Let’s Get Real – What Do You Pay For At Your Destination Wedding?
There are a lot of reasons to have a destination wedding. You may have always dreamed of a wedding where you can discover Hawaii or a unique and beautiful wedding aboard a Princess Royal cruise ship. In some ways, they even save you some money. There will be fewer guests, which saves money on the food, drinks, and wedding plans. You also trim costs by combining your wedding and your honeymoon expenses.
The questions come in when deciding what the bride and groom are responsible for paying for and what is left up to the guests. This simple guide will help you follow proper destination wedding etiquette, thus avoiding embarrassing situations and offending your guests.
The basic rule is not to cut costs at the expense of your guests. Your guests have traveled a great distance to attend your special ceremony. There are certain things that are expected at any wedding venue. It is important that you cover the expected and anything else that you can (that is important to you or your bridal party). There are ways to save money, but doing so at the expense of the most important people in your lives is not cool.
You should send your invitations no less than 3 months before the date.
Of course, you will limit the invitations to those who are closest to you, but remember not all of the people you invite will be able to attend. People have children, jobs, health issues, and responsibilities that may make it impossible for them to jump on a plane to Hawaii or a cruise ship, no matter how much they may want to.
The general rule is about 50% of your guests will be unable to attend. In some cases where the travel is more expensive and complicated. It is not uncommon for ⅔’s of your guests to be unable to attend. Keep this in mind when you send out your invitations and do not allow yourself to be offended if someone cannot attend.
Note: There are times when someone (like your best friend and maid-of-honor or best man) cannot afford the trip. Handle this discretely and privately. You will be using an online fundraising site, such as Plumfund to allow your guests and family and friends to gift you financially, rather than dragging a toaster oven to the islands. By managing the website, you may find the funds there to pay for the trip of this special person. However, do not announce it to the rest of the bridal party. It would be tacky, offensive, and may cause problems with members of the bridal party who went into their own pocket to pay.
Basic things you are expected to pay for
- There is no hard-fast rule on this. You should pay for what you can for the wedding party. If you can, you should pay. If you cannot, it is a still a good idea to pay for at least half of the airline or cruise expenses.
- If a guest or member of the bridal party wants you to rent them a car so they can drive around on their own, that is not required.
- Travel for the wedding, reception, rehearsal dinners and other things you require their attendance on, should be arranged and paid for by you.
- If the event is a planned wedding activity, then the bride and groom pay. This includes anything that you expect your guests to attend or do as a wedding group. However, if they want to go to an activity that is just something they want to do and it was not planned and organized for the wedding, they should pay their own expense.
- Wedding favors and an open bar
- These are a ‘thank you’ for your guests. You are expected to have both, at your expense.
Wendy is a super-connector with Outreachmama.com and Toweringseo.com who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.