How to Budget for Wedding Season Without Breaking the BankAugust 25, 2020
It’s no surprise that planning a wedding is expensive, with the average cost of a wedding in the United States hovering around $25,000. Slightly more surprising, however, is the cost of attending a wedding. From hotel expenses for out-of-town guests to attire for the wedding party, guest expenses average between $400 and $1,000.
With that in mind, it’s important to be proactive about maintaining your budget, especially during peak wedding season, if you’re planning to attend several events. Here are a few tips on how to budget for wedding season without breaking the bank.
The best way to keep costs down is always to plan ahead. During the summer, experts recommend buying plane tickets 47 days in advance to get the best possible airfare prices. On the other hand, waiting until the last minute means you’ll pay premium prices. Buying tickets within 6 days of your flight costs an average of $208 dollars more. Even the week before that, you’ll pay an extra $100.
Hotels are slightly different from airlines in that they tend to reward late booking. Those who book within the last 6 days tend to save around 15%. That said, it’s important to keep a few things in mind when booking your stay. For example, experts claim the best days for booking hotels are during the weekend, and the worst days are during the week. Plan your search accordingly, and if possible check in on a Sunday, when prices are the lowest.
If you have an important role in the wedding, however, be sure not to book too late, or you may miss the opportunity to find a hotel with easy access to the venue.
As expenses begin to add up, you may wonder how to budget for a wedding. Account for basic expenses ahead of time, like how many meals you’ll eat on-the-go or any fuel refills your trip will require, especially if you’re traveling out of town. If you plan to take part in any pre-wedding activities, like hair or nail appointments, be sure to keep those in mind, as well. When budgeting, leave yourself some leeway, in case you find yourself doing things you hadn’t planned for.
There are a number of fantastic budgeting apps that can make this easy, allowing you to categorize expenses and manage your money. Also, some banks offer temporary, specialty savings accounts that prevent you from withdrawing money before a specific date. These are great budgeting tools for event-specific expenses.
Sticking to a budget during wedding season is a fantastic way to ensure you’ll enjoy your trip and have the flexibility to participate in a few fun activities, but also to avoid breaking the bank when attending each person’s special day. If you have a busy wedding season coming up, now is the time to begin considering your wedding season budget, so you can be prepared for every “I do.”
Find deals on gifts
While it’s fun to choose a wedding gift the couple will enjoy for many years, there’s no reason to break the bank while shopping the registry.
Keep an eye on stores where the couple is registered well in advance, then, as gifts go on sale, you’ll be able to pick them up at a slight discount. If you give yourself enough time, you should be able to find discounts on a number of things that are on the wedding registry, and the couple will still enjoy them as much as if you had paid full price.
Retailers like Amazon and Target have regular sales, meaning it’s only a matter of time before the things you’re looking for are discounted. If you’re still a student, also consider looking into student discounts. Hundreds of retailers offer them.
If you take your time looking for gifts, keep an eye out for sales and start your shopping early, both your wallet and the happy couple will be thrilled with your purchase.
Rent or borrow an outfit
Let’s be honest. Nobody is going to remember what you wore to the last wedding, so if you need to save a few dollars, this is the perfect way to do it. If you do want to show off a new style for the special occasion, consider renting an outfit or even borrowing one from a friend. That way you don’t end up with clothing you’re unlikely to wear more than once.
Recycling your special occasion outfits will be a huge help in keeping your peak wedding season finances on track. As a bonus, renting or borrowing will make your wedding day outfit both budget- and environment-friendly.
Don’t be afraid to say no
If you truly cannot afford to attend a wedding, don’t go. Just make sure to let them know you won’t be attending, send a nice card, and maybe even a gift. Show your appreciation for the invitation regardless; make sure they understand that you’d like to be there. If your reaction is polite and friendly, they will certainly appreciate it.
Your financial situation is important, and if attending a wedding will put you in dire straits, your close friends will understand your having to decline, as unfortunate as it may be.
In many ways, all of these tips can be summed up into two: plan ahead and keep your wedding season budget in mind. Don’t put these things off until the last minute whenever possible, because it may make the process more stressful and expensive. Be sure to have fun and enjoy celebrating people you care about during the happiest moments of their lives. What could be better?
If you’re the one getting married, we have even more tips and tricks for making your wedding day special and budget-friendly. You can find them here.
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