After 2 years of COVID delaying or cancelling weddings, 2022 seems like the year things are picking up—at times, it feels like everyone is getting married this year, or, at least, throwing bachelorette parties and bridal showers. This is great for guests and the happy couple…until prices add up. Money is still tight for many due to inflation, supply chain issues layoffs and more, but people still want to celebrate. With wedding season upon us, take a look at our tips to have fun without spending a ton of money.
How Guests and Couples are Feeling
In general, couples are relieved to finally be celebrating their big days, but still anxious about how things will turn out. Will people attend? Will everyone stay healthy? Will the big day be just like my dreams?
While happy to be there for family and friends (77% of people surveyed by Zola said they were ‘excited to attend weddings), guests also feel tired of constantly going from wedding to wedding—and spending a lot. Costs based on the Zola survey are around $1,300 per destination wedding and $600 per weddings in driving distance. That number went up to closer to $900 per wedding for bridal party members. Weddings are not cheap to attend, so there are mixed feelings on both sides when it comes to the Big Day.
Tips to Save
Weddings should be fun, not stressful if people are worrying about how much they’re spending!
Recognize that not everyone may be able to attend: Especially in this current world, not everyone who you want at your wedding may be able to attend—due to cost, other commitments or feeling unwell. This is even more so the case than usual. Be at peace with this fact and plan accordingly. Maybe some people can join you for a more casual reception!
Reconsider a destination wedding: Destination weddings are once-in-a-lifetime celebrations, but flights and travel expenses are pricey these days. If it is in the budget, opt to have a smaller celebration domestically so more people can attend. To keep costs down, destination or international weddings can be much smaller affairs.
Consider not spending as much on parties and showers: When considering how much spending is done by both hosts and guests, it may make sense to scale down or cut back on bachelor and bachelorette parties, plus wedding showers. The shower could be a casual barbecue potluck, and the party could be combined into one event, such as attending a low-cost hike, concert or destination for a picnic. There is no need for pricey pajama sets or high-cost bar crawls unless that is essential to you and in the budget!
Opt out of a cash bar: Guests are already spending enough to attend your wedding—either do not serve alcohol, or include bar tending at no cost to wedding attendees.
Include a range of prices in your registry: Make sure to include gifts at a range of prices in your registry—and do not judge individual guests for what they do (or do not) spend. Their support and attendance is enough of a gift!
Send invites early: Help guests out by sending invites or “save the dates” early, alongside RSVPs. This will increase people saying “yes,” before they are bombarded with other commitments.
Have fun!: Do not forget to smile, relax and enjoy the moment. Carve out time to rest and relax with those you love.
Make a wedding guest budget…and stick to it: At the beginning of each year, along with your other expenses, make a fund for wedding expenses. Set limits on how much you spend per wedding (more for family and less for coworkers, for example) and stick to them.
Weigh your attendance carefully: Consider whether or not it is really worth attending every wedding, especially if your social calendar is full and your budget is tight.
Purchase registry gifts early: To purchase a gift at your desired price point, shop early. If you decide to buy something too close to the wedding day, all that is left may be expensive, high-ticket items.
Consider reworking previous outfits: Save a bit by changing up your jewelry, shoes and outerwear for a different look. If you need new clothes, swap with a friend, rent clothes, or buy used or on sale. Look for more high-quality designs that you can wear multiple times.
Have fun!: Enjoy celebrating the happy couple and live in the moment. No need to stress about how much you spent.
Consider these the next time you plan or go to a wedding. Happy wedding season.
Planning or attending a wedding soon? Spread the word about these tips. Did you find this useful? Feel free to bookmark or post to your timeline for reference later!