TheKnot.com estimates that 40 percent of wedding guests are out-of-towners, and almost a quarter of all weddings are destination weddings, making costs of attending even higher.
People are also spending more on wedding wardrobes. “It is amazing how much people spend to attend weddings,” said Jennifer Hyman, co-founder and chief executive of Rent the Runway, a membership Web site that rents designer dresses and accessories. “You used to be able to buy one outfit and wear it to a few weddings. But now that photos are instantly on Facebook, you can’t do that anymore.”
Experts weigh in on how to keep costs down on your friends’ big days.
Rent your attire
Much like the bride, women often want new dresses for the occasion. But why buy a dress when you can rent it for as low as 10 percent of the cost of buying? In April, Rent the Runway launched its Weddings Boutique, which helps guests plan outfits for all the bridal events: brunches, showers, rehearsal dinners and the big day. The company also supplies free stylists who will plan outfits based on size, style, color and occasion. Renting dresses and accessories saves time and money, particularly for a bridesmaid tasked with finding her own gown in a particular color.
We forget that people are so busy judging the bride’s dress that they’re bound to forget about yours. Dress up something in your closet with vintage or rented accessories. The same goes for men: Most are lucky enough to own a suit they can wear again and again, but investing in vintage ties or using a service such as Tie Society, a Netflix-styled company that rents ties for a monthly fee, will defray costs during a long wedding season.
As with all travel, plan ahead. Don’t wait for the save the dates to arrive. Look for flights and hotels the minute the Facebook announcement goes up. And don’t wait for the bridal party to supply information on where to stay or how to get there. You can often find a cheaper route on your own.
Avoid expensive lodging
It might be tempting to stay with the bridal party, but you can almost always find a less expensive alternative a few miles away. For lodging, consider using this , a Web site that matches travelers with people willing to rent rooms or apartments on the short term. If you’re traveling alone, ask the bridal party to supply you with a list of other singles who might be interested in sharing a room.