Tis the season for weddings! As I worked with a client last night, she told me that she had been invited to play a role in the wedding party for a friend in August. She has also been invited to be involved in a wedding party in Chile over Thanksgiving. This client is very adventurous, and she’s been doing a great job applying the principles of a zero-based budget. She’s even cut up a credit card.
I was pleased to hear her talking about her strategies for how she was going to participate and travel to each of these weddings. She had given a lot of thought into how she could maintain her budget and set goals for a few months so that she could pay for the anticipated expenses with cash! Impressive, right?
Some might use money from their emergency fund to cover the expenses to attend weddings. I recently did a workshop and we were talking about what constitutes as an emergency? Is Christmas an emergency? Well, no, it's not. We know the holiday is coming and it’s not a surprise. Wedding and graduation invitations can and do catch us by surprise. Even though that is true, it still doesn’t make them emergencies.
Expectations around weddings can be tricky. If you’ve agreed to be in a wedding or you are a parent of the bride or groom you may have a lot more financial responsibility than the average attendee. I encourage people to be clear about what the expectations as being a part of the wedding party. For example, as a maid of honor, are you expected to host the baby shower and bachelorette party? Do you also need to pay for the dress, shoes, travel expenses, etc.? I get it. You want to do ALL THE THINGS. Being clear about what we are responsible for financially helps everyone. It gives us the ability to plan accordingly, and it gives the bride and groom an opportunity to ask someone else to cover other expenses.
If you’re planning to attend a wedding this summer, here are some budget-busters to consider when RSVPing yes to the couple:
Where will the wedding be located? (Indoors/Outdoors; Domestic/International)
How will you get there? (Flights, Car Rental, Uber)
How much will lodging cost? (Hotel, Air Bn'b, VIRBO)
What meals will you need to purchase?
What special items will you want to purcahse?
What clothing will be appropriate for the wedding? (Dress, Suit, Hat, Sunglasses, Umbrella)
How do you want to feel when you are there? (Relaxed, Full of Joy, at Ease)
What will you purcahse for a gift for the couple?
How will you wrap it?
How will you transport it? (Shipping)
Anyone who has planned events or weddings knows that there’s always a “plan.” And then there’s what really happens. Giving these items careful consideration before responding yes to a wedding invitation can help you say yes with joy and ease.
Here's a great wedding budget tool if you're planning a wedding. For a more personalized budgeting approach, let's talk.
May all the weddings you attend this summer be filled with love and joy for you and the happy couple.