5 Ways to Save at Weddings

Just because your friends are getting married doesn't mean you have to go broke.

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It's the time of year when weddings can start taking up more time (and money) than any other weekend activity. I know I'm not the only one with a fridge covered in invites; Banker Girl and Budgeting Babe have also been discussing how to handle the multiple commitments.

Here are some ways to cut down on those wedding costs:

  • Just say no. It may sound harsh, but sometimes it's the best solution. Ask yourself, will I still be friends with this person in 10 years? If the answer is no, then consider responding with a polite decline.
    • Stick to one celebration. The National Endowment for Financial Education points out that guests are often expected to attend not only the wedding but also a bachelor or bachelorette party, bridal showers, and engagement parties. If you do end up going to more than one, NEFE recommends sticking to cheap gag gifts for the bachelor and bachelorette parties and giving joint gifts with friends for the others.
      • Rein in presents. While registries often include $400 china sets, there's no need to buy something beyond your budget, says NEFE. Gift cards at the couple's favorite store can be just as welcome.
        • Negotiate with the happy couple. This may not be a popular idea, but if the bride wants her attendants to wear a $200 dress, plus the shoes and jewelry of her choice, she may need a reality check. Similarly, meeting up for a bachelor party in Las Vegas may not be possible for the groom's friends who already have to travel to the wedding.
          • Split costs with friends. Consider weddings as a chance to relive your college days of room sharing. Ask the bride and groom to match you up with another guest who might be interested in splitting hotel costs.
          • What are your tips for saving money at weddings?