June 6, 2023

How to survive a busy wedding season on a budget

If you’re dreading an expensive summer wedding season and wedding gifts, keep reading for tips to lighten your financial load.

Facebook LinkedIn Whatsapp

How to survive a busy wedding season on a budget

Flowers on a wedding guest table

Summer is wedding season, and this wedding season promises to be one to remember.  

After two years of cancelled nuptials and delayed celebrations, mailboxes will be crammed with invitations from friends and family excited to tie the knot. Weddings come with considerable expenses for many guests. When you’re attending multiple weddings, how do you budget for gifts, clothes, travel and all the rest? 

Fortunately, there are things you can do to save money, and you should never be too proud to explore them. The last thing your loved ones want is for their happy day to be a financial burden for you.  

Before wedding season begins

You know your major expenses will be a gift (or gifts if you attend the shower), an outfit, transportation, and perhaps even accommodations, so start putting money away early and make good choices. The amount you save by skipping a dinner out now will go toward an unforgettable night eating, drinking, and celebrating with the people you love. Broken down like that, skipping a random Saturday night out is a no-brainer. 

Choosing which invitations to accept

If you’re in saving mode this year, maybe destination weddings are out — especially since the cost of airfare and hotels has skyrocketed due to pent-up demand and gas prices. And you can politely decline invitations from people you don’t know well without feeling bad — about 15% of RSVPs are sent with regrets. 

The gift 

First off, sending a gift to the bride and groom of a wedding you’re not attending is NOT MANDATORY. But, if you choose to send something, pick a smaller item from the registry. That $20 set of spatulas is there because the bride and groom genuinely want it. Or simply send a thoughtful card.

If you are attending, the rule of thumb is around $100 per person or $150 per couple, which doesn’t sound too bad. But it adds up fast when you’re attending multiple weddings, especially if kids are invited. So get creative.

  • Do your friends have a hobby or passion? Find something appropriate in a second-hand shop or antique store — a vintage pair of binoculars for birdwatchers, a framed rookie card for hockey fans. These gifts are thoughtful and unique, and if you happened to get a great deal no one will know.
  • Consider your skills. Your gift can be worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars in time. For example, if you’re a housepainter, you can paint the newlyweds’ porch. A family lawyer may create or update a will for the new couple at this pivotal turning point.
  • Go in with others. Join with friends to purchase a larger ticket item that makes a big splash but can cost less in the end if it comes from the group. 

The outfit

If you have two friends in the same social circle getting married this summer, you’ll probably want a unique look for each affair. And if you’re already stressed over shelling out for two ensembles, try these options on for size:  

  • Shop your closet. Besides being affordable, it’s also trendy. Celebrities are wearing outfits multiple times on the red carpet to make a statement about sustainable clothing.
  • Call a friend. A pal about the same size would be happy to search their closet for something nice. Make a fun day out of searching together.
  • Go new to you. Thrift stores are full of suits and dresses that folks bought for weddings, wore once and never again. Instead of making the same mistake, take advantage of theirs.
  • Rent a look. If you’re dead set on something special, you can rent it through a service like Beyond the Runway. With rental fees starting at $80 on a dress that might cost not that much more to buy, renting isn’t always the best option on a budget. But it might work if you’re attending multiple weddings several months in a row. Some places even have outfit-swapping subscription services you can join for a particularly busy wedding season. 

The travel

This is where being part of a group can save money. Carpooling is the best-case scenario, but if that’s not possible you can share a cab or call a ride-share that offers larger vehicles.  

Don’t forget about public transit. There’s no shame in taking a bus or subway when the venue allows. Have fun taking edgy-glam Instagram pics along the way.  

The overnight

If the bride and groom booked a block of rooms at a hotel, resort, or lodge that falls out of your price range, the simple answer is to not stay there.

If making it home that night is not an option, check Airbnb for a small room nearby, or type “accommodations” into Google Maps and see what’s within walking distance. Renting a place with friends can help further reduce the cost of accommodations.  

Wherever you stay, you probably won’t spend much time there anyway — but an affordable home base is a good idea.

And if you still can’t afford it all…?

Remember that the only weddings truly worth attending are the ones where the guests of honour love you for you. If you sincerely can’t swing the whole package, they should be happy to take a rain check on the gift or help you arrange a ride.

What does it say if you can’t afford to attend a friend's wedding?

It might be saying you have bigger problems that should be addressed sooner than later. 

Whether it’s rejigging your monthly budget, consolidating loans, or finding a tailored debt solution, we can put your mind at ease and lighten your emotional load so you can fully enjoy the wedding season.

Do you have more questions?


June 6, 2023

How to survive a busy wedding season on a budget

If you’re dreading an expensive summer wedding season and wedding gifts, keep reading for tips to lighten your financial load.

Facebook LinkedIn Whatsapp