Events are expensive. Wedding costs in particular have risen dramatically in the past few years. What we don’t usually think about though is, what your guest is paying to BE a guest at your wedding?
So this is personal now. I am attending my nephew’s wedding next year. He and his lovely fiance live up north. That means plane fare for both my hubby and me. We’ll more than likely need to rent a car and definitely need stay in a hotel a minimum of two nights. I need a new dress because goodness knows I have nothing nice enough to wear in the cold November weather and I am hoping that the suit from the last wedding we attended last year will still fit Hubby next year. (I recently lucked out for a friend’s daughter’s wedding by getting a perfectly good, fitting perfectly, Ann Klein dress at a consignment shop! Go ME!!)
Now, according to a survey from American Express, wedding guests are spending an average 75% more than 2 years ago. Though its true that the average wedding (according the The Knot) is costing close to $30,000, a guest is spending close to $600 to be there too. That, by the way, according to the survey, does not include the gift. The number reflects what the average wedding guest spends for all those items I mentioned earlier. So if I look at that number, that is about what we will be spending to go to this big family event.
It is true that on average what a guest is ‘getting’ for their money is probably more lavish than in the past, such as a lovely destination spot, or a top notch meal and location, but it can be daunting even on the most treasured friendship or family member.
Also, keep in mind when we’re talking about spending money to go to a wedding, the gift expected these days, should be no less than $75.00. That’s a lot to ask of the people you love, much less those you feel you ‘have’ to invite!
So? What to do? Here are a few tips that we’ve heard from a few different sources:
- Get the name of the gift registry and then sign up for their weekly notices and/or flyers. That way you get their sales and could use it towards a registry item. Or share with another guest in order to get something a little bigger/better but still use what you have budgeted for a gift.
- Sign up for some of the travel sites that send out email specials and see if your location pops up. Don’t wait too long though. Book as early as possible for the best airfares and hotel rates.
- If you have vacation time you need to use and you are going to a destination wedding… then by all means, extend your trip! Stay a few days either before or after the event and enjoy!
- Start looking for your attire during sales times. If you know there’s a wedding coming up in the next 6 months, hit all the end of season sales. Dress wear does not really seem to be all that seasonal in color, so something sold in December more than likely can also be worn in May. Or like I did, go to a higher end consignment shop and see what’s there. Sometimes you luck out!
- If you have to rent a car, see if you can team up with another guest to share the cost. That makes for a lot less stress than waiting for a pick up or local services.
I love my nephew, no doubt, but it would not be my first choice to go up north in the winter. However, Hubby and I do have family and friends living up there, so we shall take some extra time and do the visiting junket. Not the cruise we were hoping for, but it’s a decent enough trade off.
Whatever the cost to attend an event may be, know that those guests who you’ve so carefully chosen to be asked to attend, will also choose carefully whether they can afford to RSVP a yes.
Now get planning and go out and have yourself a wholesale, Flower-Filled Day!