Sunny Says: Do I Pay for My Destination Wedding Guests?
Or, do my destination wedding guests pay for themselves?
Sunny here! We consider ourselves to be the experts of all things destination wedding concerned. Our Weddingmoons expert, Marsha-Ann knows all the ins and outs of planning the perfect destination wedding and we know a thing or two about destination wedding etiquette. We’ve gotten so many delicate questions from our brides that we thought we’d start a new series called Sunny Says, where you can ask all of the troubling etiquette questions you may have about destination weddings (anonymously if you’d like) and we’ll answer them on our blog!
The first question we received is one we’re sure a lot of destination wedding brides have heard before.
“I’m planning a wedding in St. Lucia and I’ve made sure to give all my guests fair notice. One of my guests has made it well known (she’s told anyone who would listen) that she wants to come but thinks it’s unfair that I’m asking her to pay for the ticket. She has said that this is something my fiancée and I were supposed to include in our wedding budget. Am I really being unfair or is the couple supposed to pay for guests to fly as well?“- Amanda.
It’s hard when you’re all excited about your big day to have someone deflate your balloon. I’m here to put a bit of the air back in. Despite what your friend may feel, I can assure you it’s not expected for the bride and groom to pay for their destination wedding guests to attend their wedding abroad – unless of course you’re Beyonce. Couples paying for their guests is something the couple has chosen to do, not an obligation.
If you’re still unconvinced, ask yourself; if you were having a wedding in the same location that you and your friend currently live in, would she expect you to pay for the cost of gas to drive to her location? Would this be before or after you bought her dress to the event? This is essentially what she is asking you to do. A wedding invitation is just that, an invitation – not jury duty. Although, I’m sure you’d love it very much if all of your wedding guests would celebrate with you in St. Lucia,your guests do not have to attend and it is their choice if they do. If they accept the invitation, then they are choosing to join you where ever you may be and dance the night away with you.
Now, as far as addressing your friend,
“Mary , I really would love for you to attend my wedding. You’re my friend and I love you. If you feel attending our destination wedding is something you just can’t do right now, I completely understand. We will make sure to take loads of photos and share our wedding video with you. I’m sure you can understand why paying for each and every one of our wedding guests is a bit out of our reach.”
Keep it simple and be nice but firm. Do not suggest to her that her demand is a bit unreasonable and a little insulting, although you would be right. Hopefully she will understand this. Maybe she is just feeling a bit hurt that she has to miss your big day. If she insists that you are being a “bridezilla” just say, “Sorry Mary, but I have a wedding to plan and would like to make time for all my guests who are attending”.
Keep your head up, Amanda, and remember it’s your day to celebrate love and happiness!”
From destination wedding budgets, trouble-in-laws and beyond, Sunny’s got you covered! Ask your wedding etiquette questions here: