Tell your Bridesmaids: my new wedding book “Bridesmaid on a Budget” is on super-sale at Kindle for $4.27 right now! Help your bridesmaids save tons of money on everything from their bridesmaid dresses to the bridal shower to their travel and lodging, gifts, beauty expenses, accessories and more! Bridesmaids shouldn’t have to pay $1,000+ to be in your bridal party! They’ll love you for looking out for them, and showing them this post so they can get their own Kindle versions of the book!
This great wedding planning question came in to my column at www.weddingmapper.com, and it’s a dilemma for a lot of parents. So I thought I’d share it here, in case you’re facing the same rehearsal dinner guest list questions:
I am the Mother of the Groom planning a rehearsal dinner in July. My husband and I have our own idea of who is invited to this affair, based on 30 years ago, but today’s generation of 20 somethings have a different idea! My problem is considering what the Bride and Groom want-inviting all guests to the rehearsal dinner who will be coming in to town for the wedding, “after all they have to have someplace to eat dinner”, will turn the Rehearsal Dinner into another, although slightly smaller,’reception’. Most of my family will be the out of towners, all of whom my future daughter in law has met and knows very well. The only guests she doesn’t know are some close friends of ours from high school and college, who wouldn’t expect to be invited to the rehearsal dinner. Where do we draw the line in inviting guests to the Rehearsal Dinner? I thought it was supposed to be a time for the B & G to say thanks to their wedding party, and anyone else involved in the ceremony, and give gifts to them. That would be very awkward with alot of other guests around who they will be seeing the next day.
Thank you for your thoughts.
The trend of inviting all out of towners to the rehearsal dinner has actually faded out a bit now, given the economy and the expense of the wedding. While it’s completely understandable that the bride and groom want to have their out of town guests’ dinner provided, what’s being done now, more often, is just the immediate family and bridal party invited to the rehearsal dinner — for the reasons you mentioned — and out of town guests provided with a list of nearby eateries, or a cocktail party planned for LATER the night before….after the rehearsal dinner. The out of town guests get the picture that they’re not invited to the rehearsal dinner (which may be early at 6pm) when they’re invited to a Welcome Cocktail Party at the hotel, where drinks and light hors d’oeuvres are served. They can take their time arriving, unpacking and mingling, perhaps going to the hotel lounge on their own to eat, and then they know they’ll see you all at the cocktail party later. It keeps costs down, creates a festive atmosphere for that night, gives the bride and groom quality time with their guests, and keeps the toats and gift-giving at the rehearsal dinner to the smaller group.
It’s always the host’s choice of which plan to do…if the bride and groom really want all of the guests at the rehearsal dinner, then think about doing a heavier-appetizers cocktail party for all to keep expenses lower, limit the bar list, and have the bride and groom give their bridal party members their gifts at an earlier arrival time set for them. Toasts can still be made, so this might be a good compromise plan.
Talk to the bride and groom to see what you can arrange…they might be looking for more relaxed time to spend with a greater circle of incoming guests.
Bridesmaid budgeting is a lot easier than you think! Welcome to the first session of my new Bridesmaid Master Class, your FREE guides to being a fabulous bridesmaid, on a budget, with plenty of style, and with unforgettable class and grace. Your bride is going to love you!
I know you’re busy, so I’ll keep this quick and easy: today’s bridesmaid spends an average of over $1,200, according to The Wedding Report, and The Knot puts that number up around $1,600 in their recent survey. When you add up that $400 dress, travel and a hotel room for a few nights, the bridal shower, gifts, hair and makeup, things can get very expensive very quickly.
Mty book Bridesmaid on a Budget is filled with hundreds of tips to help you save on all the big and little things on your new shopping list during the year or so that you’ll be a bridesmaid, but I thought I’d start you off with the Bridesmaid Master Class top 3 Money-Saving Commandments:
1. Don’t just say no, suggest something else. If the other bridesmaids want the $500 dress and you can’t afford it, don’t just email a ‘No, that doesn’t work for me,’ email with ‘That one’s really pretty, but out of my budget range. Sorry! What do you all think of these dresses?” And provide 3 to 5 URLs of pretty bridesmaid dresses. That’s how you get things done.
2. Go in on a group gift. If all five of the bridesmaids share the cost of a big-ticket item on the registry, each woman pays a lot less than a solo gift. For instance, that $300 cookware set divided by the five of you equals $60. Very do-able. Or, give their $200 beddding set, making your share $40.
3. Work those coupons! Coupon Sherpa on your iPhone, Retail Me Not, Target, even Costco all offer phenomenal savings on everything you need for the bridal shower. Check out www.coupons.com to get valuable discounts on everything from hummus to salsa and chips, colas, cake mixes and frosting, and more. At the craft store like Michaels Crafts, you’ll get 40% off or more with store coupons, often handed to you after you buy a little something. Tell every bridesmaid, and the moms, to start coupon-hunting, and checking Groupon and Living Social, so that the bride can get an amazing bridal shower…and you’ve saved over 80% on the cost of it!