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Here Comes the Bride, There Goes the Cash

If you are a bride or groom planning a wedding, there are a plethora of resources to help build and keep to a wedding budget. But what about the guests?  For many guests, it isn’t just the wedding, but there are showers, bachelor/bachelorette parties, travel expenses and gifts to pick out and pay for.  These expenses can add up quickly if you’re not careful with your budget.

For example, this summer I have been invited to a grand total of eight weddings. Let that sink in for a moment. Eight. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, there are only twelve weekends, so more than half of my weekends this summer will be attending a loved-one’s wedding. And that’s the thing; all of the weddings are for close friends or family members that I’m looking forward to attending!

So we all can keep money in our pocket this wedding season, I’ll share some of my budgeting tips:

  • Shop the registry early and often - This way you’ll be able to snag some of the most reasonably priced items and best gifts for their value. The procrastinator in me usually waits until the week before the wedding to buy a gift and I get stuck purchasing the hand-held vacuum. Does not exactly send the “I love you and best wishes” message I had in mind.
  • Watch for sales and coupons at the retailer - Over the past several months I’ve been collecting coupons and watching for registry items to go on sale. In doing so, I was able to score a cappuccino maker for a friend at almost half the cost.
  • Personal wedding gift - If you know the couple’s taste, it might be appropriate to buy a gift outside of the registry that is aligned with their likes and your budget. Sites like Etsy® offer the opportunity to customize everything from picture frames to champagne glasses to door mats.
  • Gifts for the new home owner – A “stock the (insert room of house here: kitchen, laundry, bathroom, bar)” gift might be just what the new homeowner needs. All of that useful household stuff that you don’t think of until you need it, placed into a practical gift basket. For example, the kitchen items could be placed in a reusable shopping bag or the laundry items and towels into a hamper.
  • Help with the wedding is your gift - One couple whose wedding I am attending is taking an untraditional approach in many ways, including the gifting. They’ve asked guests to contribute to the wedding in a practical manner.  A friend is loaning his classic car for the couple to arrive in. Another family member who is a hairdresser will be doing the wedding party’s hair as her contribution. The cake, music playlist and name cards are just a few ways to contribute to the special day.

What suggestions do you have to keep wedding festivity costs manageable?

Etsy is a registered trademark of Etsy, Inc.

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