When you get a Save the Date card in the mail for a wedding, your first thought probably isn’t: “How much is this going to cost me?” But maybe it should be. Guests shell out an average of $888 per wedding, according to a survey by The Knot. And being a member of the wedding party means even higher costs. Bridesmaids spend about $1,200 per wedding, according to a survey by WeddingWire — and that can quickly jump to $1,820 after including all associated costs (alterations, travel, gifts, etc.).

“I would advise anyone in their mid-twenties or mid-thirties to factor [weddings] into your budget every year,” says Jessica Bishop, creator of TheBudgetSavvyBride.com. If you don’t use the money, you can add to your emergency fund, bulk up your retirement account or save it for the shindigs that will no doubt catch up with you down the road. Every year, wedding season is May to October. Figure out ahead of time how many of these events you can likely afford to attend, and say no to the ones you can’t. “Don’t go into debt to pay for a wedding,” says Bishop.

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Whether you’re heading to the event as a guest or as a member of the wedding party, we’ve got tips for cutting costs. – How Wedding Guests Can Cut Costs (Without Being Cheap)


The price of wedding formalwear can add up, especially if you’re attending multiple events (like the bridal shower, bachelorette party, rehearsal dinner and wedding itself). First, try to raid your friends closets. Then, instead of shelling out extra cash on something you’ll probably only wear once, you could use Rent the Runway, which allows users to rent designer clothing at a fraction (usually between $30 and $215, depending on the dress) of the retail cost. If you’re a bridesmaid and were just given a dress color to match, this could be the way to go. Another option — especially if you’re attending multiple events in one weekend — is Le Tote, which allows users to borrow three items of clothing and two accessories at a time and starts at $39 per month. If your date needs a tuxedo, Menguin.com, a men’s formalwear rental site, can help. And if you’d rather sell your old formalwear and buy something new, sites like Tradesy.com and Poshmark.com are a good bet. – How Wedding Guests Can Cut Costs (Without Being Cheap)

Also see: prom dress shops

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