Seven Tips For Going To A Wedding Without Blowing Your Entire Bank Account

It’s easy to be cynical about attending a wedding, and unfortunately the recession has only made it easier to begrudge those who bask in true love’s light and make us schlep out to some random country club in the middle of nowhere. I actually love weddings, but celebrating the chubby-cheeked cupid is expensive. The outfits, the gift, the travel — it all adds up! Before you start getting all anti-wedding, here are seven easy ways to save this season.

  1. Carpool: Save money and the environment! Unless you are planning to take public transport in your floor-length satin gown, chances are you will be driving or flying somewhere. Carpooling kills many birds with one stone: You save money on gas, spare some of the environment’s finite resources, and catch up with friends Plus, traveling with an entourage guarantees you won’t have an awkward “I am in a room of strangers and don’t recognize a soul” moment.
  2. Sport Metallic Flip-Flops: Stilettos are great for wedding pictures and catching the eye of some hot groomsmen. That said, they are not great for shimmying the night away with aforementioned groomsmen or for outdoor weddings. Luckily, metallic or bejeweled flip-flops are very trendy—and very affordable. Before you tsk-tsk, know that fancy flip-flops are dressy enough for even a black-tie event and comfy enough to dance with a dude and then drag him home with you without foot pain. Plus, the sandals (and possibly the guy) are cheap enough to toss out the next morning. [$12.99,Target]
  3. Be A Bon Vivant: While a present from Tiffany’s won’t actually put you behind on your rent, some couples might be uncomfortable with the idea of you spending any money at all. Since you can’t go empty handed, go to your local wine store and ask the manager for a bottle of wine or liquor that requires 10 to 20 years to age. The idea is that the bottle will be ready for them to share on their rocking chairs, a wine glass in one hand and a cane in the other. The relatively young age of the bottle should keep the price tag down.
  4. Dress Swap Among Friends: It’s debatable whether it’s taboo to wear the same dress twice, or maybe it’s just taboo to wear the same dress to two weddings in a row. While I am not morally offended by repeat dressing, for the sake of creativity and Facebook pictures, why not switch it up by swapping. You get a new dress every occasion, for free, and fun hang time with friends.
  5. Load Up On Costume Jewelry: With rocks and sparkles so bright, shiny, and fabulous, no one will even notice what dress you are wearing or how many times you have worn it before. So what if the stones aren’t real and your fingers will be green from fake gold by the end of night? If you don’t give the bride a hard time about her fake tan, then no one can give you a hard time about your costume jewelry.
  6. Have a Grooming Girls Night: It’s so easy to spend money on expensive prettifying beauty treatments that won’t even last til the end of the night—hello, frizzy hair! Instead, get some friends together the night before the party and have an all-out beauty extravaganza. Braid each others hair, paint your toe nails, put on face masks , and just have fun. It will be just like the slumber parties of your childhood, but with margaritas instead of Shirley Temples.
  7. Treat The Wedding Like A Free Night On The Town: At the end of the day, even though you have had to spend some moolah for the big event, you are getting a meal, open bar, and dance floor out of it. Cheers!

Need more wedding-related advice? Check out our Wedding Survival Guide!