Yes, weddings are expensive affairs- not just for the bride and the groom but at times, for the guests too! So what do you do when you’re on a tight budget and have to attend a relative’s wedding in the near future? Surely you can’t blow your budget, nor can you simply decline the invitation.
If you’re in a dilemma already, you’ve come to the right place. Here are 4 tips that will help you take the right decisions when attending a relative’s wedding on a budget!
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Ask for the Details
If the invites haven't been handed out yet, but you've been told that wedding bells will be ringing soon, you might want to ask the couple for some details. Attending a black-tie wedding reception or a destination wedding can take a toll on your budget, so knowing basic details in advance will help you be prepared for the upcoming nuptial.
Just remember to ask questions subtly; you don't want to be too pushy and come across as inquisitive. You’ll have plenty of time to budget even after you receive the invitation!
Plan Your Expenses
Once you know the important bits about the wedding, get started on planning all expenses to the T. Make a list of things you have to buy- clothes, tickets, gifts, and anything else that crosses your mind.
Take your income and savings into consideration and see if you’ll be able to bear all wedding-related costs. In case, you can’t, you’ll have to cut some corners.
Know When to Say No
Remember that no one knows your financial situation as well as you do. So if you’re invited to a destination wedding and you know that you don’t have the money to travel, decline the invitation.
Don’t make lame excuses; stating that you won’t be able to attend the wedding because you can’t afford to is the best way out. Do be polite when explaining this and don’t wait until the last minute to tell this to the couple or you might offend them!
The same applies to requests for being the maid of honor, bridesmaid, or groomsman. If you’re asked to be in the wedding party, you will have to cough up a lot of dough for pre-wedding parties, your clothes, and more. Let the bride/groom know about your apprehensions and they’ll definitely understand. They might even consider other options so that you can afford to be a guest at their wedding!
List down Alternatives
If you just have to go to the wedding, look for alternatives so that you don’t end up broke. Here is some help.
If you’re a guy, you won’t have to bother about wearing something new. Just ensure that your clothes fit you well and are theme-appropriate.
If you’re a girl and can afford to buy a new dress, go ahead by all means. But if you’re planning to wear a dress that you’ve worn to other functions before, you needn’t be embarrassed. Just buy some new accessories that take the outfit to the next level and you’ll look marvelous.
If you have to go to another city, consider the cheapest alternative- you don’t have to fly across the country when you can get there by road for a lot less. Sure, it might be uncomfortable, but you can’t always have your cake and eat it too!
If traveling by air, remember to book in advance so as to get a good deal on airline fares. If you can take a little inconvenience in your stride, don’t overlook low-cost carriers like JetBlue and Frontier Airlines.
For inter-city or inter-state transport, you might want to travel with other guests and have everyone pitch in for gas or share rental costs.
If you have an old friend or distant relative living where you’re traveling to, you can always ask them if they can host you for a few days. If you’re not comfortable with the idea, you can always look for cheaper accommodation options on your own. Another idea is to share a room with a guest or two to split accommodation costs.
If you are a talented baker or photographer, have amazing mixing skills, or are great at art and craft, do offer your services to the couple as a wedding gift. If they decline, you can always make something for the couple by yourself!
If you must buy a gift, consider splitting the cost with a guest. This way, you’ll be able to give an expensive gift like a gold or silver bullion to the new couple without burning a hole in your pocket!
Now that you’ve read these tips on being a budget wedding guest, you needn’t worry about going broke with all the costs you’ll have to bear. Plan expenses and act wisely, and you’re certain to do the right things without offending the bride and the groom!