Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A Wedding Is Not A Fundraiser, Don't Treat It Like It Is

Dear Tazi:

I am planning my wedding and am having some trouble with the guest list. I am a young bride, and my husband to be and I have not had the time to put aside much money for our future. We figure our wedding guests will help us get off to a good start in life by giving us a wedding shower and wedding gifts to help us set up house and tuck a little money aside. The problem is that many of my friends are in college. This means they will not have the money to give cash/gifts that are equal to or greater than the value of their plate charge.

The purpose of a wedding, as I said, is to help a young couple get their start in life, not to put them into debt so you can enjoy a good party. However, I am the first of my friends to get married and don't want it to seem like I am snubbing anybody by not inviting them, but a line has to be drawn somewhere.

I would like to send out two different wedding invitations - one with an invite to the ceremony, and a second with an invite to the reception, as well. The people who can afford to cover their costs and even give a little more will receive the second invite; those who would end up costing us would be invited to the wedding ceremony only. While my mother sees the practicality in my decision my future husband and his parents are "appalled" that I would even think such a thing. They have called me a "little gold-digger" and have questioned if I am the right woman for their son. Kitty, I am just trying to be practical here! I don't see my future in-laws kicking in with the cash to cover the cost of the reception!

Do you think my friends will be insulted and feel snubbed if I only invite them to the ceremony and not the reception? The ceremony is the most important part of a wedding anyway.

Bride On A Budget

Dear Bride On A Budget:

You wouldn't consider charging a cover at the door of your reception, would you? Then don't exclude guests who you think cannot afford to line your pockets. A wedding reception is not a fundraiser, so please do not treat it like one. Your guest list should reflect your close and personal ties with your guests, not the size of their wallets.

When planning a wedding the first thing you should do is decide on a budget that you can afford - by saving, cutting back, working overtime, and if necessary borrowing and using cash gifts to pay down the debt. In short, you must plan within your budget and not budget with a plan to find a way to make others pay for your celebration.

If you cannot afford to have the wedding of your dreams while including all of your guests, than you must cut back on the wedding you are planning. One idea is to have a "coffee and..." with your receiving line after your ceremony followed by a small, intimate reception for immediate family only while hosting a large, backyard bash for all of your friends and family after you return from your honeymoon. Another idea is to postpone your wedding until you have the cash to pay for all of your guests meals without expecting some sort of quid quo pro in return. (The irony of this is that by the time you are done saving they may be through with school and making enough money to pay for the kind of gifts you are seeking). Whatever you choose to do, choose to be inclusive. Those you snub today are unlikely to forget the slight when the stakes are much higher than a chicken dinner.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with Bachelors degrees in Communications and in Gender and Women's Studies. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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