2014: The Year of the Weddings.

Recently, I watched the movie Love Actually. It’s this great Christmas movie that I try to watch it every year. In the beginning of the movie, Hugh Grant’s character narrates as families and loved ones embrace at the airport. Yes, we are about to get super cheesy for a second, but Grant’s character says: “If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love actually is all around.”

Well dear readers, in my friend circle, love is really every where this year. After getting another Save the Date yesterday, I will now be attending a grand total of six weddings this year. Yes, six weddings. I will be in three of those weddings and two of those three are destination weddings. Oh. boy.

Don’t get me wrong, I love weddings. It is so special to watch to friends exchange vows (not to mention the reception is a blast, too), but after the whole kit-n-caboodle, weddings are expensive.

I’m not talking just for the bride and groom, but for the guests, too. Market Watch recently stated that the average american will spend $539 in attending one wedding this year.  I’m not sure about you, but that is a TON of money. Reading these stats and getting the initial totals for the destination wedding scared me a bit, so I decided it be best to get a rough budget outlined now so that I can plan ahead, instead of waiting to add up my receipts after the fact.

Without further adieu, here is a preliminary budget for each wedding and travel expense.

January– N’s wedding. It’s local and I’ll be carpooling with another friend. Estimated total for gift and gas: $50.

April– B’s wedding. It’s 2.5 hours away and I’ll be carpooling.  We’ll crash with friends for the night. Estimated total for gift and gas: $100.

April– S’s wedding. It’s local and I’m going with my family (she is a family friend). Estimated total for gift and gas: $0 (gracias to my parents).

July– M’s wedding. The location has not been set but it will be a destination wedding. So far she’s mentioned France,  Spain or New York. Estimated total for attending: $2,000 (I’m guessing high so I can budget accordingly. This will include, flight, lodging, dress, etc).

August– B’s wedding. Location: The Dominican Republic. She’ll be using a travel agent so the package is all inclusive and I’ll be able to make payments on the price.  Estimated price: $1,500-$2,000.

September– C’s wedding. It will be local. Estimated cost for dress, bachelorette party, bridal shower and gift: $400.

Added up, the initial budget for attending six weddings this year will be around $4,050-4,550. Yikes. I’m wondering if the best way to go about saving for this is taking $20 out of each shift of tip money to put in a “wedding savings account” (Is it sad I’ll have a wedding savings account when it’s not even my own wedding? ). Even then, after working 25 shifts, I’ll only have $500 which is just a fraction of the amount. The rest will have to come out of my teaching salary, which will cut down on my loan payments. I’ll still be able to make all the minimums, but I’m a little bummed knowing the my debt repayment will be a little light after having paid so much these last few months. I guess, asi es la vida.

Have you ever attended so many weddings in one year? What was your strategy for saving money while still going and supporting the couple?

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7 Comments

  1. Oh, that is a lot of weddings! I am not really a big fan of destination weddings wherein the guests must travel long distances or overseas. This is a relatively new phenomena. (I am older, kids!) I believe it places too many financial burdens on guests, and the bride and groom should not be surprised if guests must decline. (I have in the past. After all, I really want to do what I want to do with vacation money!) I do not believe it is fair to believe that everyone can absorb travel costs into his/her budget to attend your wedding. But that’s me!

  2. My strategy for avoiding weddings was to keep moving states and using the excuse that it was too expensive for me to fly back for the wedding. Then I just send a gift. lol! Actually I really did avoid a lot of weddings this way but I wasn’t lying about not being able to afford flying to different states. I hate weddings anyway, so it wasn’t worth me going into debt for. But I’m a bad friend. 🙂 Actually not really, half ended up divorced anyway…it’s true..you’ll start to see that in your late 30’s. Wow, I’m cynical huh? 🙂

  3. I love weddings and last year I was a bridesmaid in a wedding in London. Yep, it was expensive. But, she is one of my best friends so it was a none-negotiable. Just side hustle like crazy (as you are such a hard worker this will be easy) but, don’t lose sight of your debt repayment goals. Have fun and don’t drink too much, you don’t want to be “that girl”LOL!

  4. Pingback: Dealing with Unexpected Expenses | Debt Free Tejana

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