Post # 1
I came across an interesting suggestion the other day that couples planning a wedding could earn a little money from the hotel bookings their guests make when travelling to their wedding. While I think the company mentioned was CheapStay.Me and I have heard of Asian weddings generating a profit because of tradititionally very generous gifts, this was pretty different!
Is it just me or does this raise some ethical questions about earning money from your guests? I would love to hear what other people think and if they have had any similar experiences in a program like that?
Post # 3
earning money from hotel booking differences? iffy. earning money from generous guests because of tradition? why not! that’s the guests’ choice.
Post # 4
@Lassani: There is a big difference between a commission and a gift.
The whole idea behind a wedding should be celebrating the marriage with those you love and not how much money you can make from guests.
Post # 5
The hotel thing is kind of shady, but not horrible. And if Asian guests want to gift very generously at weddings (though my best friend is half Chinese and married, and I can tell you that’s not exactly a guarantee) that’s nothing against the host.
But I have known people who have run their weddings like fundraisers. They cut every single possible corner so that they can invite as many people as possible while still providing the very barest minimum, because presents. I don’t talk to these people anymore.
FYI, I am not arguing that people should have intimate weddings so they can feed everyone beef wellington, or insulting anyone who is having the wedding they can afford. But if you register three times, make a good income, and then feed your guests an insufficient amount of finger sandwiches when dinner was promised, with janky Betty Crocker cake as the only dessert, just so you could invite every single one of your 900-some Facebook friends….then yeah. Selfish.
Post # 6
I’m completely against the idea of funding my lifestyle off the backs of my family and friends, no matter how it happens (fundraising, stag and does, hotel bookings.)
Gifts are beyond my control. If someone wants to give me a gift it is their choice entirely. I will graciously accept any gift in the spirit it was given. IMO, its pretty rude to refuse a gift from someone you love.
Post # 7
I think it is unethical. Think about it – if money is being kicked back to the couple, that means the guests are being charged more than they have to be charged. This company isn’t just going to give you money – it has to come from somewhere, and obviously that is from the rate your guests are charged.
Post # 8
Thank you every one for the quick replies!
Yes, I generally agree that there isn’t really an ethical question around receiving a generous gift from your guests. That was, however, a really good point EffieTrinket that it starts to become unethical if you are cutting corners just to try and make a profit out of your guests! If this happens, however, I guess the couple will ultimately loose out as they start to make their special day very cheap and less than what they probably wanted at the start.
Also, j_jaye, thanks for highlighting the difference between commission and gifts.
With regards to earning the commission hermom, I have been able to find out a bit more info and it seems they also try and find discounted rates for the guests with reputable booking sites. So in theory the guests could possibly end up better off!?! Having said that, I would have to agree with sostobe that you would still have to be personally comfortable with financially benefiting from those close to you which comes back to where the individuals ethics are based…
Post # 9
@hermom: Yep, this. Totally unethical. Youre basically making a commission from your guests!
You are charging your guests a premium to book at this place, that they don;t even know about. I would be LIVID if I knew my friend invited me, reccommended place X for $300 a night, then found out I actually payed $250 a night and PAYED HER a fee to stay there! I didn;t offer that money to you, you’re just ripping me off!!
Post # 10
Yah… not cool. That seems very shady to me.
Post # 11
I think if the guest were being charged the same amount regardless, I don’t see the big deal. If they are being charged more because of the commission, then it’s a no go.
Post # 12
I want my guests to pay as little as possible, and have a great experiance.
You shouldn’t use your wedding to fund your lifestyle. Your wedding is about love, and any gifts you recieve should be by CHOICE – and be to start your LIVES together.
Post # 13
Making money on guests’ stay is unethical. Its the wrong way to start a marriage. How would you feel if you found out abou this, if you were a guest?
If people want to give lavish gifts, their choice. The Bride and Groom have no obligaiton to have a luxurious wedding.
Post # 14
i think it’s a crappy thing to do (making a kickback) but i frequently see brides here saying that they got a free tux rental because 5 of the groomsmen rented there, or that with 30 rooms booked their bridal suite was free, etc.
OP’s example is different because it’s money, but the tux rental place and the hotel aren’t really giving ‘free’ things, that cost is incorporated in the cost of the 5 tux rentals and 30 rooms already. so in lots of ways, this is already happening, although i guess you could argue that it’s a business’s way of saying ‘thank you’ to a volume customer.
either way – i think that the couple should keep their guests front of mind at all times, and if there’s a hotel deal on hotels.com that’s cheaper than the room block, tell people!
and if your guests gift you money that adds up to more than you spent, that’s not ‘generating income’ that’s receiving a gift.
Post # 15
@sostobe: +1. You probably feel the same way about that gofundme thing that is out there now. I know I do. I cringe whenever I hear about it. If there is something I want or need, I won’t ask family, friends, or worse, strangers, for money. I’d never be able to look at myself. I’ve never asked anyone for money in my adult life (as a kid, I did ask my parents and grandma because I didn’t know better).
Post # 16
We didn’t have a DW but had many OOT guests so DH and I looked at a number of hotels (we spent more time looking for hotels than a venue). We called/emailed and used one of those sites where the hotels bid for your business.
Getting a reasonable rate in NYC is hard when you’re also factoring in comfort, service and convenience. We went to a few hotels to make sure that the rooms and grounds themselves were clean and neat.
We did find a great rate at a hotel that was less than 3 years old (e.g. clean, new) for our guests but also made it very clear that we knew it was still kind of pricey relative to other cities and encouraged our guests to look around. Some of our guests had hotel hookups (e.g. a relative who could get deals) and they still chose to go with our rate since it was better than what they could get.
When we were sent the contract the reserve the block of rooms we were also told that we would get Starwood Points (not $, but could eventually save us $) for our stay and for our guests’ stay (our guests all got their points as well.) The extra points wouldn’t have influenced our choice either way (key factors were cost, cleanliness and convenience) but they were a nice bonus. I think it’s a bit shady if your main motivation is to get a commission but if all things are equal (or better) for your guests it’s ok.