Save On Weddings By Finding Out Who Your Real Friends Are

Though the average cost of a wedding is up for debate — “experts” report different numbers, though most agree it’s between $25,000 to $30,000 — the fact is that an average wedding in America can be pretty darned expensive. And while you can take steps to save a bit here and there, there is one area that you’ll need to focus on if you want to save big bucks: the reception.

According to Smart Money magazine, reception costs average 46% of the total wedding bill. As such, the best tip for saving money on a wedding is to limit the reception — which means limiting who you invite. But how can you do this? How can you turn away people you want to share in your special day?

CNN suggests you quiz potential invitees to see who really is connected in your life. Those that know you well and are part of your life get invited, those that don’t, stay home.

What sort of questions do they suggest? Pick among these:

1) Name the city I’m living in now.
2) Name at least two of my closest friends.
3) Name my current employer and my past employer.
4) Do I have any kids?
5) Do you know the name of my fiancé? Bonus question: Where and when did we meet?
6) Do you know where my parents are and whether they are still alive?
7) Name at least two of my hobbies.
8) How old am I?
9) Where did I go to college?
10) Name my last boyfriend before this engagement.

Their suggested scoring system: score of 50 percent or below — not invited; score of 50% to 60% — waiting list; score over 60% — get an invitation.

Now they don’t recommend you literally send out tests to potential guests, but instead float a few of these questions out during your engagement to see who really is involved in your life. And those that are connected are people you will probably want to invite. The others are the ones that add size (and cost) to an already expensive day.

Yeah, this system might be a bit awkward or somewhat crass, but it sure beats selling tickets to your special event.

Should you be invited to my wedding? [CNN]

(Photo: Ben Popken)

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.