Fairytale Wedding Planning in the UK

Wedding Gifts or Money Contribution?

The average cost for a wedding in 2019 in the UK was roughly £30000...wow! now that's a lot of money to pay out for one day, right? Not a problem if you have the money, but what if you haven't. This is going to be one of the most important, magical and memorable days of your life and you want everything to be perfect. So, how do couples afford to pay for their wedding?

For some couples they have been saving for years and unsprisingly a lot are having to turn to their families for help - contributing to different parts of their wedding such as the meals, flowers, cake, dress etc...  and for many couples, they're asking their wedding guests for money contributions instead of the traditional wedding gift.... would you?

Many couples who get married are already living together and so the traditional gift of a toaster, kettle or microwave etc is a gift that they just don't need. A money contribution seems the sensible option as they can use it to either help towards the wedding costs, honeymoon or whatever they choose!

Wedding planning should be an exciting and happy time of your life, you are starting to build your future together.
Worrying whether you can afford to get married shouldn't be an issue...unfortunately for many it really is a big issue.
I hear couples saying 'we cant afford to go on a honeymoon after paying for the wedding' or 'we will be paying off this loan for years' or 'we have been together for years but just can't afford to get married with all the other financial commitments like the mortgage, bills etc'.
I personally think it is so sad that a couple has this worry.

Why is asking for a money contribution instead of a gift such a big problem for some of us. Many couples seem to expect a gift and have a gift list which they give to their guests which shows them what to buy. £50 - £75 is a common amount to spend on a friend's wedding if you have been invited for the whole day. So, gifts cost money too - is there really any difference?

There are many countries and cultures where gifting money to the bride and groom has been a tradition for years! To name a few... Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Philippines, Poland and America. Relatives and friends take part in a type of event called the 'Money Dance' taking it in turns to pin money to the brides dress.
Could this be an event you hold on your wedding day?

The good news is that money contributions are becoming more popular for the modern day couple here in the UK. Asking their guests to contribute towards their meals, honeymoon etc seems to be the norm instead of a gift. There is of course many that think asking for money is not the right thing to do - is giving out your wedding gift list the right thing to do?
As we have said, gifts too cost money.

When writing this post I wanted to make you think... is there really a difference between asking for a gift or asking for a money contribution. Yes we all have our own opinions, and we are all going to do what we think is right, but should we be judging others for what they think is the right thing to do?

Read on to find ways of how you can help with the costs of your wedding - whether you need extra help with the catering costs, are saving for a deposit to buy your own house and could do with more of a deposit or you already have your own house and want to fund your honeymoon!

Yes, we all want our family and friends to be part of our special day and why shouldn't they. A lot of your wedding budget will be used on the wedding catering, feeding all your guests to a slap up meal. What if there was a way of cutting the catering costs or reducing the costs, wouldn't that make a huge difference...

 The average cost for a three course sit down meal for 200 in a country house venue is £6000.... that is a big part of your wedding budget spent on just feeding your guests. Imagine if your guests paid for their own meals instead of giving you the traditional wedding gift.
Many couples are having to leave out family and friends from their guest list as the costs are just too much. This of course can cause a lot of problems, such as guests feeling left out, tensions between you and your other half because you feel that your certain family and friends should receive an invite instead of your partners guests. This leaves you feeling guiltly and upset before you have even started the rest of the wedding planning!
I'll be honest, this happened to me when I got married 8 years ago and still to this day I have a guilt of not being able to invite them certain guests, we just couldn't stretch our wedding budget to accommodate them.

 Let's face it, you're paying for your wedding guests to be part of your special day... but what if your guests paid, would they still want to be part of your day? It would certainly take away a lot of the financial strain if they did contribute towards the cost. If your guests didn't want to be part of your day because they did'nt think it was right to pay for their meals, then do you really want them there? Yes there could be a real reason why they can not attend such as them not being able to afford it. Would'nt it be nice to be able to invite everyone on your guest list and not leave anyone out.
I know I would completely understand if a friend or relative came to me and explained that this was the only way they could invite all their guests. Asking for meal Contributions  rather than receive a gift because they couldn't afford to,  would show that they cared more about having me there to celebrate their wedding day. What do you think?
  The guests that will be there, are the ones that really want to be and understand your situation.

Wedding Meal Contribution

If you are going to ask your wedding guests to contribute towards their meals then I would advise you to ask them when you send out your Save The Date cards. You could ask when you send out the invitations, but I feel this way would be better as it gives them more time to decide -  you can add a separate note or poem in with your cards.

"It would mean the world to us and more important then any gift, to have all our family and friends celebrate our special day.
Inviting some and not others, is something we don't want to do.
We are asking for a meal contribution instead of a gift, it would be our perfect gift from you to us, to make our dreams come true"

Also adding: Contributions should be sent when you receive the RSVP, which they will receive on (your chosen date) with your invitations.

" RSVP to this invite by ( whatever date you choose)"

Be sure to add a dead line date on your RSVP. This will confirm your final numbers for you and the catering team.

The Wishing Well

If asking for a meal contribution is something you don't feel comfortable with and then maybe a 'Wishing Well' is a better option for you. A Wishing Well is a donation box which is very popular, often for couples who are already living together and do not need any of the traditional wedding gifts.
Again adding a separate note to your wedding invites tell your guests about your Wishing Well.

"If a gift is your intention, we thought we would mention...
 we would love some pennies to put together to buy something we can treasure"

You will not receive this type of money contribution until after your wedding.

The Honeymoon Fund

After all the months of planning and preparations comes the the honeymoon. It is that well deserved break away together and time spent alone as a newly married couple. For some couples it's another financial strain that they end up not being able to afford.
The honeymoon fund is something that is becoming more and more popular among the modern day couple. There are now many online websites such as Prezola that have an online platform where your guests can contribute towards your honeymoon.

"Rather than a wedding gift list, we'd love a bit of sun,
So if you would like to give us a gift and send us on a way,
a donation to our Honeymoon fund would really make our day"

You can either let your guests know when sending out your Save The Date cards or your invitations. Save The Date cards would obviously give your guests more time.

What Are Your Thoughts

Have I made you think differently?
Money or gift - is there really any difference?
Would you now understand more If a friend or family member asked for a money contribution rather than a gift?

We all have a wedding budget, whether its £3000 or £100000, we live to our means and I belive that we should all have our Fairytale wedding, reguardless of what our wedding budget may be.

Maybe you are a couple that hasn't got a big budget and don't believe in asking for either money or gifts. The marriage is the most important thing to you both and it'll be your Fairytale dream wedding even if it's just the two of you!

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