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Being a wedding guest costs $628 on average, according to a Bankrate survey. That’s a lot of money to shell out, especially if you’re in your prime wedding-attendee years and go to a few a year.

There are ways to save without looking like a penny-pincher or causing etiquette problems:

Travel
Getting to the wedding and back is probably the biggest expense. Solve this by giving your RSVP as early as possible and book flights and hotels early. Look for package deals and try to extend your stay and make a vacation out of the trip.

The wedding party hotel may offer a block rate for wedding guests. Or look into renting a home with friends or moving to cheaper accommodations after the event.

For flights, booking immediately may not save you the most money. Some destinations regularly have last-minute deals, or you may have airline miles to use for a free flight.

Gifts
The average guest spends about $100 for each item from the registry. Look for less costly items on the registry that fit your budget, and personalize them.

For a more substantial gift, consider going in with a group on big-ticket items such as expensive appliances, furniture or a honeymoon.

You can also pick a gift that isn’t on the registry. Write a nice note and send them a picture frame, which could mean a lot more than an expensive gift.

Even if you don’t plan on attending the wedding, you should still send a gift. It’s a way to say thanks for being invited and offer your congratulations on this big event in their lives. No matter how small, a gift with thought and meaning behind it says a lot about you.

Clothes
Men have it easier than women when buying clothes to wear to a wedding. A tuxedo can be rented or bought and worn at numerous events, and a good suit can last years.

For women, wearing the same dress may not be an option they want to deal with. Instead, women can search online for clothing rental sites and rent an outfit for a wedding that will make them stand out from the crowd.

Rentals can include accessories such as jewelry and clutches that guests may not be able to afford on their own. Renting a dress can be smarter and cheaper than buying a dress that sits in the back of a closet for years.

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