3 Ways to Save Money as a Wedding Guest

Wedding season is officially here! This Saturday, I will be attending my first wedding (of four) during 2016! Weddings can be expensive for the happy couple, but being a wedding guest is no walk in the park either. From bridal showers, bachelorette/bachelor parties, gifts, outfits and more, being a wedding guest can easily be a large financial commitment.

I know you are thinking, being a wedding guest doesn’t cost that much.  Have you considered all of the costs associated with being a wedding guest:

  • Gifts
  • Travel/Transportation
  • Self-Care (Hair, Nails, Makeup, etc…)
  • Outfit (including Shoes and Jewelry)

3 Ways to Save Money as a Wedding Guest

Being a wedding guest doesn’t have to be that expensive! Check out the 3 ways below to save money:


The first step to avoid breaking the bank when it comes to being a wedding guest is to plan in advance!  Typically save the date cards for weddings are sent 6-8 months in advance.  At that point, it is time to start saving.  Even if you start small with $25 a month, over 8 months you have $200 stashed away.  Of course, if the wedding is in another state or country you will need to ramp up the savings.  Saving $100 a month over 8 months would lead you to have $800.

Also, when purchasing wedding gifts I first set my budget.  Then I check out the registries that are available early in advance.  In addition, if the happy couple is registered at a store like Macy’s or Bed Bath & Beyond, I make sure to look out for deals.  I was able to snag two awesome sets of Waterford glasses as a wedding gift for less than $40 during a Macy’s friends and family sale!

In addition, when purchasing wedding gifts split the price with a friend.  I love this option!  It gives me the chance to buy a gift that would normally be out of my budget without breaking the bank.  This also requires prior planning.  Make sure you ask around for friends that are looking to split gifts.  I am going to a wedding for a coworker soon and I decided to go in on a gift with my teammates.

Avoid a New Outfit

How many outfits do you have in your closet that you’ve only worn once?  I have at least 3 dresses I’ve worn to different weddings only once. Instead of buying a new outfit for each of the four weddings I have to attend this year, I plan on putting a few of the previous outfits to good use.

Ultimately, this comes down to budgeting and differentiating between wants and needs.  Is it really in your budget to buy a new outfit every time you are invited to a new wedding?  Do you want a new outfit or do you need a new outfit?

If you insist on getting a new outfit, consider Rent the Runway.  Rent the runway is an online service that allows you to borrow designer digs for special occasions at a highly discounted price.   The dresses start at about $30 retail.  Designer dresses are much more pricey; however, getting the outfit from Rent the Runway is much cheaper than purchasing a dress.

Just Say No

At the end of the day, you won’t be able to attend every wedding and related event that you are invited to.  I was invited to an out of town wedding in June – along with the bridal shower and bachelorette parties.  Although I’d love to attend all the related wedding events, I didn’t attend the bridal shower.  Don’t be afraid to say no if the events are not in your budget.

Destination weddings are one of latest trends!  Although destinations weddings may cut costs on the lovebirds, the costs are always higher for the wedding guests.  Make sure to analyze your total costs prior to RSVP-ing to a destination wedding.  Although costs can be cut on your transportation and accommodations, make sure the added vacation for the wedding is doable with your budget!


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It is wedding season! Being a wedding guest can be costly. Check out these 3 tips to ensure being a wedding guest doesn't break the bank.

      How Do You Save Money as a Wedding Guest or when attending another similar special event?



  1. This happened the year I got married. My MOH got married in April. Other bridesmaid got married in June. And my wedding was in September. All were local, so that was nice, and we all agreed (we were all helping out with each other’s weddings) to keep gifts to X amount since things would be crazy. I did have to change my outfit at the last minute or else I was going to make one of them at the other’s wedding! That was funny though.

    1. It is crazy how everyone gets married at the same time. Love is beautiful but it can be hard on your wallet. Awesome that you talked to your friends about keeping wedding gifts to a min price. It’s hard to be in a wedding and everything associate with it plus get a gift.

  2. I love the idea of recycling those outfits, especially as girls, we all have a million dresses sitting back that we bought for that one occasion that never got worn again! Get it and reuse, save some money because those dresses can be expensive.

    1. Yes! I really wanted to buy a new outfit for this wedding, but I just can’t justify it with so many other outfits that have only been worn once.

  3. I need tips for when I am in the wedding how do we save? LOL I gotta travel and buy the bridal dress and shoes etc…weddings are expensive. You gave some good tips!

    1. Being in the wedding is even more expensive! It is also tough when most of the decisions aren’t made by you. Planning in advance is so important and praying that all of your close friends aren’t getting married at the same time. lol 🙂

  4. All great tips! I get invited to a lot of events and feel tempted to buy a new dress. I do have a few in my closet I have never worn sadly.

  5. Attending weddings gets crazy expensive! The one I went to last year and another I’m going to in a few weeks are out of town. Planning and avoiding a new outfit definitely help!

  6. I actually will be renting dresses from now on because I feel like I wear dresses to big events once and then they sit in my closet. I have heard of Rent the Runway before and I was thinking of using them for some dresses for some upcoming events. I will probably even rent my wedding dress!

    1. I understand your pain! Once you buy a dress to a big event, it ends up staying in the back of the closet. Good luck with rent the runway! They typically have discount codes for first time users.

  7. You are so right, weddings can get pricey for everyone. These are all great tips, planning early is so essential especially when taking advantage of store deals. I love being able to attend all of my friend’s special day but I too had to decline a wedding this year because it was just not in the budget.

  8. With a lot of weddings coming up over here, this is a good list of reminders. We just got married and are trying to save money! Weddings and even wedding-going can be expensive! Great tips!

  9. These are great tips! Planning early is definitely a key! I am guilty of taking too long to purchase a gift and then ending up having to choose between super expensive items on the registry.

    1. That happens to the best of us. I’ve recently started to take control of my procrastinating habits in an effort to save money.

  10. I actually have never been to a wedding yet. I can imagine how quickly the costs can add up, especially when you have to travel to go to weddings. I would feel bad saying “no” to attending, especially if it was someone important in my life. I guess you have to have priorities.

  11. I actually had to tell one of my best buddies no to his wedding as it was too far and costly.

  12. Great tips for saving. Unless it is a close friend or family member say no.Most are just announcing and are trying to be polite.Or want a gift.I would simply send them a gift with the not attending card.

  13. Weddings can be so expensive! We recently had to turn down an invite because it was in New York and it would have cost a lot of money.

  14. Great tips! Planning early is key. Thanks for putting together such a great resource. I have had wonderful experiences using Rent the Runway.

  15. It can get expensive to be a guest. I thought I was just tripping but this post conformed I am not as crazy as I thought I was… I have done better with buying versatile pieces that can be used for different events. At one time I was a shop for comfort only kind of girl so when a wedding or special event came around I almost always had to go buy something. I also realize that I can not attend every event, and I have to be okay with that too.

    1. Yes girl! You are not crazy! Buying versatile pieces is another great way to cut pack on expenses. A cute black dress can easily look completely different based on jewelry, jacket/blazer, shoes and other accessories.

  16. The year we got married we went to something like 10 weddings. It can be expensive! Nothing compares to destination weddings, though. We went to one in Hawaii for my wife’s sister and thankfully had a 2-year warning and were able to save up and plan ahead before going.

    1. Wow! 10 weddings is a ton! Love was in the air that year between your family and friends. Providing far in advance warning is crucial for destination weddings. I am planning myself for a destination wedding in October.

  17. Great tips. It is crazy how quickly everything can add up, especially if you’re IN a wedding. You’re right about sometimes just having to say “no.” Can’t do it all! (and really… can’t afford it all! 😉 )

  18. My bff is getting married in Sept so I need help in figuring out what I’m paying for and how I can save money.. Great tips

  19. Great tips. I agree that we sometimes have to save a little at a time so that we can be prepared for wedding season. I also like the tip about wearing items that we already have. Outfits can always be revamped.

  20. We are on the cusp of wedding season ourselves. Have one coming up in December, right before Christmas and thankfully, the second one for my friend is next summer. However, my daughter and I both will be attendants in that wedding so we’re definitely getting ready to start planning for those associated costs.

  21. ohhh I like the renting a dress option. I have so many dresses just sitting there that end up going to the prom projects.

  22. Thus far we only have two weddings for this year. I’m not complaining, we’ve had marathon weddings. Most of Babe’s friends are married now.

    I just purged my closet and got rid of some one time only dresses I had from previous weddings. This year I’m wearing my Mother’s Day gift to the first wedding in June.

  23. This time of year is SO expensive with weddings and graduations… I just have to keep track at what I wore where so that I don’t have any issues with pictures. I opted out of the last wedding I was invited to. I really am in the just say no mode these days.

  24. Tia,
    I’m getting married next weekend and we made sure to give our guests plenty of advance notice. We are also having an afternoon wedding so most of the women will be wearing summer dresses instead of gowns. It also helps that we are the only wedding in our families this year.

    1. Congrats on your upcoming nuptials, Mike! Giving people advance notice is great so they can save and plan!

  25. Yes to all of this! Especially the tip about holding out on buying a new outfit! I am learning to work with what I have in an effort to save more money. Great advice!

  26. I have several weddings this year as well. These are all great tips. I”m trying to lose weight now so that I can cut costs.

  27. I was just looking at a dress in my closet I wore to a wedding that I only wore once. Crazy to buy a brand new dress for just that event, I’m definitely gonna repurpose that bad boy

  28. We got married here in Los Angeles and we’re both from the MidWest. Everybody turned our wedding into a vacation. Now that I’ve had time to think about it, they must really LOVE us. lol

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