So You’re A Broke Wedding Guest

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Weddings are wonderful. They celebrate the love and commitment of one of your favourite couples, there’s great food, you see family and friends you may not have for a while and it usually ends up being a pretty great party.

However, there is no denying that weddings, despite their loveliness are extremely expensive, and not just for the bride & groom. Even for guests, the cost of a wedding can mount up. There’s the wedding present, spending money for the actual day, an outfit and then for female guests there is the added expense of hair, make-up, tan, nails, accessories. The list is endless really. If the wedding is far away there’s the added expense of travel and accommodation.

As much as we may be thrilled for our couple’s happiness, there are certain times in everyone’s life, when things just won’t stretch financially. This makes things quite difficult for your average wedding guest, and we’ve all been there at some point.

So here are our steps on being able to go to the weddings you’ve been invited too, on a budget, that will allow you to witness the most important day of your loved ones lives and still have enough to pay your rent and buy food for the rest of the month.

Draw up your budget – Sit down and write down all your monthly incomes and expenditures. Once you know how much you have left to play with over the month, it will be a lot easier to make your plan of attack. Don’t go for broke, stick to your budget and be realistic about what you can afford.

Be Honest – If you can just about to afford to attend the wedding and buying a gift or staying over would leave you really struggling than be upfront and honest about it. Don’t be afraid to call the bride or groom and explain that finances just will not allow certain things, but you will buy them a gift as soon as you can. Most people, especially if you’re very close to them will not mind this in the slightest, they’ll just care that you can come to their special day.

Don’t be afraid to borrow – Sometimes your budget just won’t not stretch to a new outfit or if you are attending a few weddings that have cross over guests, one outfit won’t carry over to the next wedding.  So why not borrow an outfit from a friend?  This will provide you with something you haven’t worn before and cost you nothing in the process.  Given that they have the outfit, they most likely already have all the accessories.  If you are lucky to have the same shoe size, you’re landed, if not the most you will be out will be a pair of shoes.

Make A Gift – Alternatively, you could make a gift, these will usually hold more sentimental value anyway, and will mean much more to the bride and groom than any cutlery set. It may take a little more time, but it will save you some money and put a big smile on your bride & groom’s faces.

Be Realistic – This is really one for the girls. You may have an idea of what you want to wear to a specific shindig but the reality is that you probably can’t afford it. You may really want to get your hair and make-up done professionally, but you could probably do just as good a job yourself at no extra charge. So although you may want to spend money on your appearance that day, realise that you can look beautiful for very little. Recycle an outfit from a previous wedding, do your hair and make-up yourself, rule out the manicure and borrow anything else you need.

Go Booze Free – What? I hear you gasp! A wedding without a celebratory glass of bubbles? Most of your spending money for the wedding day will be spent at the bar. So save yourself the cost of your drinks bill and have all the fun without any of the hangover financial or otherwise. You’ll thank yourself later.

Don’t Stay Over – As much as you may love to, you could probably do without the expense of a hotel room or B&B. So be honest about the fact that you just can’t afford to stay over, arrange something later with the couple to spend some quality time with them to make up for it. They’ll understand.

So although these sacrifices may not be ideal, and you’d probably love to kick up your heels and go all out, be honest with the bride and groom and with yourself about the fact that at the minute, your budget just won’t cover everything.