Saving money when going to weddings

Stretching Your Dollar

People hold in hands glasses with white wine. wedding party. friends toasting with a champagne above white table

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Weddings are getting more and more expensive and that includes how much wedding guests will spend.

There are several ways to save some money that you may not have discovered.  Saying "I do" to savings can save you from breaking the bank the next time you attend a wedding.

According to a recent survey by Credit Karma, Americans will spend $770 going to a wedding.  That includes things like transportation, gifts and attire.  The biggest hit to your budget for out-of-town weddings is getting to the wedding venue and staying there.  But experts say there are ways to save.

"The first tip is to book travel in advance and also don't assume that hotel block the bride and groom got is the best rate.  Oftentimes you can find deals at that same hotel by just looking online or comparing rates at other nearby hotels through or another comparison site," said consumer expert Andrea Woroch.

You may be able to score a cheaper rate for that same hotel by reviewing their website for online deals.  You can also us Airbnb or go onto VRBO to get a place with another couple or two attending the wedding.  That would cut your rental stay by at least 50%.  Another big expenditure for a wedding is the gift; $80 is the average spent for a friend's wedding, but that number can easily double for a close friend or relative.  There a couple ways to save here.

"I recommend searching discount gift card sites like Gift Card Granny where you can save on gift cards to popular registry stores like Pottery Barn, Williams Sonoma and Macys for example," said Woroch.

You can also check out places like Costco and other warehouse clubs for deals of up to 30% off the same gift you would buy elsewhere.  Keep in mind, you shouldn't go into debt to buy a wedding gift.  According to etiquette experts, you have a year to get a gift and it doesn't always have to be something you purchase.

"If you are a photographer for instance, offer to take the engagement photos or wedding day photos.  Otherwise you can help with day of wedding coordination or perhaps offer to pet-sit while the couple goes away on their honeymoon," said Woroch.

Finally, dressing for a wedding can get expensive.  If you're going to several weddings during the year, chances are you don't want those selfies in the same outfit. At the same time, brand-new outfits can get expensive.  In this case, look for barely used secondhand outfits. Sites like Facebook Marketplace are a good place to look for secondhand options in your area so you can actually see the dress in person before buying it.

Also, when you buy something used, even if it's not your size, you can  pay to tailor it and still save up to 70% off retail.  You can also rent if it's a formal wedding for a fraction of the cost through sites like RentTheRunway.

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