An invitation to a wedding destination usually elicits a two-part reaction. First, there is the excitement of visiting a new place and attending a glamorous event there. Then there is the fear: how much will it cost me?

Weddings at the location can be bright, but they usually require extra time and money from the guests. However, there are ways to make the experience less expensive.

Below, personal finance experts share their tips for minimizing the costs associated with attending a wedding.

Join the group

“Find companions!” suggests Pamela Capala, founder and CEO Brunch and budget. “If you have friends or other people you know who also attend weddings, often renting a larger Airbnb with lots of bedrooms can significantly reduce your living costs, especially if you want to take a sofa bed.”

In addition to sharing a room or house with other wedding guests, you may also want to consider sharing other expenses, such as car rental sharing.

Combine the event with another leisure time

“If your destination is a place where you want to relax, it may make financial sense to extend the honeymoon for extra days to save money on round-trip flights, as well as save on travel days and PTOs,” says Kapala.

Extending a full vacation visit also allows you to fly back and forth on weekdays when the cost of the flight is below peak weekend prices.

“Generally, hotels and vacation rentals offer the best prices for the long haul,” says Gina McCaig, owner and founder. McKague Financial. “So if you like the location, stay a few days after the wedding and take advantage of cheaper accommodation prices.”

Book early

“Most weddings are held in great vacation spots,” McKeag says. “If you know you’re going to attend a wedding on purpose, make sure you book your trip and accommodation in advance. This will allow you to take advantage of discounted rooms and cheaper tickets.

Kapalad offers to look for flights and accommodation six months before the wedding, if possible.

“This way, you’ll have the most options for living in places like Airbnb (with generous cancellation policies), and you’ll be able to keep track of airfare prices for weeks,” she says.

Don’t waste your outfit

“Because you’re a guest, not a wedding party attendee, there’s no need to spend money on buying a new outfit to attend the wedding,” says Kara Stevens, the company’s founder. A frugal feminist and author “Heal your relationship with money.” “Look at your wardrobe before you go online or to a boutique to find the right wedding dress.”

If you want to wear something you didn’t wear before without paying a lot, consider buying second-hand on websites like Ebay or Vinted, or borrowing an outfit from a friend or a clothing rental service.

“Look at rental sites like Rent the Runway and The Black Tux that allow you to take designer dresses and beautiful costumes for a fraction of the cost of buying them,” McCaig says.

Thomas Barwick via Getty Images

Pre-planning and teaming up with others can help cut costs.

Make a budget

“The budget for the wedding on purpose should be made, like any other budget – write down your needs against your wishes,” – says McCaig.

She recommended determining what you will need to attend the wedding in terms of housing, travel, food, clothing and gifts.

“Start budgeting as early as possible,” McKeag adds. “This way, you can know how much to defer each payment check to make you comfortable attending the wedding. Wedding is a time of love and laughter. You wouldn’t want to attend a wedding on purpose, worrying about how much you owe once you get home. ”

I will book alternative housing

Remember that you do not need to stay in the same hotel with the wedding. Even with room discounts, housing can be expensive, so consider other options.

“You can look for the nearest hotels with cheaper prices (thinking about how to get to the wedding) and see if it makes sense to book there,” says Stevens.

Compare travel options

Just as you compare housing, be sure to do research when it comes to transit to your destination and back. Look at the cash and time costs for each option.

If the wedding destination is taking place in the UK or Europe and you can go there, you may want to weigh all the pros and cons of driving or flying by train, especially considering the cost of petrol.

Work remotely

Many companies still offer hybrid and remote employment arrangements, which means you may not have to request a lot of vacation to go to a wedding on purpose.

“With employees who choose WFH, attending a wedding in another country may not require you to have as many personal days as it takes to work from the office, which will also save you money in the long run,” Stevens says.

Don’t waste it on your gift

Couples know that they ask a lot of guests if they decide to get married in a distant place. In that sense, your presence can be literally a gift.

Stevens believes you need to consider the extra time, airfare and hotels needed to get you on holiday to part of your contribution. In many cases, the couple may even outright say they are not expecting gifts.

However, if you still want to give them something, you can spend a little less on a wedding gift than usual.

Say no

Revenge of the journey at this stage a pandemic may be fashionable, but the fact that it coincides with an economic downturn means that your budget may not have room for an expensive wedding.

“I know it can be hard to say no to a wedding, but if it puts you in a difficult financial position, you can say no and send a gift,” Kapala says. “You can find other ways to celebrate with the couple when they return to town.”

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