Between airfare, hotel rooms, childcare, gifts, and attire, attending a wedding gets expensive quickly. If you're worried about your friends and family incurring costs that are too high, or else not attending your wedding because they can't afford to shell out so much money right now, here are some tried-and-true tips that will help your guests cut back on big-day expenses.
Book Hotel Blocks
Whether you're tying the knot far away or close to home, there will always be some guests who will need to book accommodations. That's why hotel blocks are so important—depending on the hotel, your family and friends will save anywhere from 5-40% on rack rates. If you're hosting a multi-day event or destination wedding, this savings can really add up.
Supplement Room Rates
Some couples opt to further discount hotel rates by covering a portion of room costs for their guests. Though this is not required or necessary, it's a very kind gesture if you can afford to do it.
If you're getting married in a place where there are many hotel options available, giving guests two to three options in different price points is a great way to accommodate budget differences. You might even mention rental homes as an option for your friend group if you think they'd do better to go in on something together.
If you can help your guests with transportation (either to and from the airport or to and from the wedding), it will be a welcome cost savings for your guests. If you can't afford to include shuttles, opt for a discount code through your local taxi company or get a group Uber code.
Not all parents will take advantage of childcare at the wedding, but it may be worth looking into if you know there are couples debating whether to get a babysitter for the night. You can opt to have a caregiver at the hotel for the kids or at the actual venue during the wedding.
Keep Things Simple
Today's weddings typically include a bunch of wedding-related events: an engagement party, bridal shower, bridesmaids' luncheon, bachelor/ette parties, the rehearsal dinner, welcome cocktails, wedding-day activities, and a day-after brunch. Not only does this mean a lot of time and travel for guests, it also means they're purchasing a lot of outfits and accessories, and likely spending money on things they wouldn't otherwise be putting their cash toward. While it's nice to have all these events, keeping it simple by having fewer parties is a good way to keep guests' expenses low.
Opt Out of Gifts
You don't have to register for gifts when you get married, and guests are under no obligation to purchase gifts or bring money if they can't afford to. In the interest of saving guests money, you might include a note on your wedding website that mentions "no gifts," or a heartfelt note to guests letting them know their presence is all you require.