It’s lovely being invited to share in someone’s Big Day. But with a 2015 survey showing the average cost of being a wedding guest is over £600 (opens in a new window), receiving that ‘save the date’ can seem a bit of a curse. In fact, with gifts, food, clothes, accommodation and travel, the total spend came in at £644. And that’s PER PERSON. So how can you see the bride in white without ending up in the red?
Personal touches are what people really remember about a wedding, so if you can bring something unique to the day, why not offer to contribute rather than buy a gift? Maybe you have a flair for graphic design that could help with invitations, or you have a record collection worthy of any hired DJ? Of course, the couple might politely decline, but it’s always worth asking first.
Swap before you shop
OK, this one’s mainly for the girls. (Although, guys, swapping suits and kilts is a good idea too!) But, yes, ladies, you all have dresses, shoes and accessories you might not wear again, so why not invite your friends to either swap wedding outfits or sell them on for a reasonable price? It’s a fun excuse for a get-together and could save you a pretty penny on the high street.
Sign up and save
If the gift list is for a particular store, look into signing up for the store’s online mailing list or newsletter. Most places offer a money-off promotion when you register (often up to 25%), and you can either stay on the list for future offers or just unsubscribe at a later date.
(Car)pool and share
If you have to travel for the wedding (but don’t know anyone else going from your area) ask the bride and groom if they’ve invited anyone else who lives near you. Then you can get in touch and ask if they’d like to split the transport costs. You might even make some friends to hang out with at the wedding. Otherwise, check out car-share sites like blablacar.co.uk which list drivers looking to share petrol costs for journeys around the UK and even Europe.
Get the vintage advantage
Now that vintage clothing is a firm favourite across the board, you can pay as much (or even more) in vintage shops than you might in regular high street stores. Cue one of pre-loved fashion’s best-kept secrets: the massive Oxfam online store. It has thousands (yes, really – thousands) of second-hand pieces available to buy online, and they’re easy to view by size and/or colour. Postage is just £3.95 and they’ll even accept returns. It’s easy, cheap and you’ll be donating to charity, too. Looking good, friend.