×

How to save as a wedding guest

Throwing a wedding is an expensive affair, but so is attending one. There's the airfare, the clothes and don't forget the gift.

The average guest expects to spend $703 per wedding this year, 5 percent more than last year, according to the American Express Spending & Saving Tracker.

But you can be a guest without going broke, it just requires a little creative thinking.

One of the easiest ways to save money is by planning. Here's how to reduce the major costs of being a wedding guest:

Travel

Make your travel plans as soon as you get the save-the-date card.

The further out you book, the cheaper the airfare will be. If you need a hotel and car during the wedding weekend, try booking it all online as a package, which can save you even further.

You can also sign up for travel deal alerts using websites like Airfarewatchdog.

Attire

Looking your best doesn't mean spending a bundle.

Don't buy a new outfit for every wedding you go to or for every member of your family. Find an awesome staple piece on sale if you can and change up your look with different accessories, like a statement necklace or a bracelet.

If you want a different look for each event, don't buy, rent. You can borrow designer dresses for as little as $70 at websites like Rent the Runway.

Gifts

Don't go overboard on gifts.

Get on the registry right away. The most inexpensive gifts usually go first. Talk to friends about going in together on a bigger ticket item, you'll probably end up spending less.

If you're strapped for cash, you can always give a gift from the heart, like a framed picture or memory book.

Events

Embrace the power of no.

Don't feel compelled to go to every wedding that you're invited to or go to all pre- and post-wedding events.

Finally, you never want to borrow to attend a wedding. The bride and groom may really want you there, but they won't want you to go into debt just to celebrate their big day.