An extravagant wedding isn’t just expensive for you. Instead of considering your guests’ costs as a secondary factor that doesn’t really effect your planning, you should put them at the top of your list. Think about what you’re asking of them.
Let’s consider one possible scenario. You invite your brother, Joe, as best man, his wife and two children to your Napa Valley winery wedding. The rehearsal dinner is Friday, wedding Saturday.
Four round trip tickets from the East Coast to San Francisco: $2000
Car rental: $300
You’d like everyone to stay at the same hotel, say the Sonoma Mission Inn:
Two nights: $1000
Friday lunch, Saturday breakfast and lunch, Sunday breakfast: $300
Tuxedo rental: $400
Sally and Polly are both flower girls: $500
Wife needs a new dress: $300
Registry item: $200
Joe and Becky will dish out $5,000 to attend your wedding.
What Does It Cost Them? Logistics
The moral of the story is, think about who your guests are. If they are all flying in from far-afield, then consider how many hours they’ll spend traveling. If several guests are starving artists or grad students, take this into consideration. Offer a range of accommodations from cheap to glamorous so that backpacker Sue and fancy granny can be equally comfortable at your wedding. Assuming that you really do want everyone on your invite list to attend, make it affordable enough that friends don’t have to say no because of cost.