Tuesday, August 10, 2010

$$$ saving tips for wedding guests

Tommy and I were concerned about the cash our guests would have to drop in order to attend our wedding.  We brainstormed big time to try and off-set some of these costs for them.  Here is list of 5 money saving tips for wedding guests

1. Hotel Discounts - Call hotels in the area of your wedding and set up a block of rooms for your guests - oftentimes hotels will offer a discount for wedding parties.  The hotel that we contacted gave a HUGE discount to our guests - this was most helpful as our wedding was during a holiday weekend when hotels up their prices! 

2. Welcome Dinner - these dinners do not have to be lavish, we had a BBQ!  We wanted to include as many guests as we could smuggle into the venue as we had soooo many out of town guests.  Serving a simple, yet festive welcome dinner the night before the wedding can be a FUN way to bring new people together.   Don't be nervous about low budget cuisine...you will be wining and dining your guests AGAIN at your wedding! 

3. Alcohol - a full open bar is not a requirement for weddings...it's really not.  They are always awesome, and I always love them, but I certainly never expect them.  One way to provide adult beverages to your guests without spending an arm and leg is to provide either a wine only bar, or a wine/beer bar, or even a signature drink (like martinis, sangria or mojitos!)   We had an open wine/beer bar where guests to could literally purchase anything their taste buds desired, but if they wanted our selections of wine (we provided 4) or our local brew (we bought 1 keg) the drinks were on us!  This was perfect...we felt like our friends could party on our tab, and it was thousands cheaper than having a full open bar.  Everyone wins!

4. Registry - our registry was used by so many of our guests.  We were careful to include the bulk of our wish list in the $20 - $40 range.  This gave people the option to buy us the items we really wanted and needed and were in a price range that most people would feel comfortable with.

5.  Car rentals - as our wedding was a destination wedding, the majority of our guests traveled from out of state (and out of the country!) to celebrate with us.  This meant that our friends and family would need to rent cars and coordinate rides.  We put our friends into contact with each other so they could share rides and split the cost of car rentals.  This was golden!!

Do you have any $$$ saving tips for guests??


  1. Thank you for posting this! We're in the middle of trying to make everything as cost-friendly as possible for our guests and we're using all of these strategies (except we're having an open beer and wine bar, since our site doesn't allow hard liquor at all. Score!)

    Another for the hotels, if people don't like the room block location: tell them to try booking through Priceline using "name your own price" We just got a 4 star hotel (the W) in Portland for $90/night on Labor Day weekend. You can pick your part of town, the number of stars, and your max price.

    Also, there are a ton of coupons for car rentals out there at sites like retailmenot.com and rentalcarmomma.com

    Lastly, we're probably including a page on our website where people can comment and coordinate on rides, hotel rooms, etc.

  2. Another even cheaper way to provide some alcohol for your guests but not pay thousands is to have a His and Hers beer samplers or wine flights. We're having beer samplers at our wedding next month and we are only covering those beers in the samplers, and enough for everyone to have 1 of each. It could easily be done with wine as well. We're having a wedding at high elevation, and this also controls speed at which people will drink keeping them from getting drunk too quickly, but without them feeling like WE are restricting them...they're on their own for the other beer and wine.


  3. Good stuff! We did wine/ beer/ signature cocktail + plus fun fruit juices and non-alcoholic bevs), and that seemed to work fine... there was plenty of alcohol flowing, but people weren't getting smashed.

    We also pointed people to accommodations at a variety of price points: free camping in the national park (I don't think anyone actually took us up on that); hostel accommodations @ $40/night; hotels @ $90-$200/night. In the end, though, it seemed like a lot of people stayed with friends, since nearly everyone has (or wants to have!) a friend in the Bay Area.

  4. I couldn't agree more about the block of rooms. For our wedding we were able to swing an insanely low rate that made it so much easier on guests.

    We also did a brunch at the hotel the morning after the wedding, so between the night before dinner for out of towners and family, the wedding, the cheap hotel and the brunch, I think it was helpful.

    Oh! and a really nice welcome basket with snacks for the room so they don't have to use the mini-bar :)

  5. We put a good number of out-of-town friends into "guest room lodging" arrangements for our wedding. My best woman/bff/apartment-mate hosted two of my other girl friends at our apartment, my parents had myself and my brothers, along with my brother's out of town girlfriend. Several of my hubby's crew stayed with him (at a hotel room, actually), and even more out-of-town-ers stayed with friends. It worked out really well, saved most of our "student status" folks from having to spring for a hotel room or rental cars, and let folks get a chance to catch back up with friends or meet new ones that we thought would be compatible. It ended up working out well.

  6. Our wedding was a destination wedding, as well - we are based out of LA, got married in Estes Park, Colorado, and had people fly in from LA, Omaha, and Chicago areas. The restricting the bar to wine/beer only is great in theory, but since people were traveling from so far we really wanted to offer a full bar. We didn't include premium wines, however.

    We hosted a casual send-off breakfast in the morning, too. This wasn't of much cost to us - though we did include champagne, we bought donuts in bulk from a popular local bakery, coffee cake from the grocery store, and fruit in bulk from the grocery store. It turned out to be a success, and it was a great way to send off our guests without having to worry where to grab a bit to eat on their way out of the mountains.



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