September seems to be month for weddings in my social circles. I love fall, with its crisp, cooler temperatures; pumpkin-spice everything; a return to hoodies, corduroy and boots; and football (which I like for tailgating or napping to on TV, not for watching) – so I can totally buy-into the fall wedding trend.
But even for guests, weddings are expensive. According to a recent study, millennials spend on average $893 to celebrate their friends’ nuptials. Costs include multiple wedding-related events from 11engagement parties, bridal showers, bachelorette parties and rehearsal dinners; plus attire and accessories; and transportation and travel accommodations.
While some of these expenses are unavoidable unless you decline to attend entirely, here are a few ways to save on or maximize on typical wedding-related expenditures:
- While it’s best to wear what’s already in your closet, renting a designer dress and accessories can be far less expensive than buying something new. I’ve had awesome experiences with Rent the Runway, which offers $30 off a first time order and promotions throughout the year. You can select 4 or 8 day rentals, which include a back-up size. Everything arrives clean and ready to wear in a velvet bag, which you return with free shipping. During wedding season and around winter holidays, dresses go quickly, so reserve your dress well before the RSVP deadline.
- Bed Bath and Beyond is one of the most popular registry retailers. The store is constantly bombarding my mailbox with coupons, some for 20% off a single item and others for $5 off a $15 purchase. Since they never expire and you can use multiple coupons per purchase, I hoard them. If you’re not already getting these by mail, you can download the 20% off coupon at Groupon. In addition to the coupon, there are two apps that offer in store rebates at Bed Bath and Beyond: Ebates and Ibotta, and you claim them BOTH.
- Ebates recently launched rebates for select brick and mortar stores. Bed Bath and Beyond and its sister-stores World Market and Buy Buy Baby are among the brands part of this program (others include Sephora, Banana Republic, Gap, Old Navy, Express and American Eagle). To get this rebate you will need to connect your debit or credit card number to your Ebates account before shopping AND remember to link the offer on the app once in the store.
- Ibotta offers an additional $5 rebate for any purchase over $50. To get this rebate, you’ll scan the bar code on your purchased item with your phone and take a photo of the receipt. I’ve been doing this at the complementary gift wrap bar, which you should be using, if you’re not already. Don’t love the tell-tale Bed Bath and Beyond branding on the wrapping paper? Just flip it over and use the silver side on the back for a posher look.
- Enjoy being able to toast the newlyweds with a glass or three of champagne by taking Uber. To make maximize this expense, make sure your Uber and SPG accounts are linked to earn points for free hotel stays to reward yourself for making safe and smart driving decisions.
- For a destination wedding or any wedding that requires you to travel, check out my post We’re Not in Kansas Anymore for beginner tips on traveling for free using hotel points and airline miles.
Cheers to love, weddings and saving money!