These days, going to a wedding is the equivalent of going on a short holiday in terms of cost. From the outfit to a gift to travelling and accommodation, the list just adds up. Now, we all love a wedding, and we want to be stellar guests, but there's no reason you should feel you have to completely break the bank as an attendee - especially if you have two or three weddings very close together. Read on for five genius ways to save that hopefully, should save you going (completely) broke.
Set up a separate savings account as early as you can
I did this for a wedding I attended very recently. I set up a standing order of just €30 a month into a separate account a year before the wedding, and by the time the day came around, I had nearly everything paid off. Setting aside even small amounts such as this takes the sting out of paying for everything at the same time - and it means you're less likely to panic and overspend at the last minute.
If you're travelling abroad for a wedding, some airlines such as Aer Lingus and American Airlines have reduced fare programmes or special 'Shamrock Days' featuring lower fares on select dates if you're booking 10 or more people at a time. You'll generally need at least 10 to avail of any potential rates, and in some cases, you'll need to put a deposit down in advance of your travel. Make sure you ring any dedicated numbers for your group booking before going online to see what they can do for you.
Split your travel and accommodations
Round up a group of your close friends and split a hotel room if that's an option, or buddy up with another driver if you have nice friends that will allow this - you can split petrol costs too. If your friends or family aren't an option, you could always ask the bridal party if they know anyone interested in teaming up. Even shared taxi rides to and from airports will help you save a little.
Go in for a group gift
If you're attending the wedding with a group of people you know, suggest everyone chip in to buy the couple something you know they particularly would love that's more of a splurge gift. Round up enough people until the per-person cost is at a reasonable price. The couple gets their dream gift, and you give something you can comfortably afford. It's a win-win for everyone.
Take advantage of the sales
This is especially handy if you have multiple weddings to attend. We're just at the start of the new season which means sales are still happening on last season's stock. Sales are usually hell, but it's worth taking the time to investigate and see how many outfits you could put together at a fraction of their original cost - and if getting your size is an issue, you can always get them altered. Many tailors will give you a reduced rate if you have more than one dress to alter at a time. You can also rent a dress, but this is only really ideal if you have one wedding to attend - renting a formal gown can cost up to €200 per go in some cases, and you will only wear it once - so the repeated outfit rework is a no-go.