Easy Ways to Save Money When Attending a Wedding

Published: Apr. 20, 2015 at 9:45 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

It's almost wedding season, and saying "I do" isn't just expensive for the bride and groom.

American Express says average wedding guest is expected to spend $673 this year. And that's just to attend, dance and eat cake. If you're actually in the wedding party, expect to shell out $701, on average.

A lot of the costs come from travel, so estimate the tally before you RSVP "yes" to a destination wedding. Book rooms early before the couple's discount room block fills up, and use an site like "Hopper" or "Hipmunk" to time your airfare buys.

Take into consideration wedding details that could increase what you pay out of pocket, like tuxedo or gown rentals for a black tie affair. Or a baby-sitter if the festivities are adults only. You might also be charged for cocktails, coat check or valet parking.

Then there's the gift. The average spend is $106 on a friend and $142 for a family member.

Don't base it on what the bride and groom are paying to host you.

Etiquette experts say to base your generosity on your own budget and how close you are to the couple. And it's ok to factor in those outsize travel costs, too.