Personal Finance Round-Up: Debt-Free Wedding Season

wedding dayPresently, I have about half a dozen wedding invites or save-the-date cards on my kitchen counter. Some are for family members, while others are from friends, colleagues, or people my wife knows. While theĀ  jury’s still out on how many of these ceremonies we’ll be attending, at least I know we’re not alone. Summer is the most popular season for weddings in America, followed by fall. In fact, each of the summer months are among the top six for weddings.

As many of us already know weddings are expensive – whether you’re the bride and groom, or just a guest. Last year, couples spent an average of $27,000 on their big day. Bridesmaids also spend a pretty penny to take part, as Suzanne Cramer notes on the blog, Enemy of Debt. In her post Survive Wedding Season Debt-Free, Suzanne gives us the shocking numbers on just how much the average bridesmaid spends to be in a wedding: a whopping $1,695, according to a 2010 survey. From the dress, to the shoes, to the gifts, to the bridal shower and bachelorette party, the costs are seemingly endless.

Whether you’re tying the knot, a member of the wedding party, or a guest, here are some other articles that can help you navigate the wedding season stress-free and debt-free:

How Much Do You Think Is Reasonable to Pay for an Engagement Ring? [Mom’s Plans]
We’ve all heard the standard rule of thumb when it comes to engagement rings: two months’ salary. Melissa at Mom’s Plans challenges that notion, arguing that, “I think my set – the ring and the band – cost under $500. My husband asked me once if, when we reached a milestone engagement and were financially secure, I would like a different, flashier ring. I don’t.”

10 Short Years of Marriage [Bible Money Matters]
Peter writes a moving tribute to his wife of 10 years, reminiscing about their shared lives together and what they’ve learned about each other and about marriage. This is what earning money is all about – to enjoy it with the ones we love.

My Five-Year Anniversary Gift [Money Beagle]
While we’re talking about anniversaries, let’s talk about gifts. The traditional gift for a fifth wedding anniversary is something made from wood – but what about for your fifth anniversary with your employer? “I wasn’t expecting anything, but I got an email that I was eligible to choose a commemorative gift to acknowledge the service.”

How I Did It: Held a 100-Person Wedding for Under $4,000 [LearnVest]
“From lovely outdoor weddings where tent rentals ran up to $20,000, to charming hotel affairs that cost $175 per person, I knew that a conventional wedding wasn’t for us,” says Abigail. But really – 100 people for $4,000? You won’t believe the unique ways she found to cut costs without cutting corners.

Do You Spend More Money in the Summertime? [DINKSĀ Finance]
I know what my answer to this question is – what’s yours? Kristina’s list of budget-busting culprits boils down to three things: nice weather, longer days, and weddings.

The 6 Best Wedding Gifts to Give [Sweating the Big Stuff]
He’s back from his honeymoon and telling (almost) all. Newlywed Daniel has his list of his favorite wedding gifts. We all know cash is king, but what’s queen, prince, and princess in his court?

Handling Financial Gifts With Strings Attached [Cash Money Life]
“Knowing whether you feel you have a right to attach strings to financial gifts will help you determine how to handle gift-giving in the future, whether you are the giver or the recipient,” states Emily. Sometimes, giving and receiving can be a little more complicated than you expect.

(photo credit: Bigstock)