As delighted as you are to hear wedding bells, you know big costs are coming. You skimp and save. You budget — splurge — and maybe alter expectations.
And that’s just to be a wedding guest.
The average guest last year spent $888 per wedding, according to a study from the Knot. For those in the wedding party, the price of being a stand-up friend was over $1,000.
But chances are, once you pull together all the related wedding expenses — wedding clothes, transportation, hotel, gifts — you may be spending a lot more than you think.
During those seasons in your life when every weekend seems to have some wedding-related event, be sure to adjust your budget accordingly, says Tyler Dolan, certified financial planner at Society of Grownups.
“If I say 10% of my budget is entertainment,” says Dolan. “Then a big wedding season comes along and suddenly it’s at 30%, that can be a big problem.”
A new pair of shoes may feel like a dire need, but that’s not what an emergency fund is for. Here are some ways to avoid going in debt, while still being a great guest.
Average cost of wedding attire: $81
More than half of wedding guests buy something new, according to the study. But take a page from the bride’s playbook: look to something old instead of something new and explore the options of something borrowed. (You can even make it blue, too.)
There are plenty of options for rentable formal-wear at places like Rent the Runway, Le Tote or Menguin.
But clothes aren’t library books and not everyone wants to borrow. For lower-cost buys, go to a site like Dress For the Wedding, which culls options for wedding guests in all price ranges, searchable by style or color.
Members of the wedding party face more costs, $207 per wedding, and less control. The final call on clothing choices are the couple’s, of course. But early on in the planning process, you might recommend the wedding party rent bridesmaids’ dresses from a site like Vow to be Chic or Rent the Runway. The bride could have the women standing up for her in sparkling $750 Badgley Mischka dresses for $35 each.