When you reach a certain age (ahem 26) it seems as if all of a sudden EVERYBODY is getting married. Best friends, college friends, siblings, it all happens at once. This summer, for example, I am going to no less than five weddings, and I have to attend at least two bachelorette parties across three states. Oh, and I’m the Maid of Honor in one of those weddings. Talk about $$$$$$$$.
Here’s how my wallet and I are going to (hopefully) survive this wild wedding season.
I am using Venmo religiously.
This is quite literally the best tool to help you survive wedding season. Without fail, there is always one person in the wedding party who is nice enough to volunteer to purchase tickets/arts and crafts materials/celebratory drinks/UberX to make everyone’s life easier. With Venmo, you can charge people for dinner, drinks, anything you may have volunteered to cover, and it’s much more likely you’ll end up sharing the cost of your adventures a bit more evenly.
I am UberXL-ing literally everywhere.
I recently returned from my first bachelorette party of the summer: a weekend in NYC complete with champagne, rooftop bar bottle service and LOTS of Ubering. If you’re traveling with a large group, do yourself a favor and order an UberXL. This way you’ll guarantee spending less money on cabs/multiple Ubers, and you can guarantee you won’t lose someone in the subway. You can also share the cost of the Uber right from the app, so that friendly person (see above) doesn’t get stuck footing the bill.
I am using the Starbucks app – and only the Starbucks app – to pay for coffee.
Nothing makes your wallet happier than finally earning your free drink at Starbucks. If you don’t have the Starbucks App you are doing yourself a serious disservice. Plus, we all know you’re going to need a significant amount of caffeine for the day of and the day after, so do yourself a favor and start working towards those rewards points.
However, I am limiting the amount of trips I take to Starbucks.
Just because I like to start my day with my grande ice black tea lemonade (unsweetened, thank you very much), doesn’t mean I have to have it. Forcing yourself not to stop in to Starbucks on your way to work every day for a week can save you some serious cash, which you can use later at the bar at the reception
I am carpooling whenever possible.
I once drove through the night from Boston to Wisconsin to make it to a wedding on a Saturday afternoon. I don’t recommend it. However, I do recommend carpooling. Not only do you get to make a “ROAD TRIP PLAYLIST!!!” you also save tons by sharing the cost of gas and tolls. Plus, it makes it 10 times less awkward to walk into a wedding/church/reception with some friends.
I am snuggling up with people I barely know in hotel rooms.
How much do we need beds, really, when we’ve spent the day toasting with champagne and wine tasting? Make some new friends, go in on a room together, and snuggle up. You’ll save money on a hotel room and will probably go home with some pretty great stories.
I am wearing dresses more than once, with different accessories of course.
You can totally change your look with a good updo and some colorful jewelry. Invest in a reliable LBD that you feel great in, grab a couple of necklaces and pairs of earrings, hop on Pinterest to find some good wedding hair dos and you’re good to go. Are you really going to care if there are multiple pictures of you in the same dress from different weddings if you look BOMB? Doubt it.
I am finding my own seamstress.
If you are part of a wedding party, the place you order your dress from will often times offer you a “deal” on alterations. This usually involves making sure everyone in the group gets their alterations done at the same place, it involves shipping and waiting and uncertainty. Oh and also lots of money. Save yourself money and stress and find a local seamstress. Surprisingly, I’ve found, a lot of local dry cleaners will also do alterations, and because they don’t have such a high volume of orders they can take care of it in a couple of days.
I am doing my own hair.
Pinterest is a gold mine. Have some faith in yourself. You won’t become the next “Pinterest Fail” star on Instagram if you just follow the step-by-step directions. I just tried my first “bouffant bun” a la Pinterest this weekend and #nailedit. It was terrifying, but I just committed and ended up feeling like a movie star. If you have the tools and a little bit of time, this is a major money saver.
I am taking time to find (re: buy) perfect wedding gifts.
No one likes to say it, but if you’re really strapped for cash, you do (traditionally) have about a year to get the happy couple a wedding gift. Most of the time the bride and groom are just happy you are there to share their special day with them. You can tell them you are working on something special, wait until your next pay check, and then figure it out.
I am indulging in all of the free drinks I can find.
These days most weddings have signature drinks from the bride and groom that they specifically designed for the wedding. And, most of the time, they’re free! Take advantage of this. You will have just as much fun drinking the whiskey smash for free as you will the $10 glass of pinot. You’re never too old to appreciate free drinks.