How to attend a wedding cheaply

ANOTHER wedding invitation drops in the letterbox. You’re already struggling to make ends meet, so what do you do?

If it is not a close friend or family member it is perfectly acceptable to say “thanks, but no thanks,” but if you really do want to go to the event there are ways to do it on a budget.

The biggest tip for guests saving money is to remember that it’s not YOUR big day. So you don’t need to get a swanky new dress, have your hair done in a salon or your make-up applied by a professional. As a guest, you’re not the centre of attention. Chances are that you already own a dress that is perfectly acceptable to be worn to another wedding.

Just change your hairstyle and accessories and nobody will be any the wiser that it’s an old frock.

As for pre-parties, hen nights or rehearsal dinners perhaps just be honest with yourself and the bride and groom about what events you can afford to attend. Just because the bride is having a weekend away hen party in Ibiza doesn’t mean you have to attend it.

If the wedding reception is out of your home town, then remember that it’s not necessary to book in at the venue where the wedding is taking place. The couple may have selected a pricey location but if this is out of your budget then just say so and check out low-cost hotels and B&B’s in the area. After all the eating, drinking and dancing is done it’s really not going to make a difference if you are staying in the bride and groom’s hotel or somewhere cheaper down the road.

And finally in terms of gifts there’s a common misconception that your gift is supposed to equal the price of your dinner. This just isn’t true. A wedding gift is a token of affection and good wishes, not an entrance ticket. Spend what you can afford. If you feel like you really don’t have a lot of money to spend, giving a gift, as opposed to cash, is a better way to go. Giving €50 in an envelope may make you feel cheap, but giving a beautiful wicker picnic basket with a nice bottle of wine inside won’t!

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