Prioritizing your values may help you save money. So, if being present at the wedding is most important, you may be able to trim expenses in these categories:
— Lodging and travel: If possible, choose a cheaper accommodation than what the couple suggested, or crash with a local connection. Split costs with other guests by sharing a vacation rental or driving together. Pay for fewer nights by skipping the night-before dinner and arriving the day of the wedding.
— Bachelor and bachelorette parties, showers and other related events: It’s OK to politely pass on these events if you give plenty of heads-up.
— Gifts: Matt J. Goren , a Chicago-based certified financial planner , suggests simply giving what you can, which will be easier to determine after checking your finances. “If someone is going to think you’re a bad friend because you only gave them what you could afford, then they’re not that good of a friend,” says Goren, who’s the CFP program director at The American College of Financial Services.