Wedding planning involves many moving parts, but one of the biggest, and possibly most important, is the financial considerations. If you're in the throes of planning your wedding, you've probably created a budget and considered how to save money while still creating your dream day.
But what about your wedding guests? Whether they are local or traveling, guests and wedding attendants spend a considerable amount of money when it comes to supporting you on your big day.
So how can a bride and groom cut costs for their wedding guests? Elyssa Kirkham, Financial Expert for Student Loan Hero, shared her tips with us.
Photo by Gerald Friedrich
Managing their own wedding budget is a big part of planning a wedding, and something couples should be aware of. But they should also consider how their wedding choices will affect the finances of their guest and wedding parties, too.
Be flexible about your wedding party’s attire. A formal ensemble is no longer a must-have for modern weddings, and you can use that to your advantage when looking for ways to limit your wedding party’s costs. For groomsmen, consider choosing a common suit color such as gray or black that the guys are likely to already own, and wear matching or coordinated ties.
Similarly, you can choose a color family and let bridesmaids choose their own dresses. This allows each bridesmaid to choose a dress that suits their style and their budget. By choosing their own dress, they might also have less need to get it tailored or fitted — so you save even more. You can ask that they let the bride-to-be preview the dress before making the final selection, if you’d like.
Let bridesmaids do their own makeup. Many brides and bridal parties get their hair and makeup professionally done. But this service can add up. Ask your bridal party what they’d prefer before enlisting the services of a stylist and obligating your bridesmaids to split the cost. Your bridesmaids might be perfectly happy to do their own hair and makeup, or each others’.
Avoid destination weddings or bachelor/bachelorette parties. One of the quickest ways to make participating in or attending your wedding too expensive is to require everyone to travel. While you might have dreamed of a destination wedding, you should consider your loved ones’ financial situations and whether it will be realistic to expect everyone to pay for airfare and lodging for your big day. Choosing a venue in your city will avoid many of those problems.
Flying to Vegas for a big pre-wedding bash can also be a budget-buster. To ease up on costs for your wedding party, shoot for fun staycation-style bachelor and bachelorette parties. You can find affordable events and activities in your area that can be just as fun and memorable, without the added costs of a plane ticket, gas, or hotels.
Set a one-gift policy. A wedding can include multiple events, from an engagement dinner to a bridal shower, reception, and so on. Some guests might feel obligated to bring a gift to each event, which could quickly add up. If you’re concerned about this, consider adding a line on each invitation clarifying the gift policy. You might prefer no gifts at an engagement dinner, for example. Or you could clarify at your bridal shower that the invitees there don’t need to provide an additional gift at your reception."