Savannah Marie searches for the best restaurants, wildlife and attractions that Harrisburg has to offer.
It’s wedding season! I am ALL ABOUT wedding season. I'm not sure if there is anything more wonderful on this Earth than a wedding. I am the stereotypical cry during the ceremony, dance the night away, cry during the toasts, compliment the food, and spend way too much money on your wedding gift type of guest. I can't help it! I have an addiction to weddings. As you can imagine, this addiction takes quite a toll on my wallet. Luckily, there are ways to cut corners and reduce my spending, making wedding season more affordable. If you're like me and tend to go overboard during wedding season, here are ten tips to help you take control of your addiction.
Last weekend's wedding celebration
1. Set a budget
As soon as you RSVP to a wedding you should establish a budget. When doing this, take into account everything from your outfit, hotel reservations, to the gift, to tipping your bartender —because you know you’ll need to keep the drinks coming — and determine how much you can spend on everything.
2. Establish Your Commitment
If this wedding season you’ve been asked to be a part of a wedding party, you’re looking at a big — and pricey — commitment. Before you decide to accept the honor, think about every hidden cost that goes into being a bridesmaid, from the dress, to the bachelorette party, to the bridal shower and everything in between. If it’s too much for you to swing, be honest and tell your friend you can only afford to be a guest at her wedding. Chances are, if she’s a good friend, she’ll understand.
3. Give the Gift of Time
If you’ve RSVP’d to more weddings than you can financially handle, it’s essential to get creative with your wedding gift. Instead of facing the embarrassment that comes with buying the cheapest thing on the registry, take a different route. Ask your friend what organizational and preparation help she needs and offer to take care of it as your gift.
4. Get Into Pinterest
If gifting your time isn’t an option, but spending a fortune on a wedding gift isn’t either, think about getting crafty. Thanks to Pinterest, you can find literally hundreds of gifts to make online — from a shadowbox of their wedding invitation to personalized wall art or even a themed gift basket — that will be both thoughtful and inexpensive.
5. Just Say No
Just because it’s wedding season doesn’t mean that you need to spend every weekend attending nuptial after nuptial. You have a life outside of weddings, and bills to pay no matter what season it is, and you should always keep that a priority. So if you get invited to too many weddings, or ones you can’t afford, or weddings you simply don’t want to go to, it’s ok to say no. Do you really need to attend your great aunt’s second wedding?
6. Don’t Go it Alone
Crafty budgeting allowed me to be in my best friend's wedding party in April
Even though you may not have a plus one, you don’t have to take on the cost of attending a wedding alone. Instead of paying for gas or hotel room alone, think about splitting the cost with friends, helping you stick to a tight budget.
7. Recycle Your Wedding Attire
One of the biggest headaches and expenses as a wedding guest is deciding what to wear. Depending on how formal the event is, you could be spending a good portion of your paycheck on your outfit alone. To reduce the cost of clothes without making the error of re-wearing an entire ensemble, change-up your accessories. For example, wear your favorite LBD, but switch out your shoes, jewelry and clutch.
8. Get a Group Gift
If you’re going to a wedding with a group of friends, why not go in on a gift together? This way, you can get a large item on the couple’s registry, but not have to carry the financial load alone.
9. Choose Your Reservations Wisely
Just because the bride and groom have rooms blocked at a hotel doesn’t mean that they’re the cheapest option, or that you need to stay in them. Before booking your reservation, do your research to see if you can find less expensive lodgings.
10. Look For Deals Wherever You Can
If one of your weddings this season involves extensive travel and a hotel reservation, it can add up quickly if you don’t do your research. To cut back on the cost of your overall travel expenses, look for little ways to save money during your trip. This can be booking a hotel that has breakfast included, or cash in some of your credit card travel rewards, or use your AAA card for discounts at hotels and restaurants.
If your social calendar for the next few months is booked with wedding after wedding, you’re looking at a potentially pricey summer. While it can get very pricey, there’s no reason that wedding season should put you into credit card debt. By making cost-conscious decisions from the minute you get a wedding invite you can make every nuptial you have to attend this season less expensive.