How to Say “Yes” to the Wedding Invitation and Stay on Budget

feng_shui_weddinggiftsPutting on a wedding these days is tremendously expensive, that we know- but attending a wedding as a guest can be costly too. Wedding season is upon us, and while it is great fun to attend the nuptials of friends and family to share in their happy day, there is no question that these gift-giving events can put a serious dent in the wallet. Ticking “no” in the RSVP column may seem like a savvy spending move, but saving money and participating in celebrations don’t have to be mutually exclusive. 

Consider the Full Cost of Attending

Your best bud from college is getting married, and you couldn’t be more excited! However, you now realize that the ceremony is going to take place out of town, which means extra travel costs. Be aware that attending a wedding often involves more costs than just a straight gift- including things like travel, hotels, possibly food, babysitting and clothing. These should all be included when deciding on a gift.

The Registry

Much of successful frugality comes from planned spending, and wedding gift shopping is no different.  If your betrothed friends/family have a gift registry, shop early to get first crack at the lower-priced items. If there are no items left within your price range, consider a gift card from the store in question, which they will appreciate to top up on items that they didn’t receive from their desired list.

It’s a Group Thing

Less can be more- really. If you know a number of people attending the wedding, organize a group gift for the couple for something sizeable and useable (like home furnishings, electronics, mini-vacation etc.). For a smaller outright cost, you are able to participate in giving the couple something that they will truly appreciate, and not be tossed into the graveyard of unused wedding gifts

Get Sentimental

Anyone can give the couple a gift. Only you can give them a gift from you, attached with special meaning surrounding your relationship with one or both partners. Weddings are reflective and joyous- and invite sentimentality and reflection.

Assemble a photo album or scrapbook filled with special photos or memories that you have shared over the years. Chronicle the history of the couple, with quotes from friends and family, and special moments over their courtship.  Get a gift certificate to the restaurant where they had their first date, or get some sort of gift that reflects how or when they met. Gift baskets with a theme are a good way too of assembling a number of items that are fun, heartfelt and well received.

Offer Your Services

Do you have some sort of talent that might be of service to the bride and groom? Perhaps you are an amateur photographer, a weekend baker or crafty person? You could offer to help with a wedding cake, take special photos or help do things like wedding favours or decorating.