As I’ve gotten older, I’ve attended fewer and fewer weddings which is beneficial to my pocket book. And, I suppose that’s one benefit of aging; since most people I know are already married there are few “wedding” expenses in my future. However, this year my little sister is getting married – a very exciting time, indeed.
Attending as a Wedding Guest = Money out of my piggy bank
As excited as I am that she’s bubbling over with enthusiasm and love, and I’m looking forward to the wedding in the coming weeks, that means there are expenses that I need to shell out to attend her fairy-tale wedding. But not to fear, I’m always on the look out for frugal choices and thankfully I’ve planned ahead for the expenses this year as well. Here’s a breakdown of how I’m saving or choices I’ve made to splurge on my attendance:
- Flights – Booked early to save a few bucks. I booked my flights 3 months ahead of the wedding to save on costs and to give myself plenty of time between hotel/rental car expenses and airfares. I might have been able to get a better deal had I waited until 6-weeks before the wedding (6-weeks is supposedly the “sweet spot” to airfare prices), but from January to March the prices on airfares kept rising and I just didn’t want to chance it. *Too bad little sis and I live on opposite ends of the continent.
- Car Rental – Off-site rental. After reviewing my rental choices, Thrifty made the most sense. It was a lot cheaper than other rental companies even with coupons and promotional discounts. The only downside is that Thrifty is off-site from the airport which means we need to take a shuttle to and from their location.
- Hotel – I’m splurging on this expense. There were cheaper hotels in the area, but I really wanted to stay in the hotel my whole family was staying in to enjoy everyone’s company. It’s still an okay rate because my sister blocked out a bunch of rooms which shaved off about $20 a night.
- Gift – Promo code saved me a few bucks! And, pacing out my spending, I’ve already purchased and shipped her gift (this was a good choice since I really didn’t want to carry it on the plane!). I’m debating on whether to also give another small gift, but I’ll make that decision in the next few days.
- Clothing – Splurged on this as well. I haven’t attended a wedding in quite a while and had very few clothing choices hanging in my closet. Mr. LH also needed a new suit since his last one was purchased about 8 years ago. We shopped smartly and didn’t go too overboard. Shoes are another issue we have to make a decision on this weekend, but comfort is important for such a long day.
- Additional costs – Shuttle to and from the airport using a promo coupon. Our flight leaves so early in the morning, neither of us will be capable of driving our selves and we really don’t want to have our car sit for so many days at the airport. A shuttle makes the most sense.
- Personal costs – Okay, so I’m splurging on my hair. I’m getting it colored before the wedding and then having it styled the day of the wedding. Hey, I gotta look good, too!
Overall, our costs are coming in around $2,300, almost half of which was spent on flights. This is about $400 more than what I had originally budgeted, but flight prices definitely increased from a year ago when I was coming up with a ballpark figure.
Memories are priceless and if I factored in the moments, the cost is totally worth it.
Have you attended a wedding or two this year?
Wow, that’s an expensive wedding!
I’ve never spent more than a couple hundred dollars on a wedding, but then I’ve never had to travel to a wedding!
Wow $2,300 is a lot! But I agree, memories are worth it.
@Michelle – It’s the travel expenses that are really adding up (flights, hotel, car rental). If she had gotten married in her home state, we might have been able to save on hotel and car rental but they chose an adjoining state because she found a venue she really liked at a price she could afford. Ce La Vie!
Yes but think about when you get even older, you will have loads of funerals to go to! Sorry I couldn’t resist it! Weddings can be very expensive, especially when people decide to have a stag do in some exotic location far away. They can be a nightmare when you’re on a tight budget.
@Jon – When I was writing the post, this thought did cross my mind but I didn’t want to really think about it! Hopefully I’ve got at least another decade before I have to deal with funerals!
Last year, my wife and I went to New York (from LA) for a wedding. Surprise, they are already getting a divorce!
@Krantcents – Ugh! That’s awful. My husband and I know a friend who married last year and were divorced within 8-months. However, that was a local wedding that didn’t cost us much more than just a gift. 😉
Agreed. There is nothing precious than sweet memories.
It’s definitely worth it. My best friend got married a few years ago and it cost a bit to do everything but (okay maybe more than a bit considering all the traveling) but well worth it. Have a wonderful time!
@Niki – Yes, the costs on my end are more than just a little bit! But it will be a great wedding and I’ll have a lifetime of memories. 🙂