Before an RSVP, know the cost to attend

I’m all for a good Birthday party, Holiday party, or Wedding, but did you ever stop to consider the cost to attend when invited to one of these events? It’s a complicated item to try to capture within a budget because of the random nature of these type of invites. So many factors to consider making it very difficult to preplan, things like location, attire, gift, etc.


If the event is hosted at someone’s house, some casual attire will be fine, something you probably already own, if it’s a bigger party at a catering hall or county club you may need to dress up a bit. You might even need to purchase a new outfit. Weddings are typically formal and require a proper dress, better check, and make sure the suit still fits.

You could consider buying an outfit and returning it, a term the retail industry has coined wardrobing, many retailers consider it fraud. So you might want to think twice about it and understand the stores return policy.


Transportation or travel might be something you need to factor in your cost to attend an event. Have you ever heard of a destination wedding? You’ll need planes tickets and a place to stay if you are invited to a wedding that is a not so local location. Let’s hope it’s tropical, but that increases the cost. Uber is a great option to use when attending an event where you might be drinking.


Once you get the wardrobe, and transportation worked now, it’s time to move on to the present. Gift registries can make decision making easy if there are gifts within your budget.

Cash seems to be king as Wedding gifts, and the rule of thumb is the better you know the bride and groom the more money you should give. With milestone Birthdays, you may consider giving the amount of cash the person is turning.

Whatever you decide, you again need to factor it into your budget. So before you enjoy a drink, a slice of cake or whack at the pinata, you need to consider the cost to attend and how much cold hard cash you are willing to part with.


Now there are undoubtedly low-cost options for clothes places like thrift stores and consignment shops. You could travel hack your way travel saving with reward points, too. Ultimately you could decline the invite and not attend at all, eliminating the cost to attend altogether but what’s the fun in that.