Friday, March 24, 2017

Surviving Wedding Season

Spring is offically here! Around here that means weddings! I honestly thought I was past this point in our lives, the part where everyone is getting engaged and your summer is packed full. I thought we were on to the babies portion of life, but we are not. Most of my husband's friends got married young, so they're on babies. But we have friends that are younger, friends that are our age, and family members that are getting married this year. Weddings are great because it's a huge party with your friends and family, but they're also expensive. Especially when you're on a crazy budget!

Phot Credit: Carolina Media Star
This year, we have four weddings. We've known two other couples to get engaged since. We have three weddings between April and May and one in October. Two are out of town. Aaron is in one. We love our friends and family and are so excited for them. I think once you've gotten married and have been blessed by others, you want to pay it forward. Our friends and family absolutely took care of us and we look forward to doing that for others. But we also have to be realistic about our budget.

Here are some ways that we are surving the wedding season this year!

1. Spread out buying gifts.

Don't buy all your gifts at once, try and spread them out. I started buying the wedding and shower gifts this month.  I can spend a little money each month between now and May on gifts rather than a ton of money at once.

2. Look out for store sales and collect coupons!

Macy's recently had a 50% off sale on much of their home items and I was able to get a really nice gift for less than $35! I also make sure to save every Bed Bath and Beyond coupon that I get. They send them like I used to buy Starbucks.  Aaron makes fun of me, but you never know when you're going to need 20 20% off coupons! Rule of thumb, I spend about $50 a gift if you're having a shower and a wedding and about $100 if you're just doing the wedding. That doesn't mean that I'm going to absolutely spend that much, but that's the value I'm aiming for. If I happen to get a super awesome deal on it, yay me.

3. Find a hotel group you like and stick to that one.

Most hotel chains have a reward or points program. This is a great way to profit off a bunch of out of town weddings. I have IHG and Hilton Rewards. That gives me about 20 different hotels to choose from and still get points. We're doing Hilton for one wedding and IHG for another wedding this year. I already have some points, so I'm hoping we are able to build up a good base for our own vacation later!

4. Use alternative lodging like Airbnb.

Staying in hotels is expensive! I do some traveling for work, so it's easy for us to gain a decent amount of hotel points, but we talked about using Airbnb after booking the first two hotels! If you don't travel regularly hotel points won't benefit you as much. Airbnb is a great alternative to hotels. You can rent apartments and houses for the same or cheaper than a hotel room.

5. Rent your dress, don't buy it.

I haven't actually bought a special occasion dress in a few years. I used to, now they don't fit and I have about 10 gorgeous dresses that don't fit and I can't sell because they're older. Enter Rent the Runway. Instead of spending at least $100 on a new dress that you'll wear once, rent one for less than $50. You might be thinking, "But Sarah, that's only one wear." I get that, I do. I felt the same way. But how many times have you actually worn those other dresses? More than twice? Okay then.

The best way to survive wedding season though, especially if you're happily married, is to remember your wedding. Remember how much you loved your day, seeing your favorite people all at once. And if you didn't love your whole day, remember the part you did. Even if the only part you like was the person you married. Remember the excitement of it all. Want that for your friends and family and want to be a part of that. It doesn't happen all the time, so make it special when it does. But don't break your bank over it!

This guy was my favorite part! Photo Credit: Carolina Media Star

1 comment:

  1. This is a good one! Wedding season can be tough - so fun but also crazy, too. I've got three weddings this year - 2 of my siblings and a friend. I'm the matron of honor in my sister's wedding and a bridesmaid in another and two are back to back. We're gearing up for nonstop wedding here in a few weeks! (Fortunately, one of the weddings is a fall wedding!) I think the idea about buying gifts early is a great tip. It's nice to be able to find the best deals and not have all of them hit in the same month! And it just helps you be prepared.

    It's also really important to remember how much you appreciated everyone on your own wedding day and pay it forward, like you said. So important! Happy Friday!