Wedding season is upon us and soon you may see a few wedding invitations in your mailbox. What do you do when it looks like ALL your friends are getting married this year? Can you afford to get gifts for everyone, as well as pay for clothing and traveling expenses for each event?
If you find yourself invited to multiple weddings this year, first create a budget and estimate how much you can afford for these expenses. It's better to have a picture of what you can realistically manage rather than spending wildly. Spending without a plan may leave you struggling to pay for your own living expenses at the end of each month.
Next, determine how much travelling you'll need to do to get to the wedding. Is it an hour's drive away, across the country, or even in another country? Travelling expenses can take a huge chunk out of your budget, so it's important to get a good estimate of what you'll need to pay before you accept the invitation. If the event is within driving distance and your friends are going, consider carpooling.
If the wedding requires an overnight stay, you'll need to factor in lodging expenses. Check out vacation lodging sites like Airbnb or VRBO. Again, if friends are also going to the wedding, consider sharing a place with them.
Will you need a new outfit? Instead of buying a new dress or suit, check out consignment shops for good deals on formal attire and accessories.
Are you artistically inclined? If so, you may want to make a personal gift instead of buying something, particularly if the couple already has enough plates and toasters. Creating something that shows how well you know the couple can be especially meaningful to them.
Lastly, if going to every wedding is going to wreck you financially, or require you to scrimp on all of them, then think about your relationship to each couple - how close are you to them? If you rarely see or talk to them, don't feel obligated to accept the invitation. Instead, select which weddings you really want to attend and decline the others.
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