Advertisement
  1. Arts & Entertainment

Ways to save on attending a wedding

Published May 12, 2012

Saving money on your wedding day is easy. The courthouse couldn't be a cheaper venue. But how do you save on the weddings of friends and colleagues? The costs add up quickly.

"We found that gifts, on average, run around over $100, and the cost is higher if it's a close friend's wedding," said Kristin Koch, senior editor of the theknot.com. "On average, people spend $75 on attire and over $300 on travel. Destination weddings can run close to $1,000."

Theknot.com estimates that 40 percent of wedding guests are from out of town, and almost a quarter of weddings are destination weddings, making costs of attending even higher.

People are also spending more on wedding wardrobes. "It is amazing how much people spend to attend weddings," said Jennifer Hyman, co-founder and chief executive of Rent the Runway, a website that rents designer dresses and accessories. "You used to be able to buy one outfit and wear it to a few weddings. But now that photos are instantly on Facebook, you can't do that anymore."

Experts weigh in on how to keep costs down on your friends' big days.

Clothes

Rent your attire: Much like the bride, women often want new dresses for the occasion. But why buy when you can rent for as low as 10 percent of the cost of buying? Renting dresses and accessories saves time and money.

Accessorize: Dress up something in your closet with vintage or rented accessories. The same goes for men: Most own a suit they can wear, but investing in vintage ties or using a service such as Tie Society, a Netflix-style company that rents ties for a monthly fee, will defray costs during wedding season.

Travel

Plan ahead: Don't wait for the save the dates to arrive. Look for flights and hotels the minute the Facebook announcement goes up. And don't wait for the bridal party to supply information on where to stay or how to get there.

Avoid expensive lodging: It might be tempting to stay with the bridal party, but you can almost always find a less expensive alternative a few miles away.

Car rental alternatives: If you need to rent a car, consider peer-to-peer car-rental alternatives such as relayrides.com. For singles, Koch recommends finding a friend or acquaintance before the wedding willing to share the rental.

Gifts

Know when to splurge: According to theknot.com, the average cost of a gift for a family member is $146. Gifts for friends average $79. "Spend 60 percent on wedding, 20 percent on shower and 20 percent on engagement party," Koch said. Theknot.com recommends $75 to $100 for a co-worker, $100 to $120 for a friend and $100 to $150 for a close friend or family. But the value of what you buy isn't the same as the cost.

game the registry: Be first to sign up for items on a registry, and be strategic. Choose an item you know you can find cheaper elsewhere. Just because you sign up for something on a registry doesn't mean that you have to buy it there. Get the brand and size details, and find it online for less.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Chewbacca stands in front of the Millennium Falcon at the Black Spire Outpost at Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Orlando. Now that Rise of the Resistance is complete, the 14-acre land is complete. ALLIE GOULDING  |  Times
    Now that Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is finally complete at Hollywood Studios, we have some tips on when to go and how to make the most of your time.
  2. Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, a Star Wars hotel coming to Walt Disney World, will open in 2021. Guests will feel as if they are aboard the Halcyon, a starcruiser. This is an artist's rendition of the ship’s main deck atrium. DISNEY/LUCASFILM  |  Disney/Lucasfilm
    Disney has revealed details on Epcot films, a Star Wars hotel, a new Mickey ride and more.
  3. Debbie Bernhard, inset, posted an invitation in the "I Love St. Pete" Facebook group welcoming strangers into her home. Debbie Bernhard
    Debbie Bernhard was surprised by the reaction to her Facebook invitation.
  4. Robert Bryndza Petr Kozlík
    The author of ‘Nine Elms’ finds encouragement in Christie’s ‘disorganized genius.’
  5. Sarah M. Broom is the author of the memoir "The Yellow House," winner of the National Book Award for nonfiction. Adam Shemper
    Broom’s memoir, winner of a National Book Award, tells the story of her family and their New Orleans home before and after ‘the Water.’
  6. Benjamin Ismail, left, and Susan Maris star as Peter Shaw and Henrietta Leavitt in American Stage's "Silent Sky." Joey Clay Photography
    Parts of it play like a romantic comedy, but you will learn a thing or two about the woman who mapped the universe. | Theater review
  7. From left: Kelvin Harrison Jr., Taylor Russell, Sterling K. Brown and Renée Elise Goldsberry in "Waves." Courtesy of A24
    It is the third time production company A24 has shot here.
  8. The cast of "Floribama Shore." Season 3, which was shot in Pinellas County, premieres in November. Courtesy of MTV
    Episode 4 of the MTV reality series filmed in St. Pete features Gus on the rebound.
  9. Mario Lopez tosses beads to the thousands of people lining Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa during the 2019 Gasparilla Parade of Pirates LUIS SANTANA  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Catch up on today’s Tampa Bay concert announcements.
  10. The cast of "Siesta Key" on MTV. Courtesy of MTV
    It’s a third season for the reality series filmed at the beach community in Sarasota County.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement