Weddings: Keeping the costs down for your guests

Over the years I’ve been a guest at many weddings. I’ve been to very formal society affairs and quite easy-going dos. And I’ve been to my own wedding which was, of course, just wonderful!

These days the happy couple has so many places to choose from. I did notice the other day that you can get married at The Law Society. Handy for busy barristers. You can just nip out in your lunch break, walk a few hundred yards down Chancery Lane and Bingo!

Or if you fancy venturing further afield you could go as far as John Adam Street next to the Savoy and do the deed at the Royal Society of Arts. Does seem a little serious though. There’s always a chance Uncle Henry will believe he’s been given the chance to deliver a lecture on Post-Impressionism and its roll in our downfall.

In my home city, Edinburgh, I much prefer the idea of getting married at Edinburgh Zoo or even better inside The Scotch Whiskey Experience – that will keep Uncle Henry quiet for sure! But of course the most popular places to get married over the last decade have been, in my experience, country houses. There may be a rural church ceremony or the couple may get married at the country house itself but whichever way, getting married in a lovely rural idyll is very popular.

Now I can fully understand why country house weddings are so popular. Many young people now spend their holidays at other people’s houses in the country – either here or abroad – so it seems to be the logical next step. But before you rush off to book the perfect country house – or use one of your friends’, think a little about the logistics and the cost – not for you but for your guests!

I read an article the other day which said that each guest, on average, spends £500 just to attend the wedding. When you add in accommodation, a new outfit and wedding gifts, it’s not so much of a surprise. And while I know that the happy couple have lots to think about, it is worth considering how to help keep the costs down for the guests in this time of austerity.

Ensure that, if you are not paying for accommodation for your guests, that you have a list of accommodation in all price ranges – from nice cheap little B&Bs to luxury hotels nearby. Make sure also that you have an indication of taxi costs from the venue to all the local accommodation – not everyone will want to drive to the venue from their hotel or B&B.

Also make sure there is an option on your wedding list to allow guests to buy you vouchers – or tell everyone you are more than happy to receive vouchers from a certain store. These can be easier to manage for many people and also mean you can choose your own perfect gifts later on.

I know these are small things, but although most people love being guests at a wedding, many people also find attending weddings quite stressful. So if you can take a little heat off them, make the run up to the day a little easier, then you will have a wedding full of very happy guests!

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