Weddings and wedding season are not only expensive for those who are getting married; being invited to a lot of weddings can also be costly for guests. It is easy for celebrations to derail your careful financial planning and leave you wondering just how you managed to spend so much money.
According to Yahoo! Finance, “A new American Express survey found wedding guests and bridal parties expect to spend more than $500 on average this year –– a huge bump over 2012.” The survey also found that there was less than $40 difference between the average cost of being a guest and the average cost of being in a wedding.
There are not only costs involved in attending a wedding; in many cultures, guests are expected to give a gift to the new couple. Queries about what kind of behavior and what kind of gift-giving and gift requests are acceptable (or unacceptable) are better left to advice columnists, but here is some financial food for thought:
What kind of gift can I really afford to give? If the registry prices seem too high, don’t let pride get you in trouble. See if you can split the cost a gift with another guest or find a gift for the couple elsewhere.
Can I afford to attend/be an attendant in this out-of-town wedding? Make a budget for all of the expenses including: transportation to the wedding destination, transportation while you’re there, meals, clothing, sitters (for children, house, or pets), and time away from work (for non-salaried workers).
Can I afford to go to and buy gifts for each wedding I’ve been invited to attend? We all have to make some tough choices at times and this may mean you cannot make it to every wedding. Do your best to mitigate any possible hurt feelings and thank yourself for the gift of financial restraint.
If you find that wedding season has depleted you financially and you want advice on how you can manage your money better, turn to a Fee-Only financial advisor.