And with many of us invited to several weddings a a year, finding ways to bring down these expenses becomes difficult. You’re wondering then whether you should attend a great event or stay at home and wait for the wedding pictures to be uploaded on a social media account to see what the bride’s outfit looked like. To help you out, we asked experts for their top tips on heading to a wedding for less.
Gift list check early
If you’ve received a link to a gift list that the couple have created with a certain retailer, make sure you’re one of the first to register and buy a present. The reason for this is that all of the cheapest items on the list will be snapped up first, so if you leave it too late you might have to choose between a 50-inch TV or a new mattress, rather than a kettle or some nice wine glasses.
If you really must get a present for the couple, consider hand-making a little something for them. If you have each other on your social networking accounts and have access to photos of them, you could make them a photo collage of their relationship so far, with a blank space for one of their wedding pictures to go. Anything like that with a personal touch is bound to be much appreciated (as long as it doesn’t look like a four-year-old made it).
Offer to help bride and groom
If you’ve got baking skills or you can dust off your sewing machine to make some bunting, offer your services to the bride and groom as your gift to them. This will save you having to get them a gift and, if you ask them to pay for whatever materials you’d need, you’ll just be giving up your time. Aside from baking and decorations, the couple may be looking for help with photography/ videography, entertainment (if you can sing or do magic tricks, for example) and maybe the evening buffet.
Explore other accommodation
Make sure you cast your accommodation net wide when searching for somewhere to stay after the wedding. Don’t feel like you have to stay on-site at the wedding venue, because there may well be other hotels in the vicinity which are more affordable. Make sure you compare prices before booking and also consider holiday lets such as cottages and apartments too, which can be cheaper with a lot more facilities.
Book travel early
As soon as you know you’re attending, start looking at your travel options. The earlier you book, the cheaper your tickets will be; especially where trains are concerned.
Plan with other guests
Talk to other people that you know will be there — if they live nearby you can travel to and from the venue together. Everyone chipping in for a taxi or petrol will be cheaper for you than if you travel solo or as a couple. If there’s a big group, look into minibus quotes and divide the cost.
Don’t RSVP by mail
Don’t feel like you have to confirm your attendance or non-attendance by post. We know it’s only going to save you the cost of a stamp, but a text or email will suffice for this (and will be a lot less hassle too).
Recycle an outfit
Don’t be worried about wearing an outfit that you may have already worn to another wedding, even if some of the guests will be the same. If you’re that concerned, change it up a little with a different jacket, shoes or accessories and no one will notice.
Stag/hen do hijack
If you’re likely to be invited to the stag or hen party, try to have some input planning it. That way you have some control over the activities, the length of the celebration and the budget. Remember, cheaper doesn’t mean less fun and lower prices might mean more people can come.
If you can’t go to the wedding, whether that’s due to the expense involved or prior commitments, don’t feel too bad about it. Let the couple know at the earliest opportunity that you regretfully won’t be able to join them on their special day (they’ll appreciate knowing in plenty of time so that they can let the venue/ caterers know final numbers). It’d still be a nice touch to send them a congratulations card with a small gift, but not attending will save you a fair bit of money!