Don't get me wrong, I love weddings.
There's nothing like seeing your friends or family declare their love for one another, followed by drinks, then food, then drinks, then dancing... and then more drinks.
It's the cost of it all that I don't like.
I don't want to sound ungrateful, (and to anyone whose wedding I have attended, I loved it, I truly did!) but the price of clothes, travel, transport, wedding gifts and more - it can all add up.
According to a study by American Express, the average UK wedding guest will attend four weddings this summer, at a humongous total cost of £1,728 - a figure not to be sniffed at.
However, there's no need to panic if you've got a collection of invitations pinned to the fridge, I've put together some helpful tips on how to save money as a wedding guest this season.
Save money on your wedding outfit
Whether it's a stylish city wedding or a country barn affair complete with hay bales, you need to be wearing the appropriate attire. Sadly, it's considered socially unacceptable to wear the same outfit to every wedding you attend this summer (you can shake your fist at social media for that one). So here are three brilliant tips to help you keep the cost of your wedding clothes down.
Trick everyone by purchasing one plain dress and lots of accessories to go with it. Big belts, statement necklaces, brightly coloured jackets - these will help make your dress look like a completely different outfit at every wedding you attend.
2. Raid a wardrobe
If your friend isn't attending the same wedding as you and you're lucky enough to be the same size as them, then get yourself over to their house and find the perfect outfit. Play nicely and don't forget to let them raid your wardrobe in return.
3. Hit the charity shops
Save lots of money and contribute to charity at the same time. You never know what you'll find and you'll be less likely to encounter the horror of someone else in the same dress.
Save money on accommodation and transport
If you are close to the happy couple, you immediately have the advantage. By learning the date of the wedding before everyone else, it's a chance for you to do some research and score the cheapest place to stay and the cheapest way to travel. Here are three expert ways to save a few quid.
1. Hotel comparison websites & get cash back
Once you've worked out your budget have a look at comparison sites to find suitable accommodation at the cheapest price. Check cashback websites to see if your chosen hotel is listed and if you can get money back on your booking.
2. Clear your cache
When looking at flight comparison sites, be sure to clear your cache and cookies. Travel websites and airlines can track how many times you've visited and may offer you different prices based on that.
3. Team up
If you know lots of people attending the wedding, then enquire if you can get a group discount when booking your travel or accommodation. Close friends might feel comfortable sharing a family room, which will bring the cost down even more. Feeling brave? Contact the happy couple to see if you can get in touch with other guests that you don't know, who might also like to share.
Save money on wedding gifts
It's very easy to overspend on a wedding gift, but with a bit of thought, there are ways to cut costs while still getting something special for the happy couple.
1. Offer your expertise
Wedding organisation can be hectic and stressful, and if you can help to alleviate this in any way, it will be much more appreciated than a cheese grater or a set of coasters. And if you're handy with design tools, why not offer to create the wedding invitations?
2. Club together
If there is a crowd of you that know each other, then a group gift is a way to get something far more exciting than you could afford. By pooling your resources you'll be able to buy a weekend break away, or something gorgeous for the home.
3. Buy secondhand and upcyle
Got a good eye? You may be able to pick up an unusual and unique gift from a charity shop. Or, if you're good with your hands you could buy something in need of a little love and then upcycle it using your crafting skills. For example, polishing up an old cocktail making kit, or taking a coat of paint to a vintage chair or coffee table.
I hope I've given you some brilliant ideas on how to survive the 2017 wedding season, without destroying your savings.Suggest a correction