It is that time of year where people are getting engaged and the invitations are starting to fill your mailbox. Score! You know you will rock your best dance moves when they say “I do”. You, even, share your excitement for the happy couple on facebook or like an Instagram photo, but in the back of your mind you are hesitant to go. You definitely want to attend – but how can you afford it when you are on a budget?

5 ways to attend a wedding on a budgetHere are 5 ways to attend a wedding on a budget

Budget for a gift

While many people are using honeyfund instead of gifts, it is still customary to give a gift of some kind. At the beginning of each year, set aside $50-$100 for gifts that might pop up. Potentially and if applicable, re-gift gift cards that might not be of interest to you. Better yet, if you know the couple loves to shop somewhere, get a gift card at a discounted price at Raise.com

Join friends for gifts for bridal and engagement parties

Parties can get pricey, especially if you are apart of the bridal party. If there is a gift or party idea that the bride or groom are wishing for, ask if someone wants to go in on it with you. A $100 gift certificate for a massage is more manageable if friends share the overall expense – one or two people, and you are only at less than $50.

Buy an outfit that you can re-wear

This year, I have 3 weddings to attend – ah! If you feel the need for a new dress to fit the occasion, pick one that will work at different type of weddings (classy, backyard, etc). This might seem hard to do, but leverage store sales plus coupons to get something that will work for you. Typically, pick something that fits you and your style – sometimes classic is best. Remember, you can always change up the look with different accessories or shoes.

Share hotel rooms

If the wedding is far away from home, carpool with friends or family to cut on the expenses. If the wedding is out of town, see if you can share a hotel room with another attendee. A room with double beds means half the cost of a normal hotel room. Plus, its not like you will be spending your time in there anyways!

Set Alerts for Cheap Flights

If the wedding is out of town and you need to travel and have enough advance, set price alerts on flight discount sites, like Kayak.com or Expedia. Check regional flights, like Southwest, for cheap ticket sales. Don’t feel like you have to buy your ticket as soon as the invitation arrives – see what discounts are out there. Additionally, you can save money by using miles from a frequent flyer credit card if you have enough saved up.

The price of weddings is always on the rise, but don’t let the celebration ruin your budget! These 5 tips will help keep your budget in line and you ready for a day to celebrate.

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  • These are great tips. Planning ahead for shower gifts is really smart too – especially if they’re registered somewhere that runs sales or offers coupons (Kohls, Bed, Bath & Beyond, etc.).

  • These are great tips! Weddings can get expensive…especially when everyone seems to get married in the same year! I’ve gone in on gifts with other friends and it’s worked well!

  • Great idea for the shower gifts! Or even during Christmas holiday sales – you can pick up discounted potential gifts. Or even cheaper gift cards at Raise.com

  • My best friend is getting married in September and I’ve got an entire separate bank account with a savings goal of $1,000 for the dress, bridal shower, bachelorette party, gifts and hotel room. I lucked out and got the dress on sale and definitely plan to split the hotel room with our other best friend, but geez, being a bridesmaid is still really expensive.

    • Yes agreed! You are definitely ahead of most by being able to build into your budget a savings goal.