Three easy ways to save during wedding season

Weddings can be expensivem and not just for the bride and groom. 

In a new study by Bankrate.com, the cost to attend a wedding as a guest and a bridal party member has gone up. The survey of 2,228 adults in the U.S. found that the members of the bridal party spend $728 on average. This figure includes gifts, attire and travel, as well as associated events like bridal showers and bachelor parties.

The cost for a close friend or family member has risen to more than $627. The cost for a distant friend or family member is at $371.60. 

*Picture courtesy of Bankrate.com 

While we all love to celebrate this milestone with our loved ones, weddings have become a large expense for the guests. 

Brandi Peart is the owner and Senior Planner of B Posh Events. Her company plans weddings, showers, birthdays, corporate events and the like.

Peart says her company has seen the cost of weddings become more extravagant over the years. “I blame the internet, honestly. Everybody’s trying to compete!”

With the introduction of Pinterest, Peart says couples create visions that don’t match their budget. 

That tends to trickle down to the bridal party when it comes to the attire and travel. 

The number one largest cost is travel for the wedding and for the bachelor/bachelorette parties. 
Kyra Head has been a bridesmaid and maid of honor in eight weddings. She’s traveled to the Dominican Republic, St. Louis, New Orleans, Washington, D.C. and Atlanta for weddings. Head has traveled to Chicago and Las Vegas for bachelorette parties as well. 

TIP: Cut down on travel expenses where you can with lodging. Peart advises you to not just check hotel availability, but AirBnb as well. Splitting the cost of a larger space with other bridal party members and guests can be more cost-efficient. 

TIP: Rather than renting a car, download apps like Uber and Lyft that can get you to and from wedding events. As an added bonus, those drivers will most likely know the city you’re in better and can get you where you need to go faster. 

The next biggest expense is the attire. 

TIP: Plan ahead. If you have a multiple weddings, ask the brides if a neutral shoe can be worn. You can use the same shoes and jewelry for multiple weddings. 

TIP: Make some money on your bridesmaid dress after the wedding. Find a resale place. If you’re just looking to make space, many places take donated dresses as prom dresses for students who can’t afford to buy new ones. 

TIP: If your bride is progressive, try renting a dress that matches the wedding colors on Rent The Runway. 

TIP: While shopping for a destination bachelor/bachelorette party is fun, Peart says, purchase clothing that you can pack for both. 

Another big expense is gifts for the wedding, bridal shower, and bachelor/bachelorette parties. 

TIP: Cut costs by going in on a gift for the happy couple with the bridal party. If you all choose to get them luggage or an excursion for their honeymoon, it will cut down what you would normally spend on gifts and wrapping. 

Head makes sure she plans ahead for being in weddings. She’ll save money leading up to the wedding so it’s not a huge burden on her bank account. 

TIP: Couples usually send out "save the date" cards to guests between six to eight months before the event. If you can afford to set aside $50 to $100 a month for the wedding after you’ve paid your bills, that might be plenty of time to prepare. 

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