Attending a friend’s wedding is an exciting opportunity, but it’s also expensive. From finding the right outfit and buying a gift to booking flights and hotel rooms, travel expenses can add up quickly! What should you do if you’ve already RSVP’d “yes,” but by the time you go to make your reservations the prices are out of control (and out of your budget)? Our experts have a few tips.
Before you call your friend to let her know you can’t go to her wedding after all, get in touch with other friends who will also be attending to see if they’ve made their reservations. Look into splitting a hotel room between a few people to cut costs, or consider a nearby Airbnb, which might have space for a larger group and a lower price tag. And unless the wedding is remote or in an area that doesn’t have many hotels, you can also look into nearby accommodations that are more affordable. Just be sure to plan ahead for any additional travel time getting to the ceremony venue!
Unfortunately, you can’t split airfare, but you can try to book flights that arrive around the same time as other friends who are going so you can share a cab to and from the airport (or even share a suitcase if the airline charges fees for bags). Carpooling and bunking together will definitely help lower that final total, and will hopefully reign in travel expenses far enough so that you're back in your price range.
Still pinching pennies to make it work? Keep an eye out for airline sales or changes in prices — Tuesdays are rumored to be the best day to book a flight, and some travel sites will offer a discount if you book your flight and hotel room together. But don’t wait too long! Those prices will most likely go up as the date approaches.
If you still can’t make the trip fit into your budget, let your friend know as soon as possible that you won’t be able to make it. Definitely pick up the phone instead of texting and emailing, and let her know that, while you wish you could be there, you unfortunately have to change your RSVP. Avoid the faux-pas of simply not showing up — your friend spent time and money on finding you a seat and having you as a guest, not to mention, she's been looking forward to seeing you! Simply leaving your chair empty without any head's up or explanation is almost guaranteed to lead to hurt feelings.