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Weddings

21 Ways To Save Money As A Wedding Guest

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blew up my bank account.

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1. Shop the registry gifts elsewhere.

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For example, this 12-piece knife set costs $262 at Bloomingdale's but $99 on Amazon.com. Why would you not save $163?

If you find identical registry items at discount retailers, just call the store where the couple is registered to have them remove the item from the registry.

2. Or find out where they're registered and sign up for the store's mailing list.

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That way you'll be the first to know when the store is having a sale and you can buy the present at a discounted price.

3. And have the gifts shipped straight to the couple's address to avoid extra baggage fees when you travel.

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The cost of a blender can really go up when you have to pay an extra $50 to check it on a flight. (Bonus: it's easier for the couple to not have to bring too many gifts home from the actual wedding.)

5. Use your credit card or phone bill rewards to buy gifts from the registry.

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Check with your phone company, bank, employer, and any organization you belong to about a rewards program. There's typically a 10–20% discount available.

6. Split the cost of the gift with friends.

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There's no shame in splitting the cost of a $100 set of silverware between a few friends. Just make sure everyone signs the card!

7. Send them snacks for the after-after-party.

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The newlyweds are usually too busy to eat at the reception, which means that once the after-party has shut down, they're likely going to be starving. Be the one to save them with comfort food (pizza) and celebratory drinks (champagne).

8. But if you'd rather give money, don't feel pressured to give more than you can afford.

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The "guideline" for how much you should give is what you'd spend on your own plate at a really nice dinner. (Which is not the same as what the couple is spending on your plate at the reception.) If that's $50, that's OK! You don't need to drop hundreds of dollars just because it's a ~fancy~ wedding.

9. It's perfectly fine to decline a wedding invite.

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You don't need to attend every single wedding you're invited to, so if you need to decline because there's no way your budget can handle it, just say no.

11. Try Airbnb for accommodations.

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Instead of staying at a hotel suggested by the couple, check the local availability on Airbnb. You can filter your search by price, location, and how much space you'll need (an entire place, a private room, or a shared room) to get exactly what you want for a price that works.

12. Or split a hotel room with friends.

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Just make sure to book early if you need a room with high occupancy, because they tend to sell out quickly.

13. If you only need a car between the hotel and the reception, consider using a service like Uber or Lyft instead of renting a car.

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Just download the Uber app or the Lyft app so you can hail a cab from wherever you are. Added bonus: You'll have a sober driver after the reception.

14. But if you're renting a car, look into smaller chains like Payless and Sixt for bigger discounts.

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Instead of the big names in car rentals (Avis, Hertz, Budget) check out smaller companies like Payless, Fox Rent A Car, and Sixt. Because they've got less overhead, the prices of the smaller companies are way discounted.

15. Purchase flights on a Tuesday evening.

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It's not a guarantee, but many airlines restock their flights on Monday evenings. By Tuesday evening, airlines have matched their competitors' prices, so the largest amount of cheap flights are available at that time.

Also, make sure you clear your cache before searching for flights. If a website can detect that you've been searching for a specific flight, they may raise the prices on your search.

16. Check Expedia.com/deals for daily discount offers on travel.

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You can find flights, hotels, cars, and bundle deals by checking the site daily.

17. Rent a dress instead of buying.

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Rent the Runway gives $25 off your first order, and you can shop by price. They'll send you two size options (for no additional cost) and you just send it back in a prepaid mailing envelope three days after receiving the dress.

You can rent suits online, too.

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Rent a tuxedo through Menguin and you'll look fly AF for around $100.

18. Or buy a staple outfit with the intention of wearing it multiple ways.

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With a neutral suit, you can mix and match it with different accessories to make completely different looks for each occasion, especially if you're going to weddings with different dress codes.

Add a jacket, belt, collar, tights, or jewelry to make the same LBD look like a completely different outfit.

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