As you hit your mid-twenties the engagement announcements start popping up on Facebook, and before you know it your entire summer is taken up with hen parties, weddings, and desperately trying to find a dress in your wardrobe that you can recycle for the tenth time. Whilst watching your friends get married is one of the highlights of the year (Kleenex at the ready), celebrating with the happy couple is an expensive business. But instead of RSVP’ing no before you run out of money, follow these tips from Savoo to spend smart during wedding season.
Weddings typically take place in the summer, so it is worth putting aside money at the start of the year ready for marriage season. It doesn’t have to be much- perhaps £50 a month when you get paid- and by the time the wedding invitations start rolling in you will have accumulated a nice little fund which will cover accommodation and travel costs, as well as a new dress for the occasion.
Make it personal
No one wants to look like a skinflint, but finding a special wedding gift at a reasonable price can be an unnecessarily complex challenge. Giving a framed picture of the couple during their dating days is a nice idea (and cheap to do), but is not particularly original. Instead, think outside the box with gifts like:
– An experience from Red Letter Days
– A handmade gift basket full of themed goodies or ingredients for a romantic dinner
– Gifting a plant or tree to commemorate their wedding
– A magazine subscription for six months
– A set of gorgeous towels wrapped in ribbon
Is there a role you could play in the wedding that you could offer instead of a purchased gift? Perhaps you are a budding photographer, a talented cake decorator or great at crafts- you could help with the place cards, the wedding favours or even the bridal makeup if you are a dab hand with a mascara brush. Alternatively, you could offer to clean their house from top to bottom for when they return from their honeymoon so they come back to a sparkling home.
Cheap flights in advance
Getting married abroad might be a dream come true for the bride and groom, but for the wedding guests the combined cost of flights and accommodation can turn into a nightmare. When looking for cheap flight tickets, timing is crucial. Book flights early rather than at the last minute to avoid price hikes, and don’t be picky about flight times- it can cost less to fly at unsociable hours. Skyscanner is a great comparison tool to help you find flights at the best price, or check out some of the cheaper airlines like Jet2.
Rent a dress
No one wants to appear on Facebook in the same dress twice, but if you had to buy a new frock every time you went to a wedding then your bank account would soon start to suffer. Instead of hitting the shops every time an invite hits your doormat, consider renting a dress instead. Not only can you pick up a designer frock at a fraction of the price, you can send it back rather than letting it rot in your wardrobe. Try Girl Meets Dress for a great range of rentable dresses at a reasonable price.
Split the costs
Even UK weddings can end up being pricey as you end up travelling around the country to get to various churches and stately homes. Car sharing with other guests could save you a fortune on petrol costs, and hiring a minibus is often cheaper than individually booking trains. Alternatively, head to thetrainline.com and use their handy tool to find the best fares for your chosen journey- and remember to book as soon as you receive your invitation for low cost tickets.
Get the best hotel rate
Just because the bride and groom are holding the reception in a 5* hotel, it doesn’t mean that you have to splash the cash and book a room there. If you don’t have friends or family with a handy spare bedroom, shop around in advance for the best hotel rate. Travelodge, Premier Inn and Holiday Inn are low cost options if the wedding is in the UK. Travelodge offer room sales for just £19, but the secret to getting this price is knowing when the rooms are going to be available- sign up to their email for advance notice. If the wedding is being held abroad, visit laterooms.com or airbnb.co.uk.
Hopefully these tips will help you get through wedding season with your bank account still intact. What are your tips for saving money as a wedding guest?