Last summer, I’ve been to more weddings than I have in my life up to this point (combined). These weddings have involved some amount of travel, wether it was a 2 hour drive or a long flight. It goes without saying that the costs of attending a wedding (and being there for your friends) adds up quickly. There is the obvious costs like tux rental and gifts for the couple, and there is also the costs not directly associated with the wedding, such as lodging and the like. I’m obviously no expert, but I was looking to save money anywhere I could. I’ve got a wedding of my own to pay for too.
- Split the hotel – If it’s an out of town wedding, you may need a hotel. Find one of your friends who is also attending the wedding and offer to share. Most of the weddings that I went to this summer were out of town, and I was able to do this for all but one of them. Even better than splitting the hotel is staying with friends in the area (or family)!
- Watch your wayside costs – These are costs that are not directly related to the wedding, but are related to getting there. This includes everything from food at the airport to extra drinks after the wedding. Keeping these low will help you stay focused on the reason that you’re there, which is to celebrate with your friends or family members.
- Travel Cheap - While you may not have all the time in the world to plan for wedding travel, usually you get plenty of advance notice. Set up a reminder with your favorite airline for a cheap fare to your destination, so they can email you when a price drops.
- Don’t go overboard on the gift – Most couples set up a wedding registry, and you dont get a prize for buying the most expensive thing on there, nor does it display your name next to the “fulfilled” box on the registry website. Buy within your means, or better yet, make something.
- Wear what You’ve got – you dont have to have new clothing to go to a wedding – if you’ve got some formal or semi clothing on hand that you like, then simply wear that. I know this is much easier for guy than it is for gals, but who is going to remember if you wore the same dress to a wedding last year?
- Take advantage of what’s offered – there’s no reason to save 20 bucks on a hotel by not booking at the wedding hotel and staying at some place a few miles away. The wedding hotel may have a shuttle from the reception, or it may be the reception location. You could save a few bucks on the hotel cost, but pay it back in cab fees.
- Find free activities in the area - Typically weddings are a weekend event if you’ve got to travel to them, so take advantage of the area. When I went to a wedding in Iowa this summer, we spent a morning at the farmers market the day of the wedding. It was a great time, and I didnt spend anything.