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How to be a Wedding Guest on a Budget

If you read the previous post, “How to be a Bridesmaid on a Budget,” you already know that 42 percent of wedding guests will spend $100-$500 per wedding. Our credit counseling advice is to plan ahead of time to avoid debt. Here are some tips on how to survive wedding season as a guest.

Avoid going into debt as a wedding guest with these tips.

Avoid going into debt as a wedding guest with these tips.

Budget. The bride and groom aren’t the only ones who need to set a wedding budget. As a guest, it’s a good idea to plan ahead and figure out how much you can realistically spend on each aspect of the wedding. The most important things to include are gifts, dress, transportation, and lodging.

Gifts. Whether it is for the shower or the wedding, buy registry gifts early. The least expensive items are always the first to go. If there is an expensive item that you’d like to buy for the bride and groom, team up with another guest and split the cost.

Outfit. For guys this isn’t a big deal, they slap on a suit and they are good to go. For girls, it’s another story. As a girl, you tend to feel you can’t wear the same dress to more than one wedding. Instead of buying multiple dresses in one wedding season, borrow a dress from a friend. Even better, you can go to RentTheRunway.com and rent designer dresses starting at $50. This should help you stay within budget.

Lodging. More often than not you will find that you need to stay over the night of the wedding. The best way to save on this is to plan ahead. As soon as you get the save the date card, call hotels in the area and figure out which ones have the cheapest rates. If you discover that you can’t afford the room on your own, see if a friend will split the room with you. I’ve been to many weddings where we have crammed 4 or 5 people in a room to save money. For one night, it is worth the savings.

Say no. Unfortunately, you may have to turn down a wedding. If 3 of your close friends and 2 of your family members are getting married this summer, and you get invited to your coworkers wedding, you might just have to be honest with her and decline. Make plans to celebrate with the couple after the wedding. If they are a true friend they will understand (not to mention they will be saving at least $100 on your plate).

If you’re struggling to pay off debt, schedule a free credit counseling session with us today. 


Madison is a Marketing Communications & Programs Associate at ACCC. She is excited to share her tips on saving money and being financially responsible here on the Talking Cents blog!

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