The Frugal Guest’s Guide to Surviving Wedding Season
So you've been invited to a ton of weddings this summer. Good for you, you must be very popular. But before you end up spending too much money on wedding season here are some tips to make it through.
- Redeem credit card rewards thoughtfully
- Compare lodging rates before booking
- Rent a private home with a group
- Offer a service in lieu of a tangible gift
- Purchase discount gift cards to buy gifts
- Opt out of rental car insurance
- Avoid Mobile Data Charges by planning ahead
- Dress plainly
- Work the system to avoid hotel cancellation fees
- Don't over commit yourself
If you rack up credit card rewards over the past year this would be the time to cash them in for travel especially for a destination wedding, lodging or even some gifts for the new couple. You can even gift accrued miles to the couple for their honeymoon. Otherwise, you can redeem rewards for gift cards for the bridal shower and wedding gift. If you are thinking you need to open up a credit card just to take advantage of the sign up perks, it may only work in your favor if you pay off the balance right away and it doesn't adversely affect your credit score.
Most weddings suggest lodging for guests but this isn't your only option. If the suggested lodging options are out of your budget search for better deals. Check the hotel's website for discounts, or daily deals on LivingSocial and Groupon. Even if you end up staying 10 miles away from the venue you can possibly save $25-$50 per night and it might be worth the short drive.
Some people enjoy the privacy of a hotel room but another option is going in with friends on a home rental. Airbnb and VRBO are short-term rental sites if several people invited to the same wedding want to go in together. Not only will you save a substantial amount of money over hotel but also you can split the total cost between the group and make some real savings. You can also save money on meals if the place has a kitchen and you make your own food during the stay.
If you can afford a gift for the bride and groom from the registry put your thinking cap on and come up with creative ways you can honor their marriage by offering a service. Some of the most common services provided by friends and family can include photography, videography, day of makeup or hair prep and decorating help. You can offer also to bake a wedding treat or even officiate the ceremony all of these if the couple hasn't already made other arrangements.
Buying a discount gift card online is a very smart tactic to save money on gift purchases for any occasion. The smartest tip with regards to wedding gifts is to shop early. If you have been invited to a wedding find out early where the couple has registered. Go online or to the actual store and select the gift immediately. Shopping early assures the best selection and one that fits your budget. If you wait too long all that is left of the crystal candelabras and very expensive China.
One never really needs to purchase insurance for a rental car. Your own personal insurance covers you if you're in an accident so why do you need to spend the extra. Be sure to check with your provider to make sure you're covered. Many times rental car companies try to scare you into buying overpriced car insurance that they offer. Credit card companies also offer rental car insurance so check yours.
Another trick when traveling is to turn off your mobile data when you travel abroad.
Men don't need to worry about dressing up for a wedding. They just throw that suit on and swap out a different tie for a different event. Women however have it more difficult when dressing for a wedding. You can never show up the bride or the bridesmaids in a stunning ensemble or you will be shunned. Also if you show up in a memorable dress, you likely won't want to wear it to another wedding if this is attended by the same people. The tip here is to be boring. Don't buy a printed dress to wear to a wedding as prints are often remembered. Dresses are not remembered if you buy a boring enough dress like a navy shift dress that can take you everywhere. Accessories can make all the difference, scarves, hats, the right handbag, shoes and jewelry. The navy dress works day and night and saves you having to buy multiple outfits. You can buy $5-$10 fantastic dresses at Sammydress.com They are really nice and you have tons of outfits for the day. If you use Sammydress promo code, you can buy that same $10 dress for $3. Who can ever beat that?
If you can't make the wedding for some reason and your plans of change there is a way around forfeiting the deposit you put on at hotel. It might be a little bit shady, but here goes. You simply reschedule for a future date and there's no monetary penalty for that. Then call the hotel back get a different representative and cancel free of charge.
If you cannot afford to attend all the weddings to which you've been invited, it is okay to say no. If they're good friends of yours, the bride and groom will be reasonable and understand. If not, you didn't need them as friends anyway. Alternatively, you can always show up to an event leading up to the wedding to show your support.