Looking for ways to make your wedding more affordable will certainly be appreciated by your guests. It's not just couples and their parents who spend a lot on weddings; when you add up the costs of outfits, hotels, travel and gifts, being a guest can be pretty expensive. So here are some ways to make your wedding more affordable for friends and family …
One of the ways to make your wedding more affordable is to tell your guests that you don't want gifts. Wedding gifts were originally intended to help a young couple set up home. However, many newlyweds have already lived together, and have everything they actually need (rather than want). Invite your guests because you want them at your wedding, not so that they will buy you luxuries.
Travelling to a wedding can be time-consuming and expensive for guests. Consider holding your wedding at a venue that most guests can easily reach. Some couples decide to get married overseas, and justify it by reasoning that people can combine the wedding with a holiday. This will be very costly for guests though, so save them money and pick a more convenient venue (or invite fewer guests).
The bridal jury is out on whether a bride should pay for her bridesmaids' dresses, hair and makeup. You might think it's a privilege to invite friends to be your bridesmaid, but it may mean that they incur a lot of expenses. Consider reducing the costs for them by paying for all or most of the costs. After all, you want the wedding, so it may be fair that you pay for it.
A careful choice of venue can save your guests a lot of money as well. Don't pick a very plush, expensive venue where the guests will feel pressured to dress up and arrive in expensive cars. Also avoid expecting your guests to stay in an expensive hotel - choose an area with budget options for accommodation, or pick somewhere in everyone's local area (if possible).
If your guests do need or want to stay in a hotel overnight, you can reduce their room rates by negotiating a block booking. This is a great way of saving your guests money on accommodation (but wait until they have confirmed, so that you know how many rooms you are likely to need). The hotel gets guaranteed bookings and guests get a discount on their room rate.
Themed weddings are fun but can be just as expensive as a more conventional wedding for the guests. They will have to hire an outfit or put together a costume that they will most likely never use again. An outfit for a "normal" wedding can be worn again, and many guests will already have something suitable in their wardrobe.
Finally, bachelorette parties can add another unwanted expense for those guests invited. Rein in the temptation to organise expensive weekend trips and days out. These can end up costing hundreds of dollars - and that's not even including the expense the same guests will incur for the actual wedding.
Some of the most memorable weddings cost very little. If you want to spend a small fortune, that's your choice, if you can afford it. But you shouldn't expect your guests to spend a lot of money just because you want to celebrate. Keep in mind how much your wishes would cost them. Do you think that it's getting too expensive to attend weddings?
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