Old friends and long distance family members reuniting. Champagne toasts under a night sky. Dancing, cocktails and most importantly, celebrating the marriage of loved ones. Weddings are fun, beautiful and — expensive. Not only can a wedding break the bank for the engaged couple, it can be a financial burden on your bridal party and guests. Fulfilling the roles of bridesmaid or groomsman, especially, can feel unnerving. Since your family and best friends' presence means the world to you and your fiancé, keep in mind the following cost-saving ideas to help make your wedding an affordable event to attend.
AttireAn outdoor, relaxed wedding doesn't have to be any less appealing and mesmerizing than an expensive and extravagant wedding. A smaller and less pricey venue and more casual fare will actually help you save, as well. Also, to attend your lovely wedding, guests can save on buying expensive gowns and traditional tuxes. Ladies can shop for more affordable wedding guest dresses in pretty floral prints or bright and colorful hues. The gentlemen can play up their looks and unique style with an unusual bow tie or plaid chambray shirt.
GiftsFrom the bachelorette party and bridal shower to bridal luncheon and wedding reception, each event seems like it requires a gift, and it can be financially tiring to guests. The lingerie, linens, and pots and pans add up. Especially if your guests are traveling from out-of-town to your destination wedding, request a no-gifts policy. Explain that their attendance and sharing this beautiful day with you and your fiancé is truly the gift itself.
An alternative to a no-gift request is to give guests the option of privately donating to your charity of choice in their name. Visit the WeddingChannel.com's charity registry online to set up your own registration. One option that the Wedding Channel provides is to tell friends and family to contribute directly as their wedding gift to you. You can choose among an extensive list of charities that may be dear to you such as the American Cancer Society, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Idofoundation.com is another charitable wedding registration for couples who want to celebrate generously and encourage guests to make wedding gift donations.
TravelIf you're having a destination wedding or live in a state that's far from a majority of your friends and family, send "save-the-dates" early so they can book cheaper flights or save according to their budget in advance. Also, reserve rooms in advance at a hotel and ask about wedding group rates. No longer are families and friends all living in the same town, so these days guests will most likely need to at least drive long-distance to attend. If your cousin doesn't have the funds to fly to your California wedding, or your best friend from college can't make your bachelorette party weekend, be empathetic. Don't take it personally if money comes between you and your loved ones sharing your wedding celebration. Remember, they probably feel worse than you do. Be understanding and love them anyway.
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