Can you really ask people to pay to attend your wedding?

If you want your friends and family to witness the day that you married the love of your life, you’re going to need a heck load of money. Yep, it’s true. Unless you’re happy with going to the local registry office and then going to the local boozer for a pint with your new husband or wife after you exchange your vows, you will need to shell out a lot of money to have the wedding day of your dreams, with all of your friends around you. As much as we aim to help you budget your wedding and save as much as possible, it’s impossible to get a wedding for free if you’re catering for hundreds of guests – which puts you in a sticky situation if you have little money in your bank account. However, there is one way to cut the costs… You ask your guests to pay their way. But with wedding etiquette in mind, can you really ask people to pay to attend your wedding? The jury is still out.

Yes, you can totally ask them to pay!

Nowadays, more and more couples are choosing to ask their guests to pay to attend their wedding, and they sell it as if it were some kind of holiday. After all, they would pay to have a 3-course meal, free drinks, all-night disco, and hotel stay if they weren’t celebrating your nuptials – so why shouldn’t they contribute to the epic overnight adventure they’re getting to experience? While many couples agree to pay for the majority of their wedding themselves, they do often ask their guests to pay for their own meals. Buying meals for 50+ people can really rack up a hefty bill, which means that this asking guests to pay for their own dinner is a great budget hack. If you feel a little awkward asking your guests to pay their own way, you could simply ask them to contribute money instead of a wedding gift. This may work in favour of both the wedding guest and the couple. The couple aren’t receiving ANOTHER blender to add to their kitchen collection, and the guests aren’t having to think of a new and unique wedding gift that ultimately takes them to the blender section. Just a bit of cash in an envelope will do you just fine. However, asking for money as a wedding gift is a whole other wedding etiquette question to be answered

No, you most definitely can’t!

Unfortunately, not everyone is sold on the etiquette of allowing wedding guests to pay for your wedding. In their eyes, it’s the whole guest-and-host debate. If you invited your friends and family around for a dinner party, it’s basic etiquette to bring around a bottle of something fizzy or a cheese board for afters, but they do not bring along all of the ingredients for you to cook. Instead, the host buys all of the ingredients and serves it to their friends and family free of charge. That’s just how it works. In this case, if you invite your friends and family to attend your wedding and celebrate your love together, you are expected to pay all of the expenses for it. If you’re not willing to do that, then you should scale back your wedding and only invite those that you can afford. Many people are also reluctant to pay for their meal because they are not giving money to the newlywed couple. Instead, you’re putting it straight in the pockets of the hotel/venue and the caterers – who are already earning a few bob from the day itself.

So, is it within wedding etiquette guidelines to ask people to pay for your wedding? Well, that decision is down to you, I’m afraid. While it is becoming increasingly common, there are still people who do not agree with the idea – so as long as you can deal with your Uncle Dave moaning that he is out of pocket, you can save money by asking your guests to contribute.

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