8 Tips to save Money and Survive the Wedding Season ...

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The Wedding season has arrived, and I seem to be getting an invite a day these days! And while I love weddings just as much as the next girl, they can get expensive. Next month alone, I have 9 weddings, with 3 being so far away that I’ll need to book accommodation, and pay for someone to feed my pets while I’m gone. So, I’ve been considering how to save money so that the season of happiness doesn’t send me bankrupt, and here are my top eight tips...

1. Think Smart

Think Smart

Photo Credit: Its all about the cake

Most couples have a wedding list these days, and send a paper copy in the invitation, or send around an electronic link to the list. Instead of putting off buying the present until closer to the day, choose an affordable but great gift off the list and buy it as soon as you can. That way, you won’t be the one left with all the expensive presents to choose from!

2. Be Creative

Be Creative

Photo Credit: mrs_t

As well as the main present, there are also plenty of mini-gifts that may not be compulsory, but are certainly expected. Once you’ve decided on your main present, get creative for the smaller ones. Think about what you know about the bride and groom, and use your knowledge. For the engagement party, buy them a bottle of wine from a wine shop, and give it in a pretty bag with a note to drink it when its much older, and matured. Newer wine is much cheaper, and the sentiment is really cute! For her hen party, you could make a photo album for her?

3. Look at Cheap Flights

Look at Cheap Flights

Photo Credit: KOBUS 2C

Overseas weddings take a lot of planning, and usually the couple will decide where to marry months earlier then they tell the guests. If you start looking at flights from the moment you know where you are going, you’ll be able to see any patterns in flight prices, and know when to book for best results. I use yapta.com when I’m booking flights, which monitor the price of the flight and emails you as soon as the price is lowered. If you can’t find any cheap flights in advance, don’t be afraid to fly separately from the rest of the bridal party if you can get a cheaper flight.

4. Get an Interchangeable Outfit

Get an Interchangeable Outfit

Photo Credit: reelgeek

I had a friend last year who couldn’t afford weddings, and decided that instead of missing out, she’d buy one outfit and wear it repeatedly. It worked okay, but whenever the pictures for last year come out, she’s always in the same clothes, and it became a running joke that she didn’t own anymore. While I wouldn’t recommend rocking an identical outfit, having something interchangeable is a great moneysaving idea! Ive invested in this ( victoriassecret.com gorgeous dress, which can be changed into so many different styles that no one would ever guess its the same!

5. Gift Cards

Gift Cards

Photo Credit: StartedByAMouse

When you’ve narrowed down what you are going to buy, and where to get it from for the best price, keep your eye out for voucher codes and gift card offers which can help you to lower the price even more. Ebay regularly has vouchers sell for $10 - $40 under their actual value, and sites such as retailmenot.com regularly have money off codes too. I’ve saved so much money through this!

6. Negotiate Your Hotel Bill

Negotiate Your Hotel Bill

Photo Credit: Ashiq Thobani

Most couples will negotiate the price their guests pay for hotel rooms anyway, but don’t assume that because its less then advertised, its the best the hotel can do. Check out hotel booking sites online, and see if they can get a lower price. If you really can’t get it down any further, consider sharing a room with another traveller. It’s a great way to meet new people and save money!

7. Bridesmaid Bonus

Bridesmaid Bonus

Photo Credit: WB - CMH

Most bridesmaids dresses will never be worn again, so while it has to look good for the photos, you don’t need to spend a fortune. Go in as a group, and negotiate a group discount with the shop. Then, always decline alterations at the shop itself, and instead take it to a family tailoring business or a dress maker, who will usually charge a lot less and negotiate again if there is a group of you needing alterations. I’ve saved £450 on my latest bridesmaid dress, by pushing for a good deal, so I don’t feel quite so horrified by the peach-and-green colour scheme...

8. Road Trip

Road Trip

Photo Credit: AnneliesW

If the wedding is a distance away, try to arrange transport as a group. Find the person with the most fuel efficient car, and use that. Use a trip advisor to work out the total distance, and the cost of fuel, and divide this by the number of travellers. Then add a small amount for food, and a contribution to the driver for the use of the car. Taking it in turn to drive makes it a little fairer, but this can be hard to put into practise due to insurance, so sweet talk the driver and make the journey part of the fun!

I’ve been using this tips for a few weeks, and I’ve saved so much money! Whereas weddings were one of the most expensive events on my calendar, they are now affordable, and just as much fun. I can’t wait for the next lot! Have you got a tip for saving money on weddings? Please let me know!

Top Photo Credit: smoothdude