It's wedding season -- good news for your social calendar, bad news for your wallet. Get ready to cough up $339 per buddy walking down the aisle, says a new survey of 1,500 people from American Express Spending and Saving Tracker.
It's not just the destination weddings that'll suck you dry, either -- gifts, clothing, travel, and the babysitter aren't free anywhere. But seeing a buddy tie the knot doesn't have to leave you in the red. Here are five ways to slash costs.
Wait a Year to Gift
Low on cash? Good news: Your "I'm in med school" excuse will actually work. Per wedding etiquette, you have up to a year to gift the happy couple, says Amy Frugoli, Certified Wedding Consultant of Twitterpated Weddings.
If you need to buy a new jacket/shirt/tie, you don't need to spend hours in a store -- B-line to the back. Most retailers place big sale items in the hardest place to get to: the rear far corners of the store. Click here for a few ideas of what to wear to a summer wedding.
More from Men's Health: What to Wear to a Summer Wedding
Focus on Fabric
Summery linen can be pricey. Cotton pieces, though, are smart and affordable investment dressing, says Tom Julian, style expert and author of Nordstrom Guide to Men's Style. "The jacket and the pants can be worn/used separately after the wedding," he says. To catch her eye, look for a solid, tailored cotton suit -- khaki, cream, gray, or navy are all summer wedding-approved colors. Check out these cotton options from Express for ideas.
Give an Experience
If you've got the money -- but refuse to succumb to $100 plates on the registry -- consider gifting them yearly passes to a museum in their city, or season tickets to a sporting event, says Kellee Khalil, founder of wedding inspiration website, Lover.ly.
Do Your Hotel Research
Ah, the room blocks -- the whole bridal party on one floor of an old Holiday Inn -- sounds perfect at first, until you go broke. "It's a shock, but the room blocks are not always the best way to go," says Frugoli. "You can usually get cheaper rooms at the same hotel by using a travel website." Call beforehand or check out Hotels.com or Travelocity, Frugoli urges.
More from Men's Health: Survive Your Buddy's Wedding
weddings: creating your perfect day
Celebrity engagements are so much fun to follow because every detail is bound to be over-the-top — from the proposal (like when Kanye rented out an entire stadium to propose to Kim) to the huge, sparkly engagement ring and, of course, the wedding. Plus, as trendsetters, celebs can be a source of inspiration even if you can't afford a million dollar ring. Here are our celebrity wedding predictions for 2014.
We’re not making this up. Some couples are looking for ways to include marijuana in their wedding day plans – from cannabis reception centerpieces to special brownies at the bridal shower. And while we don’t expect it to become as popular as, say, the signature drink at cocktail hour, many of the Colorado and Washington state-based wedding planners and experts we talked to gave us reason to believe that we can expect to see more of it over the next year.
The great outdoors provides a glorious backdrop — and a wealth of decorating inspiration — for an unforgettable New Hampshire wedding. For the most impact in an outdoor setting, use intense colors.
Let your guests dine in style! From galvanized buckets to glass hurricanes, these ideas for floral arrangements, candle groupings, and more will put the finishing touches on your big day.
Make the most of your money with these tips from wedding experts.
No, you don’t have to ask your estranged sister to be a bridesmaid. Yes, there are people you won’t be inviting to the wedding who deserve a call. As you spend the coming months walking on air while planning your wedding, here’s what all engaged girls should know about wedding etiquette so you can navigate the trickiest (and most common) social situations, avoid any bridal buzzkills, and waltz through your engagement like the graceful lady you are.
Groom's garment hand-delivered.
Make the bride-to-be feel special with our tips for themes, table settings, favors, and recipes.
Even if you’re mentally prepared to sift through china patterns, registering for everything you’ll need for the rest of your life—the fun stuff and the essentials—can be overwhelming. With all of that pressure, you’re bound to forget a towel or two.
Looking for a memorable way to propose? (After all, it is a moment you'll both remember for the rest of your lives.) One of these might just be perfect.
Worried about the groom getting cold feet? There's an insurance policy for that.