(Closed) Asking guest to contribute to stay at destination wedding house

posted 6 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
46403 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

How many guests will you have? How many of those will be family?

You could offer your guests the option of staying at the estate on the terms you outlined above  if you also ensure that they know they are welcome to book elsewhere-maybe suggest a couple of nearby hotels. $400 for 4 nights is exceedingly reasonable for Hawaii including some food and alcohol.

Post # 4
2542 posts
Sugar bee

I think thats perfectly fine as long as you outline the details and let them know theyre welcome to book elsewhere as PP suggested 🙂

Post # 5
8430 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

Personally I would pay for the accommodation since it is technically the venue for your wedding and I would feel rude asking guests to contribute to that.

The other thing I would be worried about is possibly having 20 other people (plus any staff you have hired waiters/bar/caterers) around all the time prior and after the wedding. Weddings can be stressful and do you need the added stress of Aunt Mary and Uncle Joe trying to make breakfast whilst your caterer is trying to make organise your reception meal in your kitchen? And Bob and Joe (your FI’s college roommates) getting into the champagne for the toasts etc.

Post # 6
526 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@j_jaye:  This would be my worry too.  Not only will they be messing around with the venue, but you might not get as much privacy to get ready before the wedding, or spend time with your husband after it.

If you’re sure you want to rent out part of the venue, I’d maybe put an ‘accommodations’ section on your website and say something like, “Rooms at the venue itself are available for _______.  This price includes ______.  You can also try [local hotel].”  This way it seems more like a hotel kinda thing and less like you’re asking them to help pay for your venue.

Post # 8
13010 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@Stephie07:  I don’t think you can ask your guests to leave the day of the wedding to set up, because they’re going to need to get ready too.  I think it might end up being a lot of trouble to do it this way, but it could also be really fun to have everyone in the same place!  Tough call!

Post # 9
2416 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I think its perfectly okay for guests to pay for their own accomodations at a destination wedding, however, I don’t think its appropriate for you to be the intermediary for that payment. It would be better if it were a hotel and they could call in and pay seperately and you could set it up like a room block as opposed to collecting money directly from guests. I agree with MissBananaBreaad, too.

Post # 10
2854 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I can see the etiquette sticking point here, but let me just say… personally, if I were a guest in this situation, I would be Super appreciative of this option and totally fine with mailing a check to the bride.

Post # 11
804 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

If I were a guest I would be happy with this too.  Is there anyone at the estate who could take the money directly, or anyone in your wedding party who is willing to act as the middleman (someone that everyone will trust)?

Post # 12
11167 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

@j_jaye:  Personally I would pay for the accommodation since it is technically the venue for your wedding and I would feel rude asking guests to contribute to that.


I feel the same and in fact we are doing the same thing and we are paying for the accomodations the night before and day of the wedding.

As for the combining of your guests and the staff on the day of I wouldn’t be too concerned. If the venue is professional and is used to this sort of set up I’m sure they have their designated spaces for guests and their locations to work without interfering with the day’s requirements. Our venue has a seperate eating/kitchen area for the caterer versus where the guests sleep, stay, and eat.

Post # 13
674 posts
Busy bee

I’m possibly running into a very similar situation with the same island.  Granted, we haven’t officially committed to anything yet, but it’s one of the ideas on the table for us.

If we go this route, we’ll be paying for our stay as well as that of our parents.  If the house we opt for holds more than that, then I did debate whether it was appropriate to offer up the additional rooms for a “fee” that would be a bargain to guests, but in line with the expense.  Ultimately, I had a gut check that is very much in line with what Miss Orchard and j_jaye have pointed out.

To be honest, it kind of puts that plan off to me.  I don’t want to be seen as asking guests to help pay for the wedding that I have invited them to, and that’s kind of what I’d be asking if the house is also going to be the venue.  On the other hand, I would jump at the opportunity as a guest, so I don’t think it’s completely unreasonable.

My suggestion, and something I have talked about as a possibility with my mom, is that if we go this route with far more space than what we will actually need, I may have her end up being the “contact” and the person with whom to make plans to stay in that house.  That way it would be presented as she’s renting a house with more space than we would take up and if others wanted a relatively low cost place to stay with other members of the party, they are welcome to work with her.  We, of course, would reimburse her for the house expenses for us, her with her plus one, and the future in-laws.  However, in all likelihood, we’ll opt for a house that holds the number we need it to hold and it won’t actually be an issue.

As for issues setting up, that’s just going to depend on you and your vision for how the wedding will look and what you need.  If we end up choosing this option and end up with a house that’s got more rooms than what we need, I know my vision is so simple that it really won’t matter that other guests are there.  But, if you’ve got something even slightly elaborate in mind, it could be very busy around the house on the day you should otherwise be relaxed.

Also, fair word of warning that I think you need to communicate with guests if you offer them this deal: A house may “sleep” 22, but may not have very many bedrooms.  If you’re basically charging people about $100/night (which is only slightly cheaper than B&Bs on the island and more expensive than some hotel options), then they will not be pleased if they are on a sleeper sofa in the middle of a living room with two other couples on sofas around them.  Even if someone is “fine” with sleeping on a sofa in a public space, someone who has paid for a room probably isn’t going to be thrilled and there’s another guest in his or her pjs when they go downstairs in the morning.  This also doesn’t address the bathroom issue that could arise.

Ultimately, I’m not saying you shouldn’t do it.  So much of it depends on your guests and your plans for the event. However, if you do it, I would advise treading VERY carefully down this road.  There’s the etiquette issue of possibly being seen as helping foot the bill for the venue you picked while also concerns about expectations for the price.

Post # 14
69 posts
Worker bee

IMO, this sounds like I bad idea. The reasons:

1. inappropriate to take pmt from guests for your wedding.

2. It’s your wedding venue. See number 1.

3. Asking that many people to stay in a house together (who may or may not all know each other) is awkward.You just don’t know what the dynamics of the group will be.

4. Not sure if all of your guests actually live in HI, but if not, then they are probably spending a pretty penny to go…so let them make their own trip of it.

5. It sounds rude to ask guests to leave the venue so you can get ready. After all, they are paying to stay there as well.

6. Asking $400 per couple and $250 per single of your guests is rude imo. Since you are setting the price, you should make it equal for everyone.I dont think it is very nice to charge someone $50 extra because they are single.

7. As pp stated, just because a house can sleep 22 people doesn’t mean much. You could have couples sleeping in a room in a bunk bed, people sleeping on a couch, etc.

I really just think this sounds like a disaster. I would maybe limit the number of guests but make it an option for any who want to stay. 20 people is a whole lot of people to keep happy. You would be the host it seems, and it would also be a lot of added stress on you for your wedding.

So, those are my opinions about it.


Post # 15
1562 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

Personally, I would be ok with it.  If I was told no kitchen access after X time so the caterers could use it, then ok, no problem.  Well, no problem as long as I can get to a coffee pot or a stash of sodas, lol.  I’m on a budget, so I would totally stay at the house if it was cheap enough, and would mail the bride a check.

Post # 16
319 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2012

My thought is: If no one is sharing the house with you, would you still use it as a venue? In that case you’re asking people to chip in for the cost of your venue, not for lodging.

On the other hand, if you’re getting this venue specifically so all your friends can stay with you and have a party, then it seems reasonable to ask them to chip in.

I realize that distinction is a little murky, but I think it’s important.

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