Are you dreading the idea of asking friends and family to spend money to attend your wedding? Maybe the thought of a destination wedding, or even just one requiring travel and lodging, is weighing heavily on your mind.  You are not alone. 

So many brides grapple with this, myself included. It’s a surprisingly emotional hurdle in the midst of what’s meant to be a joyful time. But I’m here to help you unpack those feelings and move forward with confidence.

I recently dove deep into this topic on an episode of my podcast. If you’d like to hear more about my experiences and insights, be sure to check it out! 

Let’s Talk About Money (And Our Feelings About It)

When I planned my own wedding, I struggled with the idea of guests having to pay for accommodations. The truth is that many of us carry deep-rooted beliefs and concerns about money. Whether it’s experiences of financial struggle in the past or just those sneaky limiting beliefs that whisper we’re not good enough, our money mindset can heavily influence our perception of the whole situation.

If you feel physically uncomfortable or even anxious when thinking about asking loved ones to spend money, it’s worth digging into this further. A brainstorming session can help. Just get those thoughts out of your head and onto paper. 

Ask yourself:

  • What are my specific fears around money?

  • Am I projecting my own anxieties onto others?

  • Do I have limiting thoughts about what I deserve?

Sometimes, this self-reflection is enough to loosen the grip of guilt. When you break it down, you might realize those fears are largely your own, not your guests’.

The People-Pleaser Factor

Another major culprit behind wedding cost guilt is people-pleasing. For many of us, especially women, it’s easy to slip into the role of putting others’ needs before our own. When it comes to your wedding, this could play out as feeling burdened by the simple act of communicating costs to your guests. Or perhaps you feel a pang of guilt when thinking about throwing a bridal shower or bachelorette party that requires some contribution from your wedding party.

Here’s the deal: Setting boundaries around your wedding doesn’t make you selfish.  It’s about recognizing that you deserve the wedding of your dreams. If watering down your plans now sets the precedent for always putting yourself last, what kind of life are you creating for yourself as you enter this next chapter of marriage? Think of it as growing into your role as a wife.

Solutions: Communication, Creativity & a Dose of Compassion

Rather than making assumptions about what your guests can or can’t afford, start by openly communicating. Let them tell you how they feel and what they’re capable of. Your loved ones are likely just excited to be included in your big day and willing to make it work, regardless of the associated costs.

That said,  it’s important to be sensitive. For some people, attending your wedding could be a genuine financial hardship. It’s crucial to approach that reality with empathy and without casting judgment. Remember, it’s about their situation, not about you.

One way to be inclusive is by offering options.  Create a wedding website and offer a range of lodging choices across budgets. Include hotels, motels, even campsites if that fits your wedding vibe. Let your guests know there isn’t one “right” way to do it; simply present them with the choices and let them decide what’s best for them.

When You Want to Go the Extra Mile

If you have specific people in your life who you simply cannot imagine celebrating without, and you know the cost will be a real barrier for them, it’s completely okay to extend the gift of helping with expenses. However, be thoughtful in your approach.

Instead of just assuming someone needs assistance, frame it from a place of care: “We’ve calculated everything,  and we want to make sure money isn’t getting in the way of you joining us. We want this to be easy for you, so we’ve taken care of your lodging; I hope that’s okay!”

The End Goal: A Joyful, Guilt-Free Wedding

Wedding planning can be stressful, and worrying about guest expenses only adds to the burden. But by being radically self-aware, openly communicating, and finding creative and compassionate solutions, you can move forward and let go of that guilt. You deserve to plan your dream wedding and to enjoy the journey without unnecessary emotional baggage.

If you’re struggling with this, remember you’re not alone. There are resources and support available.  Share this post with other brides who might be experiencing similar feelings. Let’s create a community where everyone feels supported and excited to celebrate love, without the weight of guilt.


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