Summer is Wedding Season, guys and gals, and that means one thing: looking your best without breaking your budget. Especially as a college student, my first thought is always how much money I have. While I admit, I am a big spender and not the best at budgeting my money, I do try to keep my wedding looks within reality. While we all want to look good for the endless amount of pictures we're sure to take to remember our family and/or friend's big day, we also want to save money, especially since you still have a ton of registries to shop from. The wedding gifts are sure to be a big part of your budget so the key is to keep your looks as versatile and budget-friendly as possible so that you can shop for wedding gifts guilt-free without worrying too much about how much you're spending on your engagement party look, the bridal shower look, the wedding look, and possibly, even the bachelorette party/pre-wedding girl's trip look(s).
Obviously, no matter what you wear, the key is to not upstage the bride, but with multiple weddings and multiple events leading up to the wedding, you're sure to have a few key outfits you need on hand for any occasion.
First off, the Engagement Party/Bridal Shower looks: The key here is to have a few go-to sundresses that can be transformed to fit however fancy or unfancy it is. I've had this one Michael Kors dress since freshman year of high school that (shockingly) always fits and has worked for years for garden party bridal showers to baby showers to bridal showers in restaurants to graduation parties. I can dress it up or down with my shoes, accessories, and if I choose to wear a cardigan or not. No matter what, it always does the trick. While it was a little bit pricier than, say, a dress from a regular fast-fashion store, it has lasted me a long time and many a party. The big thing for multiple events is to invest in one or two better quality dresses or two or three lower-priced dresses that you can alternate between events so that your insta feed and friend group doesn't think you only have one dress.
The big thing about the events leading up to the wedding is that they're typically less formal so a less formal dress works perfectly for the events, (which also means cheaper!)
When it comes to the bachelorette party or a girl's trip before the wedding, go with the theme and dress for the event. Obviously, if it's a more laid back trip, your handy sundresses and some staples from your closet will do the trick. Always. Buy. Staple. Items. when preparing for wedding season. The more staple items you own, the easier it is to turn the same dress or shirt and skirt combo into a million different looks. If it's a more high-fashion or formal night or trip, dress the part, but do it budget-consciously. Instead of buying a whole new wardrobe or that $300 dress you've just gotta have, closet-swap with friends! If you don't have something, I'm sure one of your gal pals has it or something similar to achieve the same look you're going for. Another tip is look at thrift stores and cheaper stores. While the clothes may not hold quality for a long time, it just gives you another reason to go shopping again next wedding season when fashion trends change anyways- and you never know what goodies you might find in a thrift store! While I'm not a huge thrifter myself (I lack the patience it takes to find the true hidden gems), a bunch of my friends swear by it and they always look good!
And for the grand finale- the wedding!!! Unless you're in the bridal party, you typically have to/get to pick your own fabulous look for the occasion, and sometimes, that can be a bit of a hassle from wedding to wedding. This look is obviously going to be your most glamorous look of all the looks, but that doesn't mean that you can't serve looks on a budget! Again, the key is either investing in one or two higher-quality dresses or two or three cheaper dresses and rotate them between events. Nobody said you can't recycle a look, just time them accordingly! For my cousin's wedding in May, I recycled my senior prom dress I got from David's Bridal and wore it and it still fit amazingly and I got so many compliments on it! If you haven't given it away or sold it yet, dust off that babysitting in the back of your closet and give her another twirl! Another biggie, again, is closet-swapping! Grab your besties and if you all happen to amazingly be the same, or similar sizes, sharing and lending each other dresses for events is always the way to go to save money and have a bigger supply to choose from (just make sure you return the dresses looking pristine. Good dresses are hard to find- and expensive!)
No matter what you wear on your loved one's big day and any events leading up to it, the important thing is that you're there to celebrate them and their love no matter what. So stop stressing about what you're wearing and enjoy it! At least now, you know how to do so on a budget! So go and splurge on that personalized gift your BFF is absolutely dying for and is sure to love- they deserve it and your wallet will still be in one piece afterward to charge forth into the next wedding!
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