Church Bells Are Ringing – Savings for Wedding Guests

Weddings are beautiful and so fun to celebrate, but they can certainly leave a dent in your wallet. You want to get excited for the couple without worrying how much it’s going to cost you.

There was a couple of years in a row when Michael and I had three weddings to attend. A couple of them we stood in as well. We were honoured to do so! But we felt it financially by the end of the year. 

We’ve learned a few things since then that might help you as well. 

Here’s my top 5 ways to save for weddings:

Save Early

Okay, I know I’ve talked about the jar system, but it honestly helps a lot. If you have close friends or family that are dating and things are looking serious, now’s the time to start saving. Set a little money aside each pay (approx. $40-$50). That way, when the festivities begin, you’ll have money to handle all presents and activities. 

Set a limit to how much you want to save. When you know when the wedding date is, you’ll know when you need to have the full amount saved up by. Obviously, the amount will differ depending on if you’re in the wedding party or not. If you start saving ahead of time, you won’t be stressed and you can bless with generosity. 

If you are in the wedding party, consider having over $1,000 saved. It sounds like a lot of money, but consider all of the things you need to save for:

Engagement Party?
Bachelor and/or bachelorette party
Bridal shower (present, food, decorations)
Dress or tux 
shoes and accessories   
Hair and makeup
Is the wedding out-of-town or a destination event? Consider travel expenses

Save the Dress

Though I know how much fun it is to have a new dress for an occasion, this can really start to add up. If you’re money conscious, recycle your dresses. Choose one you haven’t worn in a while so it feels fresh. Pick one for the shower, one for the rehearsal dinner (if you’re in the party), and save your best for the wedding. No one else is going to care that you’ve been seen in the same dress two or three times. In fact, they’ll probably comment how much they like that dress on you or how beautiful you look. 

That is one koodos I’ll give to most men. They’re happy to go to the closet, pull out decently matching shirt and pants, and call it a day. All that matters is that you look nice and feel good. If you can, keep a few dresses that vary in size. We can all shift between five-ten pounds in weight here and there. Save one size up and one size down to give you options. 

Group Gifts

Presents can be tricky. You want to get the bride and groom something really nice and memorable, but things cost a lot these days. Something that I think works great, is going in with a group to buy something. Pool your money together. Look at the registry and find either one expensive thing, or a few lesser ones, and put them together as a package. That way, all of you feel like you’ve given something nice without breaking the bank. If five of you put $50 in together, you’d have $250 to spend. This can apply for shower and wedding gifts. 

Share a Hotel Room

If you have family coming to the wedding and you’re both from out-of-town, share a hotel room. It’ll help you save at least $100 if you need it for a couple nights. It’s not romantic, but it works. You’ll be busy enough running around for the wedding and visiting with people that you won’t have much time to spend in the room anyway. It’ll give you time to catch up with your family as well. 

Or, if you’re single and you’ve got some friends going, slumber party! Just don’t stay up too late and be super tired for the wedding. 

Share Resources

There are so many ways that you can save by sharing resources. Are you a photographer? Printer? Caterer? If you want to save on gifts, offer your services to the bride and groom as a wedding present. 

Or, help another wedding guest out. Do you have a friend that’s a hairstylist? Are you great at applying makeup? She can do your hair and you can do her makeup. Swap dresses for the day so you feel like you’re wearing something new. Carpool together and save on gas. 

At the end of the day, it isn’t about the money. You want to truly be able to have fun and celebrate this beautiful day with your friends. You want to be free to help out, be generous, and do whatever is asked to bless them. So, if you can apply these tips, you’ll be able to do just that. 

We put this into practice with our latest friends’ wedding. We started saving before they even got engaged. We put a little bit aside each pay, and it started building. 

Now we’re able to say yes when they need us to purchase something or we need to do something for the wedding. We’ve used our resources to help them out. And it feels good. We’re able to enjoy the process with them without worrying how we’re going to pay for it all.

If you’re around the age of weddings for friends, nieces, grandkids, etc., maybe the best approach is to add a “weddings” line to your budget every year. That way, you’re always prepared. And, if there aren’t any that year, either keep accumulating, or enjoy the bonus of cash at the end of the year.

Happy planning!

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