How to Make Weddings More Affordable for Your Guests

wedding guests

Planning a wedding can get pretty expensive, especially when you have to pay for it yourselves, but no one ever talks about how expensive weddings can be for your guests. Unfortunately, you will get to the age where all of your relatives and friends start getting married at the same time and it won’t be uncommon to attend at least four or five weddings each spring and summer season. When you estimate all the money spent on clothes, travel, lodging, and gifts for these events, it can get costly for wedding guests. There are few ways that you, the bride and groom, can make it a little more affordable for everyone involved.

Location: As soon as your ready to decide when and where to have your wedding, keep your guests in mind. Try to select a place that’s close to you and most of your guests in order to minimize travel costs. Destination weddings can be really fun, but it can get quite pricey, even for your guests. Try to keep things simple.

Wedding Dates: As for the date, this is a little harder to decide upon. You could save quite a bit of money by opting to have your wedding on a week night, rather than a Friday or Saturday, but this may be a big inconvenience to your guests. Not everyone has the same amount of vacation days and by choosing a week night for your wedding, it could result in your guests having to take time off from work. Try to choose a date near a holiday when you know a lot of people will have time off. Thanksgiving, New Year’s, and the fourth of July are just a few holidays that could work.

Lodging: If your location is close to most of your guests, hopefully you won’t have any issues in this area, but if not, you can certainly make it easier and more affordable for your guests. Try to book hotel room blocks as soon as possible. A lot of hotels will give you a deal on the room prices if you book a block at a time. Try to let your guests know of several lodging options in the area, including motels, bed and breakfasts, campgrounds, etc. Another great idea is to be aware of guests looking to share motel rooms or lodging costs. By connecting some of your single guests with other single guests, this could save them quite a bit of time and money.

Wedding Gifts: There are several ways you could save your guests money when it comes to wedding gifts. One way would be to register for various priced items so all your guests have several options they can afford. Another idea that is gaining popularity is accepting donations to one of your favorite charities as gifts. Each guest can choose how much to donate and it’s all for a good cause, something both you and your guests can feel good about. Finally, a gift that would benefit both you and your guests is to ask you for help with the wedding. A friend of mine had her cousin make her veil for the wedding and this was the cousin’s wedding gift to the bride. This saved my friend a bunch of money by not having to purchase an expensive veil and it saved the cousin money on a wedding gift. Sometimes the best gift you can give (and receive) is help.

Elope: If all else fails, elope. This not only saves your guests money, but it will save you money as well. If you still want to celebrate with friends and relatives after you get married, throw a big party. This is much easier and cheaper to plan compared to a wedding reception. Besides, maybe if you save your guests money on attire, travel, and lodging they might have more money to spend on a better wedding gift.

Weddings can be very expensive for everyone involved, so whatever you do, remember this is your big day, but try to keep your guests in mind. You can’t make everyone happy, but you can certainly try. If you are planning a wedding, you might check out, How to Have a Beautiful Wedding on a Budget for some great ways on how to save money for yourself as well.

Image courtesy of Heather

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5 Responses to How to Make Weddings More Affordable for Your Guests

  1. Amy F. says:

    Don’t make your bridesmaids and groomsmen pay for expensive attire. I don’t see why the people you care about most should have to pay money to do you the honor of participating in your wedding. Either let them wear something that has multiple uses, like a black dress with black sandals, or eat the cost yourself.

  2. I have been in multiple weddings and it always upsets me when the bride (because the groom doesn’t usually care) chooses clothing for the wedding party that is expensive. As long as they don’t look bad no one cares what the wedding party is wearing.

    My wife and I were both in a wedding for some friends of ours. We spent over $500 when all was said and done (dress, shoes, tux, travel, etc.). And the bride was kind of incensed that we did not buy a formal gift. We just couldn’t afford anything else for their wedding.

  3. Eileen M. says:

    The advice about holiday wedding travel is off the mark. Weddings around holidays (especially Christmas) can put a real crunch in an already over-taxed holiday budget. My husband and I have been asked to stand up in a Christmastime wedding for a bride who’s just begun planning. (Yes, that would be Christmas 2007.)

    The cost of the dress and tux (and the accompanying rush order charges), on top of our Christmas expenses, the new tires and a new heater core we desperately need for our car, my son’s new glasses (not covered by insurance) and the year-end taxes (I’m self-employed) will undoubtedly break our budget.

    If you don’t have to get married around the holidays, don’t!

  4. sue says:

    I would suggest seeing if you can borrow wedding items from others. I also bought silk flowers on sale at Jo Ann (70% off bridal flowers at the end of June). I am now reusing these arrangements with my second daughter. I just got these back from friends. THey have been in 2 other weddings. I also bought hurricane lamps with candles (after Christmas white at Kohl’s 80% off).
    Invitations can be bought at Michaels. They have a great supply. A friend is showing me how to stamp a gold emblem on them to give them a professional touch. Michaels always has a 40% off coupon weekly.
    Buy a second hand dress or rent.

    Brain storm with your daughter and family members on how to have a wonderful wedding at a lower cost.

  5. Karen says:

    I like the idea of others doing something for your wedding as their wedding gift. The great thing is most people would rather do this. It also cuts down on the price of your wedding with so many people pitching in.

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