Surviving 11 Weddings

wedding-guestDear DailyWorth,
Help! I have 11 weddings to attend this summer and fall—but I can’t afford 11 presents, never mind numerous shower gifts, bachelorette parties, hotel stays. Is there a budget-friendly solution?
—Overwhelmed by Weddings

Dear Overwhelmed,
We feel your pain (and your wallet's). Here, some answers:

  • Go by the book. Wedding etiquette says that you have one full year from the date of the wedding in which to buy a gift. If you can't afford it now, wait (hint: and set up a gift budget).
  • Prioritize your peeps. In this Facebook era, could your high school debate partner track you down—and invite you to her wedding? Alas, yes. Are you obligated to attend the happy day of someone you barely remember? No. Must you send a gift, as tradition dictates? Not at all. It would be polite to send a card, but a gift is not required for distant connections.
  • Spend smart. Many people worry that you should spend on the gift approximately what the bridal couple spends on you. Etiquette experts say: The size of your gift is determined by your budget, not someone else's.
  • Save a little. It would be tough to budget for immediate events, but start saving a little extra each week for those late-summer and fall weddings. Hint: Scour our saving section for painless ways to put extra cash back in your wallet.

Your 2 cents: What would you advise Ms. Overwhelmed to do?