Charlotte: Hope you all had a relaxing bank holiday you gorgeous lot. It’s straight back in with a wee bit of Tuesday morning discussion, today specifically about being a wedding guest/how this results in the considerations you make for your own W-day invitees.
It was actually Madame Jenny that raised it, and I’m guessing being smack bang it the middle of peak big day season, a whole bunch of you are feeling the time and purse string pinch of the many affairs the summertime inevitably brings.
I’m sure I don’t need to spell out the fact I adore a good wedding. Even more so when you can make a bit of a weekend of it – book a night away, spend quality time with your friends drinking, eating and getting ever so merry. Not to mention the opportunity of sharing an important chapter of the bride and groom’s happy ever after.
And this doesn’t come cheap.
Hotel costs, travel costs, gift lists, new fashions……the bar bill. A struggle for many let alone in the current economic climate.
If I’m invited to what is one of the most significant celebrations in someones life then I’m honoured, truly. And as a guest I’ll do whatever it takes to make sure I save and/or sacrifice well in advance to ensure I’m there with bells, whistles and statement jewellery on.
But I know only too well that not everyone falls into my camp.
And I appreciate that all the saving and sacrificing in the world is genuinely not going to make things easy for some folk.
So then, as a bride what can you do to ensure your guests are under as little monetary pressure as ever?
1. If the requirement for accommodation is going to be probable include details of a range of price points in your invitation (or just drop guests an email). Most hotels are willing to offer discounts for multiple bookings/reservations in advance. One of the O’Shea Big Day stay-overs was the no frills Travel lodge – just eighteen quid a night for those booking in advance.
2. There are an abundance of gift list options available now, money/honeymoon contribution requests being a great option as guests can donate as much or as little as they can afford. For your more traditional department store type haul perhaps consider separating out your lust list to include smaller items, so for example – rather than a whole set of new fancy dinner plates maybe list them separately etc
3. Speak to your venue reference bar costs, see if they will offer a more inexpensive “house” wine or a special offer beverage. As my Nana always says – if you don’t ask you don’t get.
I have two immense weddings coming up this year, RMW Lolly’s in October and Vix’s in November – I can’t wait!!!
I’ll leave the rest of the thoughts up to the lovely Jenny and Miss Vix but in the meantime please do leave us your thoughts, experiences and advice in the comments column below lovelies.
Jenny: I was chatting to one of my Mummy friends the other day, about the costs involved with attending a wedding. She had just received a wedding invitation from a good friend, that not only suggested they bring their own drink, but also a plate of food as well! My initial reaction, without thinking it through and being a little bit of a Miss Judgey Pants, was to turn my nose up (yes I know, shame on me). Then when I gave it some thought and we talked some more it dawned on me that this is the sort of wedding that encapsulates everything that a wedding should be, family and friends all pulling together with a sense of community spirit and making someones wedding day a truly home made affair. I remember when planning my own Wedding how the older generation would all tell me how forty/fifty years ago, weddings weren’t all fancy schmancy like they were these days, how everyone would pull together to make the food and and the reception would be in someones house, or a pub, and they would all make their own clothes. I always warmed towards this idea, but felt it wasn’t something we could pull off.
What charmed me more about my friends wedding invitation, was that ‘Fancy Dress is Optional’ (and Chickens and Bee’s are encouraged, seeing as they keep them at home as a hobby!) What my mind conjures up is a wedding day full of love and laughter, and community spirit, and a day that truly reflects who the couple are. And of course the cost of attending such a wedding is minimal.
When it comes to being a guest, we all generally just suck up the costs involved, because we love the people who are getting hitched, and it’s generally a once in a lifetime opportunity! We were honoured to have guests fly in from Sweden and Australia especially for our big day, and we had guests come from up and down the country too, all having to pay out for hotel costs and what not. It is an expense for them there’s no denying it, new outfits, hair, feminine ablutions like spray tans and such like, it all adds up, but that’s part of the fun!
I think living in Hong Kong, in my little expat bubble, I am missing the wedding season in the UK. The last wedding I went to, was my own, and I think I am ready to buy a ridiculously expensive dress and get ridiculously sore feet from dancing with Uncle Knob-head all night.
I am having wedding withdrawals!
Vix: I love a good wedding, especially when it’s a very close friend, I always buy a new dress… I can’t help it! This year I spent a small fortune on one dress for all three weddings we were invited to and outfits for the hens too. I really don’t need to buy new gowns as I have loads but I always do because there is something about donning a new outfit, it makes me feel so good!
From the perspective of being a bride very soon, I am conscious that it all adds up what with two hen do’s, hotels, outfits and gifts I do feel a bit guilty as I know where we are getting married is not inexpensive… but I do feel that if people really want to come along then they will do everything they can to make it as that’s what ‘real friends’ do. We have had a couple of people turn down our invite because they are broke and I understand that it’s not cheap but there are ways of making it more reasonable and like I say, if you really want to go to an event then you plan for it.
We have suggested a range of accommodation for all budgets and have pulled out all the stops for our family and close friends to be wined, dined and have an absolute blast so hopefully they won’t mind spending money on a hotel for the night if they need to.
Most couples give more than enough notice for people to save up and I really don’t just expect gifts or for people to buy new clothes, just the fact that they are there means the world to me. I hate, hate, hate to say it but sometimes a wedding shows you who your real friends are, nothing is too much – I cherish my amazing friends.
Big New Shoes Love
Charlotte, Jenny and Vix xxx