expect to spend a lot on them. According to a 2013 American Express Spending & Savings tracker, on average you can expect to shell out $539 per wedding! From travel ($167) to apparel ($161) to the actual gift ($108), it adds up quickly. And that's just the wedding. What about the shower and bachelorette parties? Well, we can't get rid of all the costs but we have some ideas for how to not go broke during wedding season.
1. Start saving now
If you know you have a lot of weddings coming up, then put some cash away so you aren't suddenly overwhelmed.
2. Book flights fast
As soon as you get that hot little invitation in your hand and are sure your going, book that flight, The sooner you do it, the cheaper it will be,
3. Look for options besides hotels
Often weddings are great excuses for reunions with your friends, so why not all stay together? I actually just did this with a group of friends for a wedding in Alabama, and it was amazing. The house was super cheap, had a pool, was on a lake, and looked like it was out of the Pottery Barn catalogue.
4. Repeat your outfits or rent them
It would be nice to wear a different dress to each wedding, but we aren't celebrities (and Pippa and Kate Middleton are known for repeating outfits, so you are in good company.) Do try to repeat outfits but maybe add a fun accessory to spice them up. And if you do want to wear a different dress, try Rent the Runway. You can get a ton of designer dresses without a designer dress budget.
5. Get your gift on
Like plane fares, try to get your gifts early as you will have more choice. If you wait until the last minute your choices are usually the $400 wine cabinet or $10 ovenmitts. Also, consider going in on a gift with a friend. Or what about making a gift for your friend? A scrapbook can be so meaningful.
6. Be realistic
If you have more than three weddings in a year, you may just have to accept that you can't attend all of them. If you are deciding between a few, really look at your friendships. Is this a fair-weather friend? Do you see him or her ever?