Wedding Etiquette: Ask Guests to Pay Entrance Fee?

Q:

We are thinking about having our ceremony performed at a local state park, which has an entrance fee of $3.50 per vehicle. We are working with a very tight budget and cannot afford to pay this fee for all of our guests. Is it inappropriate to request that my guests pay their own entry fee?

A:

In general, it's not a good idea to ask guests to pay for anything involved in your wedding celebration. When you invite people to a hosted event at a specific location, they should not be expected to pay to participate in that event. There are ways to get around this, however: Talk to the park officials and see if you can arrange for a group rate for your guests. Or, cut back in another area; perhaps serving one less hors d'oeuvre would free up enough money to cover everyone's entrance fee. Even though it's not very much money to ask from your guests, take a careful look at your budget to see if there are other ways you can save before you resort to asking them to fork over the $3.50.