Our family trip out West this summer will kick off with the wedding of my cousin Brooke in Vail this summer. Luckily, I am a little more financially established now than I was in the year when my wife and I had 13 weddings to attend back when we were cool. Somewhere in your late twenties or early thirties you may enter the official summer wedding circuit. The costs of attending all of these weddings, from the dresses and attire, to the gifts and showers, to the airfare and lodging, expenses can add up really fast and have been known to blow many a budget.
Shack up with a friend. Don’t misconstrue this as relationship advice. If you are going to a wedding without a plus one, you could spend a lot of money on a hotel room for yourself. Do you have a friend who is going to the same wedding who you would be comfortable splitting a room with? If so, take advantage of that. If you are attending the wedding with your family or a family crowd, you could look at VRBO to explore those options for a lot of people. This can add some hassle factor; it may also let you save some significant money.
Learn to say no. Yes, in our time with social media, FOMO (Fear of missing out) is rampant. Make sure the weddings you attend are weddings you want to attend and not weddings you feel obligated to attend. Saying no is a successful strategy. If you need to blame someone, you can blame me, the financial dork who penned an article you read. If you are planning to spend sometimes upwards of $1000 for a wedding weekend, don’t do it if you don’t want to go. It is not worth going into debt for a distant friend.
Get creative with gifts. Gifts can be outrageous. My wife is excellent at finding thoughtful, personalized gifts that are very meaningful. I find that these gifts are many times way less expensive and way more appreciated. If you are needing some inspiration, try Etsy.
Plan out your time off of work. If you are heavily into the wedding circuit, it is important to plan what days you will need off of work. Taking Fridays or Mondays off for destination weddings can add up. Planning these out will also help you in looking at the budget earlier and can help with your overall planning of all of these outrageous expenses.
Weddings are important. They are important for relationships and money should come second when it comes to the important people in your life.
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