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Who Pays For Guests Travel and Accommodation Costs With a Destination Wedding?

Dec 18, 2010 | Leave a Comment

Who Pays for Guests Accommodations and Travel?

This is the big question that everyone is asking. There is no rule of etiquette that requires the couple to pay for guests travel and accommodation expenses, however, it is certainly hospitable of you, and a real treat for your guests, if you can cover some of all of their costs. Some couples do this, others do not. If possible, you might consider covering a portion of your guests expenses, say, just their airfare or just their accommodations.

Obviously, if you are picking up some or all of the tab, you’ll increase the likelihood that guests will be able and willing to attend.

Paying for Bridesmaid and Groomsmen Expenses

The couple is, however, responsible for covering the accommodation expenses of their bridal attendants, in otherwords, the bridesmaids, groomsmen, and honor attendants. This rule of etiquette applies for all weddings, not just destination events, any time an attendant will have to travel to participate as a member of the wedding party. If your budget is tight, keep this in mind before selecting your attendants and perhaps limit yourself to just one honor attendant on each side.
Easy on the Expenses

Whether you have decided to foot the bill, or at least part of it, for your guests, or whether they’ll have to pay their own way, try to reduce the costs as much as possible by looking into group rates on airfare and hotel rooms. American Airlines has a program whereby they will provide a group discount if 10 or more people are flying to attend the same event. It doesn’t matter if the cities of origin are not the same, as long as everyone is headed for the same destiantion. Other airlines may be willing to discount tickets when a group is travelling as well, so try to negotiate the best rates possible for you and your guests. (It’s possible to do this yourself, but a good travel agent or wedding cooordinator will be skilled at getting the best rates for you).

Similarly, hotels or resorts will often discount room rates when you are booking multiple rooms at a time. Have the resort reserve a block of rooms for your party. When guests call in to make their reservation, they simply mention that they are part of your party, and they will qualify for the group rate. Make sure you tell the hotel or resort to keep all the rooms on the same floor – that way guests can be cozy and can interact with one another.

If you have chosen a particularly posh hotel or resort, you might also want to source out alternate accommodations that are close by but a little easier on the wallet so guests can have budget alternatives. Make guests aware of all of their accommodation options so that they can select that which best fits their budget.
Get Professional Help

If this is all sounding complex, overwhelming, and time consuming, truth be told, it can be. Some couples think that running away to get married will simplifyy their wedding plans, but depending on the destination you are running to, and the type of event you are planning, it may just introduce a different set of complexities.

To ensure that all goes smootly when planning your destination event, its best to work with a travel agent or a professional wedding coordinator.

If using a travel agent, try to find one that specializes in destination weddings if possible, as they’ll have experience in not simply arranging your air travel and accommodations, but also some of the other details and logistics. For instance, they’ll know which resorts specialize in catering to destination weddings and which ones offer free wedding packages and the like.

If you are going to use a wedding planner, you can either select one based in your own home town, or find one who is located in your destination. In either case, once again, its best to look for someone who specializes in destination weddings. This is particularly true if the consultant is your own area and will be coordinating this event from afar. To find a wedding consultant who can assist, you can request a referral to a SuperWeddings Certified Wedding Consultant through The International Institute of Weddings. This will ensure that you are dealing with a qualified, serious professional with solid credentials.

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