'Tis the season for weddings, the start of wedding season is just around the corner. According to theKnot.com, wedding season begins in June and continues through October. While weddings are costly for the bride and groom, they can also cost a small fortune for guests and the wedding party without some conscious planning and preparation. Between the bridal showers, bachelorette parties, destination weddings, wedding wear and a gift for the happy couple, it all adds up quickly. In order to make it through celebrating these momentous days without breaking the bank, here are some tips to spend less this wedding season:
Bridal shower gift Save on her bridal shower present by shopping as soon as the invitation arrives. By checking out the registry early, you can get first pick of the less expensive (but still substantial) gifts that are often purchased quickly by other guests. Find something on the registry that seems overpriced? The registry retailer's price may be higher than the same item that's priced at other stores. Shop around to get the best deal on your gift, using the registry as a guide for the type of things that the bride needs. Often you can find the same items for a significantly less price online. Just be sure to include a gift receipt for the item in case the bride-to-be gets multiples.
Wedding attire Instead of buying a new dress for each wedding, invest in a simple, versatile dress that you can wear various ways. Pick a color that's flattering with your coloring or play it safe with a basic black and find a cocktail dress at Macy's that fits your budget. Dress up with accessories to create a unique look for each wedding. If you'll be attending a few weddings with the same people and wearing the same dress isn't an option, consider borrowing a frock from a friend.
Getting there For out-of-town friends or destination weddings, booking as far in advance as possible is the key to saving on airfare, car rental and hotel accommodations. Set a price alert on sites like Kayak or Travelocity to keep tabs on the airfare rates before purchasing your flight to ensure the best deal. For accommodations, if the hotel suggested on the wedding invitation is out of your budget, consider staying at another nearby hotel or renting an apartment with a few friends on a website like VRBO or Airbnb.
Wedding gift Instead of shelling out cash for a wedding gift, consider a budget-friendly alternative like a group gift. Pitch $50 to $100 with friends or family members to buy the bride and groom a gift card to a local spa for a day of pampering or book a romantic weekend getaway for them at a bed and breakfast in a nearby weekend destination. It will be a meaningful and memorable gift, and it will look more substantial than if you gave them the same amount in cash.