There’s no doubt about it, hosting a destination wedding costs quite the pretty penny. While it’s likely that you and your future spouse will have to throw your credit cards into the ring, usually a few other parties will be helping to foot the bill. If you’re having trouble figuring out how to divvy up your wedding budget, there are a few rules of thumb.
Here’s a few tips on who pays for what in a destination wedding.
- You are not obligated to pay for your friend’s and family’s hotel and airfare, but if you have the money, it is considerate.
- If you do pay for only one (or a handful) of guests because it is beyond their means, keep it private.
- Try to get group rates for airfare and hotels to save money for you and your guests.
- Parents from both sides usually chip in to help as much as possible, but they are not obligated to (just like with a hometown wedding budget).
Now onto more specific instances...
The bill for additional activities can go to either you or your guests. If the activities are optional - say you want to go on a scuba expedition? - you can ask for guests to pay. However, if there’s a mandatory group activity, like a pre-wedding dinner or a post-wedding brunch, you’ll have to pony up the cash.
Whether you stay in your Canadian hometown or head to a balmy beach in Aruba, you’ll need to pay your vendors - it’s unavoidable. But, vendors can get extra pricey when you have to send them to a destination for your wedding. You’ll be in charge of paying for their travel, accommodations and expenses. After all, this is a work trip, not a vacation for them.
Travel and accommodations
Unless you’ve been saving up your dollars for decades, there’s a good chance you won’t be able to pay for all your guests to board a plane, let alone foot the bill for a few days in a hotel. They probably know this, too. Ask your guests to treat your wedding like their own vacation (after all, they’ll be free to do as they please aside from on your wedding day). That means it’s on them to book and pay for airfare, accommodations, food and anything else they may want or need during their stay.
Ensembles and styling
Paying for your wedding party’s styling and outfits can get pricey fast. When it comes to destination weddings it is typical for the bridesmaids to foot the bill for their dresses, hair and makeup and for the groomsmen to pay for their tuxes. Because of this, you may want to consider more budget-friendly options (you don’t want to make you wedding party shell out $500 for something they may never wear again).
Room service fees and add-ons
Even if you’ve got enough room in your budget to pay for your guests accommodations, you are not responsible for any additional fees they may rack up during their stay. If they decide to raid the mini bar, go to the spa or rent a movie, they should pay up. You may want to mention this briefly in conversation or put a disclaimer on your wedding website to avoid awkward conversations later on.