Weddings can cost a pretty penny. If you’re like most engaged couples, you’ve established a clear budget and you’re sticking to it (for the most part). You also know that any chance to save means having extra funds to allocate elsewhere: the 12-piece band you want, your dream honeymoon, a starter home — the list goes on.
But as you tally up the costs, there are a few things you can leave off the list. Keep reading for four wedding expenses you can let others handle for themselves.
Wedding party attire + styling
When your loved ones say “yes” to being in your wedding party, they aren’t only signing up to stand by your side on the big day. They also agree to take on the associated costs, including their dresses, suits, tuxedos, shoes, and accessories.
“The wedding party is typically responsible for paying for their own attire, including dresses, suits, and tuxedos,” confirms Mary Angelini of Key Moment Films. “However, the couple may choose to cover the cost of accessories or offer to reimburse their wedding party for any alterations-related expenses.”
Likewise, Lilia Shatnaya of Plume and Stone Invitation Studio notes that “the couple is not responsible for the wedding party’s hair and makeup.”
However, Nora Sheils of Rock Paper Coin and Bridal Bliss offers one caveat to this rule: “If you require something beyond the attire, such as a specific styling, beauty, or pair of shoes, you should cover that cost.”
With that said, you can always choose to contribute to their expenses as a kind gesture. However, it’s not required, nor should it be expected by your wedding party members!
Wedding party gifts
While it’s common to give out gifts to the wedding party, this practice is not a necessary step on the way to the aisle.
“While it is a nice gesture to give gifts to the wedding party members as a token of appreciation and thank you for spending the day with them and spending money for them, the couple is not required to do so,” explains Monika Kreinberg of Furever Us.
Still, many couples like to show gratitude for their wedding party members — but it doesn’t need to break the bank. Kreinberg shares that “it’s typically a small token of appreciation, such as personalized jewelry or a heartfelt note.”
So if gifting is in your nature, know that small and meaningful keepsakes go a long way with your loved ones — and you won’t have to sacrifice anything in your wedding budget.
Guest transportation + accommodations
Helping guests find a comfortable place to stay for your wedding can save them trouble, but it’s not your job to shell out for anything other than your own honeymoon suite.
“While a couple may choose to reserve a block of hotel rooms for their guests, the cost of the accommodation is typically the responsibility of each guest,” assures George Wainwright of Coastal DJ & Video.
The same goes for local transportation, whether your guests live nearby or are visiting out-of-towners.
“Unless the wedding takes place far from home, guests should be able to go to the venue without expecting couples to foot the bill for hotel shuttles or other transportation services,” says Jacqueline Vizcaino of Tinted Events Design and Planning.
But if you want to go the extra mile for convenience, Vizcaino encourages couples to “ask your host hotel if they offer transportation services or discounts to help guests travel comfortably and safely.”
Otherwise, trust that your guests can take care of their own needs when it comes to getting around or staying overnight!
Destination travel expenses
There’s a good chance some of your guests will travel to attend your wedding, especially if you’re jetting off to tie the knot. But that doesn’t mean they are entitled to an all-expenses-paid trip to celebrate with you!
“When it comes to travel expenses such as airfare, hotel stay, rental cars, parking, and even transportation from the wedding ceremony to the reception, guests are traditionally expected to handle those costs on their own,” states Christina Lovelace of Lovelace Design. “It is considered going above and beyond if you, as the host, are going to cover some or all of the costs associated with travel, but it is not presumed.”
Couples planning a destination wedding may feel like reimbursing some of the costs as a way to say thank you. But rest assured; guests will be more pleased by an enjoyable and immersive wedding experience!
So instead of worrying over airfare and childcare, consider how you can leverage your budget to enhance the guest experience and provide a memorable time onsite. An adventurous excursion or a fun welcome party can make the trip even more worthwhile!
While you may feel responsible for your wedding party and guest expenses, covering their costs is not required. Those who want to celebrate your love in person expect to pay a bit for the experience. So focus instead on day-of investments to make your wedding an experience to remember!
Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding PR and wedding marketing firm OFD Consulting. Ely is a sought-after speaker, adjunct professor in the field of public relations, and a self-professed royal wedding enthusiast.