Guilt. It’s not something you want associated with your wedding. It’s one of the best days of your life, and it should be a happy occasion, not one that makes people feel bad. But in this economy, some of your guests might feel bad about your wedding. Well, not the wedding itself, unless you invited your soon-to-be-husband’s ex-girlfriend.
Some of your potential wedding guests may feel bad about the fact that they can’t afford as nice as wedding gift as they’d like to give you. Or worse, that they can’t afford any of the gifts you registered for.
Wedding invitees in that situation have few options:
a) spend money they don’t have to hide the fact that they don’t have it;
b) get you something inexpensive you didn’t ask for at all and feel foolish about it;
c) skip your wedding altogether just to avoid the embarrassment of not being able to afford a gift. It doesn’t have to be that way. You’re probably trying to save money on your wedding, so why not help your guests save money on wedding gifts? Then everyone can feel good about your big day. Here’s how.
Choose Your Registry Wisely
The days of registering for china, crystal, and silver from Tiffany’s are long gone. If you run with a crowd that can afford those things without taking out a second mortgage, more power to you. But for the rest of us living in the reality of a recession, it’s not feasible to ask for those kinds of luxuries, let alone expect wedding guests to pay for them.
Plenty of stores offer wedding registries nowadays, for everything from kitchenware to lumber for the do-it-yourselfers. Choose a store with a registry that also makes discounts available on a regular basis.
For example, a Macys promo code can help your guests buy the housewares or linens on your list, and if they use the code when there’s a sale, they’ll save even more. When you let everyone know where you registered, also let them know where they can find a code. It will level the playing field quite a bit.
Ask For Charity
Most people don’t feel comfortable asking friends and family for money, unless it’s for charity. Then it’s acceptable, and comes with no guilt. Rather than asking for gifts, give your wedding guests the option to make donations to charity on your behalf.
Select a charity you like, or one your friends and family know you support. You can offer two options if you and your significant other support different causes. Donors will receive a donation acknowledgment, which they can place in a wedding card as their gift to you.
The great thing is, donation amounts are usually not disclosed, so no one will ever know whether your guest gave $5 or $500. They can still feel the satisfaction of having given you the gift you asked for, without feeling inadequate for not having given very much if they couldn’t afford to. Best of all, your favorite charity gets a windfall. Everyone wins.
No, not that kind of help, although that is the kind you may need if you’re planning your own wedding. Taking on the responsibilities of wedding planner and wedding participant is double the stress and anxiety a wedding brings. Don’t go it alone. You have an entire cadre of party planning helpers at your disposal—your guests.
Let everyone you invite know that instead of gifts, you would appreciate their help in planning the wedding. Who’s good at crafts? They can make the table centerpieces or put the favors together. Who’s the gardening enthusiast? They can work with your budget to arrange affordable and beautiful flowers for the event.
Everyone has a talent, and if they’re close enough to you to be invited to the wedding, they’ll be willing to help make it a wonderful day for you. The ones who aren’t don’t get any wedding cake.
Gifts are nice, and it’s great to have your wedding guests help you establish your household when you’re just starting out. But isn’t it more important to be able to share such an important day with those you love? Help make it easier on everyone so no one misses out, and rather than spending time exchanging gifts, you’ll be creating memories you wouldn’t trade for anything.
This guest post was written by Caroline Ruddy, who is a freelance writer pursuing her dream of being published. When not working on a manuscript, she loves exploring ways to save money on everyday things and sharing her finds with others!
Photo Credit: Howard Dickins