Brides and grooms aren’t the only ones footing a big bill for their wedding. A recent study suggested that the average guest will spend $673 on a single celebration–that’s right, nearly $700 on just one wedding.
To alleviate some of the financial pressure of attending a wedding, nationally-recognized Consumer Savings Expert, Andrea Woroch, offers us 8 money-saving tips for purchasing a wedding gift.
1. Compare prices on registry items. It’s wise to reference a registry to see what the couple wants, but it’s even smarter to compare prices among stores. Check out online retailers like Overstock which sell popular registry brands including Cuisinart, Breville and Dyson for less than most department and high-end stores. For example, the KitchenAid Metallic 5-Qt Stand Mixer is $120 cheaper at Overstock than at Williams-Sonoma.
2. Use discount gift cards. If you’re planning to give a gift card or you’re buying an item off a couple’s registry, save money by purchasing discount gift cards from GiftCardGranny.com. The site offers gift cards for less than face value with options for popular wedding gift stores like Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Pottery Barn and Williams-Sonoma. You can save over 20% off Macy’s gift cards and score a $100 gift card for less than $80.
3. Know where to find coupon codes. Most stores offer coupons these days, you just have to know where to look to find one. By signing up to receive an e-newsletter from Pottery Barn or Williams-Sonoma, you’ll get a coupon code for 10% off a future order. Otherwise, compare online codes at CouponSherpa.com to find deals like $10 off $75 at Macy’s or 20% off small appliances at Best Buy.
4. Head to a warehouse store. Big box stores like Costco and Sam’s Club sell popular registry items like blenders, food processors and other household goods for roughly 30% less. If you’re a member, this is the best place to buy both bridal shower and wedding gifts. For example, the Costco members can save $10 off the NutriBullet blender, plus receive extra value with additional accessories compared to Target and other traditional wedding gift stores.
5. Go in on a big gift. If the couple registered for an expensive item that is out of range for one person to afford — like a $500 Dyson vacuum — find a group of friends or relatives to split the cost. Since most couples can’t afford such luxury goods, they’ll appreciate the big-ticket item while it’s an opportunity to help each guest save a bit.
6. Get gift wrap and cards at the dollar store. While the cost of wrapping the gift and signing a greeting card seems insignificant, you may be tacking on another $20 to an already pricey present and every dollar counts! Save money on gift wrap basics at your local dollar store where you can find 50-cent greeting cards and wrapping supplies for $1.
7. Offer your services. If money is really tight, offer your services in lieu of a physical gift. Whether it’s doing hair and makeup for the bride and her maids, putting your photography skills at work at the ceremony or dog-sitting while the couple’s away on their honeymoon, your services will alleviate additional pressure on the wedding budget.
8. Spread out purchases. If you recently bought a gift for the bridal shower or booked airfare and hotel for the wedding, don’t feel pressured to purchase a gift right away, especially if funds are limited. The bride and groom would never want you to go into debt to attend their nuptials so space out your expenses. Simply follow the traditional wedding etiquette rule and send a gift within one year from the event date. Just don’t forget!
Andrea Woroch is a nationally-recognized Consumer Savings Expert for Kinoli Inc., who helps consumers live on less without radically changing their lifestyles. From smart spending tips to personal finance advice, Andrea transforms everyday consumers into savvy shoppers. She has been featured among top news outlets such as Good Morning America, NBC’s Today, MSNBC, Dr. OZ, New York Times, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, CNNMoney and many more. For more information, visit AndreaWoroch.com or follow her on Twitter for daily savings advice and tips.