(CNN) – Nearly 79 million Americans will attend at least one wedding this year, and according to research by American Express, they will spend an average of $673 just to be a guest.
Andrea Woroch is a personal finance expert who says think about how much it’s going to cost you before you say “yes” to that wedding. She said, “When it comes to attending a wedding you have to look at your budget and your finances. If you have a lot of weddings to attend this season, you might consider saying no to a few.
It will be more expensive to go this year than last. Prices for hotel rooms, food, and new clothes have all gone up, but it’s your airline ticket that could break the bank.
“If you have to travel to a far destination especially considering that most weddings happen during the summer, during peak travel time you really want to prepare in advance to find the best rates on those travel costs,” said Woroch.
If you’re in the wedding party, or attending any of the pre-wedding festivities, you’ll spend even more; over $700 on average. Woroch said, “Don’t go into debt to attend a friends’ wedding.”
So how can you celebrate and save at the same time? According to Woroch, “If you’re traveling and you’re paying for airfare or hotel or gas to get to a faraway destination, you might spend less on the gift then. So, don’t feel like you have to break your budget. Spend what you can afford.”
Her other tips:
- Comparison shop on registry items
- Look for discounted gift cards and coupon codes online
- Split the cost of a gift with someone else
- Don’t assume that group rate at the hotel is the best deal you can get