5 Smart Tips From Savvy Weddings Guests Slideshow

1. Give in Kind

Rather than spending money on purchasing a gift, give some thought to your talents and how you might be able to "give in kind" to the couple. Case in point: a graphic designer could offer to design wedding invitations, a tech-savvy friend could offer to assemble a photo slideshow to be shown during the reception, or a music enthusiast could offer to perform during the ceremony or DJ the party.

2. Save on Hotel Costs

If traveling out of town to attend a wedding, make sure you take advantage of preferred rate "wedding blocks" set up by the host couple at one or two hotels close to the venue. Or if a wedding block has not been arranged, call nearby hotels and ask if they offer a "Social Rate", which will usually save you $50-$100 off the typical rack rates.

3. Shop the Gift Registry Early

Don't leave your wedding gift purchase until the last minute! Shop early and save by choosing the more reasonably priced items on a registry. If you wait to the last minute, you might be stuck with paying for a pricey set of crystal or a silver tea service rather than the more reasonable set of towels.

4. Give a Group Gift

Talk to friends attending the same wedding to see if they might be game to go in on a gift together. Rather than spending $150-$200 for an individual gift for the couple, you can pool your funds (say five friends, times $100 each) and get a really GREAT gift for the couple.

5. Recycle Your Wedding Attire

At the start of each wedding season, invest in one great outfit that you can wear to multiple weddings by changing accessories for a slightly different look.