Does this seem reasonable for what we're asking guests? (Destination wedding)

posted 2 years ago in Guests
Post # 31
4926 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

You are relying on a lot of variables and if I’m correct in my comprehension it will cost $400 per person for accommodation but that is if 40 to 50 people decide to stay at the villa. What happens if only 25 people decide to stay when you were making sums based on 40+ people staying? Will you be able to afford to cover the 10k difference if only 25 of your guests decide to stay?

Honestly it sounds like you want a boujee wedding on a normal person’s budget and are expecting guests to subsidise your dream. I’ve been to weddings in Italy but they were of family who lived there and I combined the weddings with the rest of my planned European holiday.

If you really want an Italian wedding pick another venue that allows you and incidentally your guests more flexibility. Plenty of quaint, picturesque venues exist in Italy that will allow you to have your wedding on weekend like you want. Plenty don’t even have accommodation attached so you can choose to stay anywhere and for as much time or as little as you want. You will probably end up  saving money too because you won’t be paying for venue hire for a full week and you won’t have to have welcome gift bags, stock room fridges, provide booze and host multiple (and probably unwanted from the guests perspective) Pre and post wedding events.

OP, I’d also start being realistic by way of how many guests you might actually end up having attend. Your wedding is expensive for guests no matter which way you try to minimise the costs. You also need to be mindful that time factor and holiday availability might be an issue for guests. It’s not a place that you can fly to and back again in a weekend. 

Post # 32
1360 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2021

I’m planning a destination wedding in Italy, but I live in the UK so the flights are very cheap, I got return flights for £45 last year as an example. I think this sounds like an awful lot of money for your guests to be spending, flights plus accommodation and spending money are probably going to be close to $2000 each realistically, which imo is far too much to spend on someone’s wedding.

We plan on not staying at our venue as that works out much cheaper, and hiring a villa for our immediate friends and family to stay at for four days. We also plan to have the wedding on a Saturday so people will only need to take one or two days of annual leave max if they don’t want to stay for long. In the UK we get a minimum of 28 days paid leave per year, I know this isn’t the case in the US so is also something to consider when expecting people to spend a week abroad for your wedding. Either you need to scale down the wedding, invite fewer people and pay for their accommodation (we are only inviting immediate family and friends) or you need to pick a venue closer to home imo. As 1500-2000+ per person is far too much to expect anyone to spend. 


Post # 33
1058 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

I went to a destination wedding this year. We were in the country for 10 days, only two of which were taken up with wedding stuff. The rest of the time we explored other parts of the country on our own, so it became more like our own holiday with a wedding tacked on. 

I would most likely go and make a holiday out of it but wouldn’t stay in the villa all week. Spending a whole week with someone else’s family and friends wouldn’t be fun for me. I’d want to explore and do my own thing outside of the actual wedding day. 

Post # 34
1270 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: February 2018 - UK

Honest opinion? I wouldn’t go.

The costs are a lot, the time of work would be a factor (and I’m in the UK where we get a mandatory number of holiday days, I know it’s much more difficult in the US). I would absolutely hate having to share a villa with a large group too, so I’d have to book a hotel room which would probably cost more. 

I agree with previous posters about the events too, I’d want to go out and explore the area, I wouldn’t be very up for loads of other meals with everyone other than the actual wedding.

Thats me though, obviously you know your guests better than me. I would, however, be wary of people agreeing to come because they love you, and ending up putting themselves in some level of financial hardship. 

Post # 35
420 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

I would be excited about this trip and jump at the chance. I love travel and wouldn’t mind that part of it. That being said, my work schedule is beyond flexible and my husband works remotely so it wouldn’t hurt us much in that aspect and we live in a cool location and rarely have trouble convincing friends to cat sit. I like the idea of the dinners and brunchs because I think it would be cool to hang out with a group of people I am close with or get to know some of the people my husband is close with, but I do think making them feel more optional is a great suggestions from PPs just in case people wanted to go out and explore that day. Since you plan to have a few I think that alleviates some of the pressure to be at all of them. The pricing seems very reasonable to me. 

Post # 36
2060 posts
Buzzing bee

View original reply
mus1ca1xo :  I agree.

OP, you were turned off by the hefty price of doing a destination wedding in the Caribbean but somehow you don’t think a trip even farther and most likely even more expensive would be any better?

It doesn’t sound like you would actually be able to keep the cost at $400 per night and u sound kind of presumptuous to  be asking people to come subsidize your wedding just because it’s your dream wedding.

Personally I would be turned off by that and wouldn’t want to use a significant chunk of time off for someone else’s wedding.

I think it’s a great idea for elopements to go somewhere cool but when you’re hosting a Destination Wedding in a country you’re not from and it’s extremely far and expensive….that’s where you’re going to lose a lot of people. You just have to be okay with that

Post # 37
2060 posts
Buzzing bee

Oops I meant to tag Horseradish 

Post # 38
264 posts
Helper bee

Are you set on Italy? When I lived in NYC a friend’s friend got married in Quebec. My friend went and had an amazing trip. Short flight, beautiful city. European feel. I don’t know the legalities, but I know Italy has restrictions, too.

Post # 39
142 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

I wouldn’t attend a wedding like this even for a family member.  It is a ton of time and money.  Have you looked into what you need to do to get legally married in Italy?  

Post # 40
2393 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I personally wouldn’t go. For the amount of money, the long flights, and the hassle of organizing an international trip- if I do that, it’s going to be for someplace on my bucket list, at a time that is convenient to me.


Nonetheless, I agree with sboom that you should probably put out feelers to people that are actually on your invite list. For someone with lots of disposable income, a flexible job with plenty of vacation time, and an interest in visiting Italy anyways, this might be the perfect setup. But I don’t know how many people in your life actually check all these boxes.

Post # 41
314 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2021

Assuming I was close enough to you to be invited to such a wedding, I would LOVE to go! I’m in the Philly area so am used to “paying more” for things, and my friends and I are travellers and wouldn’t have a problem walking 20 minutes to take a train to Florence for day trips and such.

I would be way more excited about Italy than the Caribbean as well. I’m not a Caribbean/beach person.

Can you cover the lodging cost?… That’s the only thing I’d be a little bummed about. I agree with the other poster that said that’s basically part of your venue, and if you can’t afford the venue maybe it’s something to reconsider. I’d have no issue covering my travel and food and entertainment.

As others have mentioned, you know your people best. For example, my friends and FH and I would love this type of wedding, but basically any of my family members on my side (from central Pennsylvania, where things get small-town real quick) would be potentially excited but also freaking out about the travel/logistics and also balking at the cost. 

Post # 43
1961 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2009

I’d like to go to Italy someday, so given enough time to plan and save, I’d be excited.  With that being said, I would NOT want to stay at the villa for an entire week.  I’d most definitely be taking advantage of being in Italy and travel around and exploring, in addition to attending your wedding.  I’d stay at the villa for the night of the wedding and that’s it.  Then I’d be off exploring again.

Post # 44
122 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2016

I would go in a NY minute.  Since the weeding isn’t until 2021 you are giving your guest alot of time to plan and save.  Just remember that most times you can’t get flight prices until 366 days before the event so you won’t know the actually flight information until probably May 2020 but as a trave agent you I love your plans and I am excited for you!

Post # 45
1636 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

I think the issue here is you are expecting people to turn this into a week long vacation but while you’re in the beautiful Italian country side, you’re far from any desirable sight seeing spots. What do you reasonably expect your guests do for an entire week other than attend your wedding events ? I’d be happy to travel to Italy for a wedding for close family or friends but I’d expect to be somewhere accessible to a major city and somewhere with public transit. It does not sound like that is the case here. I think your expectations here are majorly unfair to your guests as you can’t afford the wedding you want stateside so you want them to pay for the beautiful backdrop so you can have your dream wedding. If you go through with this, I’d look for a different venue closer to tourist destinations or provide transportation to the closest city instead of offering free beer and wine.  

Leave a comment

Find Amazing Vendors