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Page last updated at 13:00 GMT, Monday, 13 July 2009 14:00 UK
Wiltshire's pay-to-attend wedding
Sarah Jones
BBC Wiltshire

Wedding dolls
Guests are being asked to pay 25 a head

With a new survey putting the average cost of a June wedding at a staggering £21,089 one couple, tying the knot in Wiltshire this summer, are meeting the spiralling cost by asking their friends and guests for money.

In the States it's not unusual for American couples to shun traditional wedding gifts in favour of bare-faced appeals for cash.

But in the UK the idea of sending out a wedding invitation with an RSVP which includes space for a guest's credit card details is still a new one.

But no matter how startled guests may be… it seems that friends are paying.

Debt free wedding?

For Tania tying the knot at a farm in south Wiltshire this summer, and charging guests £25-per-head, the response has been positive.

She said: "We had the idea of getting a big group together for a fun day so it's going to be a proper wedding followed by a mini-music festival.

If we make any profit we'll obviously refund the guests
Bride-to-be Tania

"The ticket price not only covers the cost of food and drink but contributes towards the cost of the bands as well."

"If we make any profit we'll obviously refund the guests."

Despite 100 guests RSVP-ing to attend the two day ceremony, the couple are not standing to make any money from their wedding:

"Our preference was not to charge," said Tania. "We're not making a profit and not breaking even. We're paying for it but the ticket price will contribute to the cost.

"If we make any profit we'll obviously refund the guests."

Some guests decline invitation

The couple's decision to have their guests help out with the burdens of the cost of the wedding itself, instead of registering for expensive wedding gifts, is also a bonus.

The traditional wedding guest, attending a nuptials, is already contributing to the ceremony financially not only by shelling out between £23 and £70 on wedding gifts but forking out for overnight accommodation and in some cases a cash bar as well.

So being charged just £25 up front for overnight accommodation, food, drink and live entertainment seems a snip.

Tania said: "Some relatives, mainly elderly relatives, have declined the festival part of the wedding because it's not really their thing. But the main response has been positive.

"We've tried to make it as stress free as possible and it seems to be an easy option to have everything pre-paid so that you can enjoy yourself."

With a strict dress code of Formal Farm, a wedding cake raffle, live music, apple bobbing and welly-wanging, it would be hard not to want to pay up.


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