A recent study by American Express notes that the price of attending a wedding has skyrocketed – up 75% from just two years ago. As I am currently in the stage of my life where all of my sorority sisters, friends, cousins and colleagues are getting married; I pulled together a few tips for saving money.
1. Attire: I have frequently used Rent the Runway when I’m attending a more formal affair. This saves from having to purchase a gown that is too fancy to wear again (or, at the very least, be photographed in again). For the other weddings, do not underestimate the power of the infamous LBD or “little black dress”. Find one that is a flattering cut that could be dressed up or down with accessories. We found this one from Jenny Yoo which would work perfectly with any of these adorable but totally affordable Jeweliq necklaces.
Necklaces top to bottom: Lucia necklace, Dove Marquise Bib necklace, Lance Bib necklace. Dress: Jenny Yoo
For those of you actually in a wedding and fear the purchase of the one-time-wear, bridesmaid dress, you are also saved by a different but equally fabulous LBD….the Little Borrowed Dress. This fabulous bridesmaid dress can be rented at a discount rate so if the bride is unaware of this awesome option, feel free to educate her.
2. Hair: What if I told you there was an Uber for Blowouts? Well, there is! Please meet Glamsquad. Download the app and make an appointment. A stylist will come to your house, give you a perfect blowout for $50 and be on their way. Done and done.
3. Pre-wedding events: If you are like me and invited to over 7 weddings this year, you probably also have around 15+ pre-wedding events to also attend. Now this is going to sound harsh but if you’re really trying to not dip in to your savings account this wedding season, you may need to make a difficult decision and only attend a select few. With the help of Anna Post, etiquette expert at the Emily Post Institute and author of Do I Have to Wear White?: Emily Post Answers America’s Top Wedding Questions, we are told that it is perfectly acceptable to not give a shower gift if you don’t attend the shower. And if attend multiple showers, you only have to give a gift at the first one or split your budget among the events.
4. Travel and Accommodations: Welcome to the buddy system. The best way to save money when you need to book a car and/or hotel is to team up with a group of friends and share. Plus, this makes for really fun stories around the breakfast table after the wedding.
The best tip for dealing with all of the travel is to start early. When you wait until the last minute, regardless of your intention, you end up scrambling to figure out the details and spend way more than you need to. Plus, the couple has probably set aside rooms at a discounted rate so if you wait too long, the rooms will either be gone or the rate is no longer available.
5. The ultimate tough decision. Last but not least, sometimes you just have to say no. There was one year that my husband and I desperately needed a vacation so we thought long and hard about which was more important at the time and made the decision to decline the invite to a few weddings and use that money to get away. It was tough because I totally have FOMO (fear of missing out) but we ended up very happy with the decision in the long run. This year we are fortunate to have a wedding in a cool city we have never been to so we are planning our vacation around it since we already have the flights and hotel. Either way, you have to do what is best for you given your current circumstances and no one can fault you for that.