Guests’ Destination Wedding Expenses

How to Help Long-Distance Travelers

Destination weddings have become increasingly popular over the past several years. Whether it’s because the honeymoon and wedding are in the same spot, it saves on an extensive wedding guest list, and, surprisingly, can sometimes save you money, they’re definitely here to stay.

One of the big questions that couples face when planning their destination wedding is how much of the costs, if anything, should they contribute to their guests’ expenses. Before you shell out airline tickets, remember, destination weddings are covered by the same rulebook as all weddings; you’re not required to pay for other people. However, there are some nice gestures you can make to help ease the travel burden.

Wedding Part Attire & Perks.
Since destination weddings tend to mean a smaller wedding party (sometimes just a Maid of Honor and Best Man), consider offering to pay for their outfits. If it seems too extravagant, remember how much you’re saving by not having a seated meal for 200. A great idea, too, is to hold a pre-wedding lunch or cocktail party in the main hotel where people are staying. Traveling is tiring, and your guests would love a treat when they arrive. Other options include free spa treatments, hair appointments, and manicures and pedicures. These are great choices because you can usually arrange for all of them to take place at the same hotel.

You can present any of the above gestures as gifts or favors, as well. If not, make sure that the wedding party receives something extra special for their travels. You can offer water sports, a private cabana, a tequila or rum tasting; depending on where you are staying there are a multitude of amenities hotels offer.

Travel Considerations.
More important, but sometimes overlooked, is to reserve a block of rooms so your guests get a discount on the rooms, and a block of airline seats. Call hotels and travel agents ahead of time to see what kind of discounts they have.

If it’s in your budget, offer to pay for your wedding party’s airfare or hotel. Only do this if you can afford it, and if you can pay for all members of the wedding party. While the best man and maid of honor play a bigger role in the wedding, other guests might be hurt if their airfare is covered.

Again, you're not obligated by etiquette to cover any of it, and guests likely won't expect it.  These are just a few kind gestures to consider, if they’re within your budget.

-David Toussaint

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