Cover Charge: Can I solicite financial aid from friends and family to help pay for my wedding?

Q: I am getting married next September and my fiance and I are inviting around 100 guests.  We are paying for the wedding ourselves and are realizing the financial burden that it will soon become.  Is there a tactful way to indicate to our close friends and family. but not our guests, that we are in need of sponsorships or financial help in paying for the wedding?



A: No, you can not charge people to attend your wedding nor do you ask them for financial help.  As hard as it is, instead you need to scale back your plans to something you can afford, even if that means cutting your list in half.  You should only plan what is realistically feasible.


  1. Alicia

    A non meal time coffee and cake reception can be cheaper. Also friends of mine did a wedding brunch that allowed them to have a lot cheaper reception while still including everyone they wished.

  2. Vanna Keiler

    The most practical thing to do is set a budget that is realistic for you and your fiancee (e.g. one where you will not need to be bailed out financially once the bills start coming in), and then, as EPI response suggested, start with a “mandatory guest list” and add people as you can afford it, depending on your venue. As Alicia suggested, find a venue and wedding format you can afford. It involves doing some homework, groundwork and legwork to see what is available and what is within your means.
    Start with the venue and list every venue down you can consider (e.g. your backyard/wedding hall in your city/church banquet room, etc). and by process of elimination and budget you should whittle it down to some viable options you can live with. Good luck! :)

  3. Suzie Roberts

    I agree that you SHOULD NOT ask for financial help with your wedding. Scale back as much as you need to if you want all 100 guests to attend. Ways to do that are:
    Rent the flowers (silk)
    Brides maids can rent dresses these days
    use a photographer who is about to graduate from school. They are just gettting thier feet wet and would probably do it cheap
    Who says you have to have a fancy dress?
    Brunch might be a less expensive alternative like the person previous mentioned
    Hair and make up? Go to a nice beauty college. We have Paul Mitchel in my town and those girls do a great job.
    If you book a hall or venue on a Friday night, big cut in cost there too.
    Tons of ways to cut corners. Just have to find where you want to cut back.
    My dad always said…… You cannot have champagne taste on a beer budget.

  4. MsRickie

    Although the other ladies have addressed your question with helpful suggestions, they seem to have done so in a politically correct way. So let me be blunt, what you are suggesting is very tasteless and tacky. I guarantee a good majority of your guests would be offended by you asking. If you can’t afford the wedding and you are not receiving financial assistance from your parents (I don’t believe they are obligated to help) common sense would suggest that you find ways to cut corners. Are 100 guests really necessary? Maybe you should have a less formal reception, or go to the court house for a civil ceremony. I just got engaged in January and I am planning to go to the courthouse in December because I think weddings are mostly for show. People spend a fortune on one day to impress others. Personally, I would rather spend that money on a house and nice honeymoon than a wedding, but to each his own. Remember the marriage (which hopefully will last a lifetime) is what’s most important not the wedding for one day.

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