Everyone loves the emotion and joy of seeing a happy couple exchange vows and begin married life together – but not if they’re handed a bill at the end.
Wedding planner Helen Hopkins from Somerset, founder of events company Pudding Bridge has warned of the rising trend for couples asking guests to pay to attend their wedding.
It’s already a common practice elsewhere in Europe and in the US, and research byHitched, has revealed that seven per cent of UK couples would be prepared to charge their guests to attend.
The theory goes that if it costs guests an average of £217 a head to attend, you could save them money by selling tickets for a lower price – but it’s a risky idea.
‘In my experience, however, charging can result in a backlash from guests with many feeling quite resentful and often, broken friendships can result once the celebrations have come and gone,’ Helen explained.
And she said that couples who do charge are usually passing on the financial burden of an ‘perfect Pinterest wedding’ that they can’t really afford to their loved ones.
Wedding expert Helen Hopkins from Somerset, slammed the trend of couples asking guests to pay to attend their nuptials, blaming it on a culture of ‘Instagrammable weddings’
‘There are a small minority of British couples who currently charge for their big day because they want to achieve the perfect Pinterest and Instagram wedding that’s clearly out of their financial reach.
‘The flowered walls, the dress of their dreams and a honeymoon destination to rival that of A-listers…it’s now more than just aspirational.
‘For some it’s a “must have” and for that, friends and family have to pay the price.
Helen has also written a new etiquette guide to help those attending weddings avoid blunders that could see them struck off future guest lists.
Explaining that many engaged couples are planning nuptials beyond their financial capabilities, she warned that charging attendees could result in broken friendships and resentment among guests
Helen’s top wedding guests etiquette tips
1. RSVP promptly
Weddings are an expensive occasion and If you’ve received an invitation, know that you’re valued by the bride and groom. Chasing numbers is a nightmare so ensure you respond within the date, or within two weeks where no date is given.
2. Dress appropriately
Wear something wonderful for the day but never upstage the bride by wearing something overly skimpy, and definitely never wear white or ivory. And whilst hats or fascinates are never du rigueur, I always think they make an outfit.
3. Avoid social media
We all love Facebook and Instagram but don’t steal the couple’s thunder by posting the first picture. Be in the moment, enjoy the day and save the selecting and editing of photos for the day after the nuptials.
4. Don’t go too wild
Enjoy the festivities and let your hair down but don’t raid the free bar for all it’s worth. No one wants to be remembered as the drunk guest.
Helen Hopkins from Somerset, is the founder of wedding events company Pudding Bridge
5. Be clear on the kids
Check if the wedding is children-free or whether you are allowed to bring them and whether it will be an appropriate environment for them. If they are very young consider keeping them out of the service so they don’t disrupt the nuptial exchange.
6. Clear a plus one
If your significant other hasn’t been mentioned do not bring them without asking first as wedding numbers are usually limited and closely planned.
7. Be punctual
Arriving late for anything isn’t a good feeling – and to arrive at a wedding feeling harassed won’t make a nice start to what should be a happy occasion. Don’t be the guest that arrives after the bride, ensure you are there promptly so everything runs smoothly.
8. Don’t interfere with the photographer
Many people today are pretty good at taking their own photos but before you start snapping, let the professional do his/her work. Pose for group photos and take your shots once all the important ones are done.
9. Get involved
If you’re attending a religious ceremony but you’re not religious, respect the bride and groom’s wishes for their big day and participate in any family traditions.
10. Go off-grid
Weddings are over in a flash and it’s important you appear present and make the most of every moment. Turn your phone off and enjoy the day.
She also gave her top guest etiquette tips, advising attendees to RSVP promptly within two weeks where no deadline is given