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5 ways to cut costs if you’re attending a wedding

Posted 01 July 2016

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You don’t have to break the bank this wedding season

It’s now officially summer and that means one thing – wedding season is in full swing. If you’ve got a few events to attend, you’ll know how pricey being a wedding guest can be. You’ve got the outfit to buy, travel to think of – and that’s without even mentioning the wedding gift!

But if you’re living on a tight budget, you don’t need to spend a fortune on attending a wedding. Here are our top tips on how to be a wedding guest on a budget.


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1) Set a budget

Before you go to any weddings, decide how much you can afford to spend. You can work this out by looking at your existing household budget – or put one together if you’ve not already got one. Once you know how much you’re willing to spend on the wedding, really make an effort to stick to this.

We know how hard it can be to stay within budget with weddings and the costs can just mount up really quickly. But if money’s already tight, it can really help if you give yourself a figure of how much you’re prepared to spend.

2) Say no to expensive stag and hens

For stag parties or hen dos, make sure you speak up if you can’t afford to go. Nobody wants to feel like a party pooper but costs for pre-wedding parties can pretty high, especially if it involves going away for a few nights.

Speak to the person organising the party and let them know if there’s any part you’re missing out on because of the cost. For example, you might be willing to go for a meal together but not out drinking all night. Or if it’s a three-night stay in London, just go down for the day.

3) Give a handmade gift

Don’t feel that you have to spend a lot on the wedding gift. It can be just as thoughtful to give the happy couple something you’ve made yourself. If they’re just moving in together, why not put together a recipe book? You could even make a food hamper to eat off that wedding china.

If you’ve got a particular skill, you could even offer to help out with some part of the wedding as your gift. For example, you could take the wedding photos if you’re a photographer or make the cake if you’re handy in the kitchen.

4) Rework an existing outfit

Unless you’ve got a run of three or four weddings with the same group of people, just wear something you already own. You can dress up the right outfit in some many different ways – wear your dress with a belt next time or cover up with a jacket, for example.

But if you really want something new, you can rely on the trusty sales. Even if the wedding you’re attending is months away, you can pick up an outfit early if it’s a bargain.

5) Should you go?

If you’ve got a lot of weddings this year, don’t feel under any obligation to attend them all. You don’t need to stretch yourself if you just can’t afford it, especially if you don’t know the people getting married very well.

Looking for other ways to make your money go further? Check out our money-saving blogs for more handy tips.


by Emily Bancroft

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To find out more about managing your money and getting free debt advice, visit Money Advice Service, an independent service set up to help people manage their money.