Surviving Wedding Season Without Going Broke

  • 01 of 09

    Surviving Wedding Season Without Going Broke

    Wedding guests
    Tetra Images - Yuri Arcurs/Getty Images

    Spring and summer are still primarily considered to be peak wedding seasons, but fall weddings are increasing in popularity. The Knot's most recent weddings study shows that 39% of weddings took place in the fall in 2015. That means that what we've often referred to as "wedding season" is now even longer than ever before. 

    How many weddings are you going to this year? I'm willing to bet you've already attended a few with still more on the way, as we are only about halfway through wedding season. Attending multiple weddings as a guest can be hard on the wallet (or pocketbook, as the case may be) so it's important to keep your personal budget in mind when shelling out for each of the events you're invited to. Expenses associated with weddings can add up fairly quickly, especially if you have to travel out of town to attend. From buying new outfits to purchasing gifts, we'll help you save some green on everything that goes into being a wedding guest.

    This post is meant to help you make the most of your personal budget by sharing some awesome tips and resources that will allow you to survive wedding season without going broke!  


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  • 02 of 09

    Saving Money as a Wedding Guest: Travel

    Traveling for weddings can be expensive. Check out these tips to save money. Getty Images

    One of the many areas you can save money in as a wedding guest is travel. There are several strategies that you can employ to save yourself money if you have to travel for a wedding. If you are attending an out of town wedding, you can save money by carpooling or ridesharing to your location. Ride together with other friends or guests to save on gas and mileage on your car. 

    If you are going a farther distance than is driveable, then you'll want to keep some of these savvy traveling tips in mind:

    • Look for flights at the optimal time for savings, which is 54 days out, according to recent research
    • Use sites like Expedia or Google Flights to compare multiple airline's prices at once. 
    • Make sure to use your browser in Incognito mode when looking at flights. Some websites store cookies and raise the prices if you come back to shop again later.
    • Try to use the same airline often so you can earn rewards points and redeem them for free flights. Consider using a rewards credit card that earns airline miles as well for extra points.
    • Check out low-cost airlines like Southwest and Spirit for lower fares.

    Check out more tips for saving on airfare from About

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  • 03 of 09

    Saving Money as a Wedding Guest: Lodging

    Slumber Party
    Staying with friends can help you save money when traveling for out of town weddings. Getty Images

    If you have to travel out of town for a wedding, chances are you'll also need a place to stay. If you have any friends who live in the city you are visiting, you could always ask to stay with them if they have room. If you don't have any local friends in the city you're traveling to, then most likely you'll have to stay in a hotel. There are many simple ways to reduce the cost of a hotel stay, so check out these tips:

    • Pinching pennies? Visit sites like Travelocity or Expedia to get deals on your hotel stay.
    • Feeling spontaneous? Try the HotelTonight app for deep discounts on last-minute hotel bookings. 
    • Willing to go halfsies? Consider splitting a hotel room with friends, or opt for an Airbnb instead with a larger group for greater savings. Make it fun-- it's like an adult slumber party!
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  • 04 of 09

    Saving Money as a Wedding Guest: Attire

    Bridesmaids Shoes
    Buying something new to wear to every wedding can add up - check out these cost-saving tips!. Getty Images

    Many women feel the pressure of needing something new to wear to every wedding to attend. They may feel embarrassed about wearing repeat outfits, especially at heavily-photographed events such as a wedding. But there are plenty of ways you can flaunt new frocks without shelling out a bunch of cash for them. Start by shopping your friends' closets. What do your besties have in their stash that fits and flatters you? Swap some dresses and wear something new to you! 

    Another fun option is to consider clothing rental services! With fashion subscription Le Tote, you can borrow from a limitless rotating closet of designer clothing and accessories that you can pick and choose from. Customize your Le Tote with some wedding-worthy dresses and accessories in the weeks leading up to the big day. Wear them for the wedding and then return your Le Tote for more of your favorite picks for everyday! It's super flexible and customizable, not to mention affordable for only $59/month for unlimited shipments. 

    Attending a more formal wedding? Check out Rent the Runway for some fancier options that are black-tie appropriate. 

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  • 05 of 09

    Saving Money as a Wedding Guest: Beauty

    Makeup artist
    Check out these tips for getting glammed up for a wedding. Getty Images

    Want to look and feel your best for the big day? Especially as a bridesmaid, you may feel the extra pressure to get your hair and makeup done, even if the bride isn't footing the bill. Or perhaps you're the bride and you're looking for affordable beauty options for your bridal party for the big day. There are some great services that are launching all across the states that are definitely worth investigating: 

    • Salon Apprentice - available in major cities like New York and Los Angeles. Matches stylists with willing hair models looking for specific services. You can get deeply discounted or completely free hair services like coloring, blowouts, updo's and more, based on their needs and availability. May not be the best for the big day due to random opportunities, but could be a great idea if you need a highlight touch-up before a wedding weekend.
    • Visit your local beauty counter or walk in to Sephora. Get a little mini-makeover from one of their on-site artists and purchase something small like a lipstick or mascara and you just got glammed for a steal! 
    • You could also DIY your own hair and makeup! You'll look like your beautiful, natural self, and that's totally fine, too. We totally recommend watching beauty tutorials on YouTube and mastering the perfect smoky eye and beachwave yourself. The power is in your hands, girlfriend! 
    • Speaking of beachwaves, with this handy device the Beachwaver, you can easily get glamorous curls in minutes, without a whole lot of skill needed. Talk about a game-changer. And for only $129, you can use this incredible tool for every wedding you attend, or every day to get celeb-worthy hair. I promise all your fellow bridesmaids will want to steal it!
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  • 06 of 09

    Saving Money as a Wedding Guest: Gifts

    Wedding Gifts
    Tips for saving money on wedding gifts. Getty Images

    When it comes to gifting, you never want to appear cheap, but you should also never feel pressured to spend more than you can afford. Choose a gift that fits your price range, but always do your due diligence to find deals and discounts on that product! Be sure to use sites like Ebates or RetailMeNot to get coupon codes or cash back on all your online purchases. I personally find that the best deals can be found online, but don't be scared to go searching for something in-store if you get a good coupon.

    This is especially important to keep in mind if you're attending multiple weddings, or even just multiple wedding events for the same couple! Between bridal showers, bachelorette parties and the wedding day itself, it's like a regular gift-stravaganza! So you'll definitely want to make sure you shop savvy for all your gifts. 

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  • 07 of 09

    Saving Money as a Wedding Guest: Pet Care or Child Care

    Cute Dog in a Bowtie
    Fido can't come to the wedding. Getty Images

    One thing you may not have considered as a wedding expense is pet care! If you're traveling for a wedding, chances are you can't bring Fido with you. Maybe you have very generous family or friends who aren't attending the wedding, and are also happy to take care of your furry friend. But if not, you'll have to factor in the cost of pet care into your wedding guest budget. But the good news is that there are lots of affordable options for petcare. has more than 40,000 sitters across over 1,000 cities in the U.S. who’ve listed their services on the site so you can find a sitter that you can afford and that Fido will love! 

    If you are a parent and your kids aren't included on the wedding invitation, you'll likely have to arrange for childcare while you attend the wedding. And this goes for local weddings or out-of-town events. If you don't have willing family or friends to take your tots off your hands, consider checking out available sitters on to find someone who works for your family's needs and budget.

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  • 08 of 09

    Saving Money as a Wedding Guest: Rewards Cards

    Credit Card
    Use rewards credit cards to earn free stuff like flights or hotel nights. Getty Images

    Another way to maximize your spend, score some extra savings, and even earn rewards is by signing up for a rewards-earning credit card. Whether that's a card that earns you airline miles that you can redeem for free flights or one that gets you points to spend on Amazon, rewards cards are where it's at. You can typically earn between 1-3 points on every dollar you spend on your card, and as long as you're responsible about paying it off, it's absolutely worth using a credit card. Not only will you build credit, but you'll rack up some sweet rewards along the way. Free flight to the bachelorette party sounds alot better than paying full price, right? Charge responsibly and reap those benefits!

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  • 09 of 09

    Saving Money as a Wedding Guest: Conclusion

    Bride toasting with friends
    Cheers to saving money on all your wedding expenses!. Getty Images

    Whether you're attending half a dozen weddings this year or just participating in the bridal party in one, it's important to consider your personal budget when making your plans. Of course you want to celebrate your family and friends, but you don't have to train your savings account to take part in the fun! We hope that this list of resources will help you find ways to cut costs while still celebrating in style.