6 Ways You Can Save Money During Wedding Season
If your summer is filled to the brim with bridal showers, bachelorette weekends, and destination weddings, you're not alone. According to The Knot 2020 Real Weddings Study, 47 percent of couples who planned on getting married in 2020 postponed their weddings, and a majority of them rescheduled for 2021. That means that even though you're excited for your friends, your wallet's getting hit hard this year. We spoke with Brittney Castro, certified financial planner at Mint, about what you can do to save money during wedding season.
Know When To Say No
"If you're inundated by wedding invitations, you may feel a certain pressure to RSVP yes to each and every one that comes your way," Castro says. However, that might not be the best course of action. "Always make sure you're being realistic with your schedule and budget, so you can respectfully decline an invite when need be." A monthly budget can help you figure out what you can and can't afford.
Consider A Side Hustle
If you're not in the best place financially, but your BFF's wedding is coming up, consider looking for a side gig that'll provide you with a little extra spending money. "There are myriad ways to make some extra cash on the side, like selling items you don't need anymore on consignment, working as a virtual assistant, nannying on the weekend, freelance writing, dog walking — you name it," says Castro. Just don't forget to keep estimated taxes in mind for contract work where you aren't paying these up front.
Take Advantage Of Rewards
If you have a credit card, there's a good chance the issuer offers reward points for travel and hotel accommodations. "Many people have accrued an excess of rewards over the past year by staying home and letting their travel points go unused," Castro says. "Some credit-card companies will also let you convert your reward points into gift cards or cash back, which you can apply toward wedding expenses." Check out our podcast episode with The Points Guy's Brian Kelly for more credit card tips and tricks.
Divide And Conquer On Costs
If it's an option for you, consider splitting wedding expenses (like hotel rooms or travel) with friends or family. You can also go in together on a gift. "This is a great win-win, as it relieves some of the pressure from your own bank account, and you can split the cost of a pricier present on the wedding registry," Castro says. If the happy couple prefers cash or a contribution toward a big expense, such as their honeymoon or future home, send your gift that way instead.
Start Budgeting Now
A little foresight goes a long way when it comes to protecting your budget. "This could mean creating a savings goal in Mint to cover the cost of attending the wedding or perhaps closely monitoring your expenses each month so you can cut back on any unnecessary spending," says Castro. A penny saved is a penny earned!
"The fact of the matter is, you should feel empowered to get creative and opt for less expensive alternatives that can be just as appropriate for the occasion," Castro says. Consider throwing a joint bachelor/bachelorette party so everyone can celebrate together. If nothing on the registry jives with your budget, opt for cash or a gift card instead. "You can control how much you want to spend, and more often than not, the couple will actually appreciate the flexibility to spend the money how they see fit."
Brit + Co Editorial Assistant, Swiftie | Chloe is from the Outer Banks of North Carolina (yes, like the Netflix show!). When she isn't writing or updating her blog Pastels and Pop Culture, Chloe enjoys watching Marvel movies or texting her sister about the latest celebrity news. Say hi at @thechloewilliams on Insta!