Wedding season is in full force, and if you are trying to be frugal because you don’t have the extra money to spend or you are trying to pay off debt, then this can be a scary time. Please note, if you are a bridesmaid, then you definitely should read this article about cost saving ideas for bridesmaids.
Wedding season doesn’t have to be scary if you plan ahead. Set a total gift budget and stick to it. Look at your current and upcoming expenses and then identify what you can afford. Typically weddings have a few events associated with them: Bridal Shower, Bachelorette, and the Ceremony, so your budget should be based on what you can afford for all of the events. For example, if you only can spend $100, then the $100 should cover gifts for the shower, bachelorette, and ceremony. However, be sure to save the bulk of the money for the wedding gift.
According to a 2010 study by WeddingChannel.com, guests typically spend $60 to $120 for the wedding gift. Friends spend about $79 and family members tend to spend $146. Depending on your financial situation this could be a lot of money, however, know that your love and affection for the couple isn’t dependent on the gift. Do what you can as most couples invited you for a reason and are happy that you attended. This is especially true if you are traveling from out of town and have to spend a small fortune on travel.
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- Group Gift with friends. I love this idea because it allows you to buy a better gift than if each of you purchased a gift on your own. I typically use this strategy for Christmas. My sisters and I will pool our money to buy our parents a gift. If you are worried about this looking cheap, then don’t worry. Amy Eisinger, associate editor for WeddingChannel.com says that this is becoming increasingly popular as more people try to manage the cost of attending a wedding.
- Stick to the registry. I’m a fan of sticking to the couple’s registry because that’s what the couple wants and they spent a ton of time putting it together. However, if the registry is out of your budget then either give the couple cash or a gift card to one of the stores on the registry in a denomination that works with your budget.
- Get creative. If you have to attend multiple wedding events, then get creative and give a token of appreciation. For example, if you are creative or artsy, then consider doing something that leverages your talent. For example, if you are an artist and know the décor of the couple’s home then give them a painting or portrait if you know that they would appreciate it. Alternatively, if you are a chef let them know that you will cook them a certain number of meals. Another idea is, if you know their favorite things, then get them a gift basket full of their favorite things. This is a way to leverage your talents, give them a thoughtful gift, and also keep your expenses minimal.
Next time you go to a wedding, what gift will you get? Be sure to let me know!
Aisha Taylor is a #1 Amazon Best Selling Author of the book “5+5 FNPhenomenal Ways to Save $100 This Week Without Killing Your Lifestyle”, the Founder of FNPhenomenal (Frugal –n- Phenomenal), and creator of The Live Phenomenal Program. The Live Phenomenal Program is a program designed to give you the tools that you need to totally transform your finances, and stop living from paycheck-to-paycheck. It’s time for you to be Financially Phenomenal! Book your complimentary 20-minute financial clarity session with Aisha here.