No Need To Sell A Kidney: Top Tips For Cash-Strapped Wedding Guests

By cynthia

December 20, 2016 at 12:10am


All of a sudden, without warning, our pesky friends are getting engaged.

Honestly, they’re being picked off one by one, and while we’re happy for them, our bank balances are begging for mercy.

Cash that used to go on important stuff like rent and loans and ASOS binges is now being earmarked for weddings – hundreds of ‘em – and unlike dodgy vodka in an even dodgier offie, they don’t come cheap.

Here’s how to get through all those wedding invites without selling a kidney…

Stags and hens

  • Lavish, expensive hens and stags are an unnecessary pain in the arse if you ask us. If you can’t afford it, there’s no shame in respectfully declining.
  • Splitting the bill evenly is murder when you’re down to your last beans. Why should you fork out for Cousin Leslie’s steak and endless cocktails when you’ve only had salad and a glass of wine? We Irish are terrified of being seen as stingebags but we are giving you express permission to just say no.
  • Encourage some hotel room pre-quaffing so you’re well on your way by the time you hit the town.


  • Lots of taxi apps offer free spins or money off for new users or referrals, so get downloading and ask your mates to do the same.
  • Hit up flight price comparison sites like Skyscanner as far in advance as possible to determine which airlines are cheapest.
  • Shop for flights on Tuesdays. According to a study by it’s the best day for grabbing cheap fares.
  • Sign up to nifty site to receive alerts on the best value flights around the world.
  • Ask your Mam or Dad for a lift. Put on a hangdog ‘I’m so poor’ expression, one so pathetic it will tug on their too-soft-for-their-own-good heartstrings.

Getting dickied up

  • Shop smart. Spend on neutral accessories that can be repurposed again and again – for example nude shoes and a smart jacket for ladies, a good quality blazer that can be mixed and matched with different shirts and chinos for the guys.
  • Renting isn’t only for blokes. Shops like Covet in Powerscourt Townhouse, Starla on South William Street (above) and Cari’s Closet in Malahide have a brilliant selection of swanky gowns for hire.
  • Restrain yourself. You really don’t have to buy something new for every wedding you go to. It’s madness. Look, just c’mere and givus your credit card, we’ll mind it.
  • Penneys’ menswear is getting better by the day. It’s a misconception that guys are happy to wear the same suit to every wedding – hit up good ‘ol Pennsers for a cheap and cheerful wedding wardrobe update.


  • First and foremost, find out if wedding guests get a special rate.
  • Don’t be afraid to be a chance your arm for a better rate or ask for a couple of extras.
  • Hotels pay booking engines a good portion of the rate you pay – if you visit the hotel’s website and book directly, oftentimes you can get a cheaper price or a free breakfast.
  • Stay in a hole. Look, you’re only going there to lay your head, so if you’re absolutely skint book into a cheap ass hostel for the night. You’ll be grand.
  • Airbnb it.
  • Don’t drink so you can drive ho… em, actually no, never mind that one.


  • This is the trickiest one, as most couples nowadays want cash. At least with a present you can sneakily make it look dearer than it actually was. Even so, no couple can really enforce a cash only rule so gowan, just buy a feckin’ present and be done with it.
  • Get a group of likeminded friends to pool money together to get something really impressive. You might put in half what you would in a card, but it will look like so much more. Unless they, ahem, wanted cash.
  • Find out where they’re having their honeymoon and call the hotel in advance to order a bottle of wine and some chocolates, or pay for their dinner. It won’t cost the earth and will be a lovely surprise. Unless they, ahem, wanted cash.
  • Go down the sentimental route. Couples love personalised keepsakes that will remind them of their day. Commission a designer to make them a unique print – Etsy and have heaps of brilliant options at reasonable prices. I got this one for my own wedding from Dublin-based designer April and the Bear.
  • Just get them a toaster for the laugh. Please. And let us know what they say in their thank you card.