Paying for group transportation (destination wedding)?

posted 1 year ago in Destination Weddings
  • poll: Is asking $200 from each guest to provide group travel to the wedding unreasonable?
    Yes, it’s tasteless : (91 votes)
    96 %
    No, it’s helpful to those who can’t afford to come : (2 votes)
    2 %
    I think you should go with the bus tickets instead. : (2 votes)
    2 %
  • Post # 31
    3259 posts
    Sugar bee


     I just feel like it’s a dumb idea and no one will want to pay, or it’s very tasteless of me


    Post # 32
    4753 posts
    Honey bee

    Clearly you’re very close.  Lying to your family and allowing them to spend money they can’t afford to see a fake wedding is the hallmark of close.

    Do you think your family is the only family who was too poor for plane tickets?  They didn’t complain on the obscenely long car trips because they liked it.  No one does.  They didn’t complain because bitching wasn’t going to make a shitty situation better and magically give them more money so they wouldn’t be poor and have to take long crowded trips.  They didn’t complain because having a vacation with crappy travel arrangements they could afford was better than having no vacation at all.  They made lemonade out of lemons because they had to.  Because if you don’t learn to be content with the resources you got and make the best of it, you end up a miserable bitter person.  But if you think that is their preference, you’re kidding yourself.

    Post # 33
    3563 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: April 2017 - City, State

    OP, it’s very simple. You do not ask guests to pay for ANYTHING EVER! PERIOD.

    I also had a destination wedding. Some people could just drive (about 3 hours), others took a train or flew in and then rented a car to drive from the airport to the wedding location. They absorbed those costs if they chose to. I absolutely had people decline because they couldn’t afford to come or it was inconvenient for them and I totally understood that. At no point was I prepared to ask some of my guests to foot the bill for others, nor would I offer my guests an option and then basically give them a bill for it. 

    Have the wedding you want when and where you want to have it, but do not reach your hands into your guests pockets to do so. That is beyond tacky and classless. You set the parameters, and guests tell you if they can or can’t attend. You wouldn’t have even made this post if you actually thought what you are considering was in any way appropriate. 

    Post # 34
    461 posts
    Helper bee

    I absolutely refuse to have a backwards redneck wedding in the middle of nowhere just so everyone can go. Local isn’t an option. 

    I wonder how many of these family members would be willing to put up with the inconvenience and cost of attending this “wedding” if they knew how OP really feels. How many of them had such horrible backwards redneck weddings?

    Post # 35
    2632 posts
    Sugar bee

    I mean this kindly: you’re going to have to compromise on something.  You want a destination wedding on a specific date at a specific location and have ~35 guests who will not be able to afford traveling to this destination wedding.  

    Post # 36
    7449 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: October 2014

    There’s a lot to unpack in this thread. I’ll start with: taking a loan you might not be able to afford so that you can pay for the transportation that your wedding guests can’t afford is a spectacularly bad idea. Not only are you creating debt for something you don’t actually *need,* the chances for this to end in conflict are pretty high. If you want these people at your wedding and neither you nor they can afford to get them there without significant effort, then your wedding is in the wrong Location. No matter how important youmay think the exact date or the location is,  in reality we are all constrained by budgets and logistics and we have to make compromises. It’s part of life. 

    Post # 37
    2432 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: October 2016

    You are honestly budgeting to pay for hotel accommodations and food (at least 2-3 days worth) for 50-60 people? But are needing to take a loan out for the bus? … and you self-describe yourself as “poor”. There’s no way I could afford 20+ hotel rooms (minimum) for at least a 2 night stay plus what amounts to a couple hundred meals…. plus the actual wedding costs…. 

    So. I  think I’m not the only one who is doubting that you will be paying “for everything else” related to this destination wedding for all your guests. 

    Post # 38
    1067 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: City, State

    jannigirl :  I actually am very curious where the hotel is, and how many people ahe plans on putting in each room. I wouldn’t be surprised she’s getting 4 to 5 rooms only, by the way she described how they used to travel. That’s good enough for her guests.

    Post # 39
    1022 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: July 2013

    I have been on 17 hour bus rides and it is awful. Now that I have back and neck issues it would be unbearable. OP I understand your point about constructive criticism, but I also think sometimes it is a gift to receive negative feedback here about something you are planning to do in the future. Better to have a bunch of strangers who ultimately don’t matter in your life tell you it’s a bad idea before you actually do it.

    I echo the sentiment of others. I would do it closer to home. But if you are going ahead, ditch the bus idea and let them figure how to get there (or not).

    Post # 40
    2440 posts
    Buzzing bee

    I had a friend who had a destination wedding. I was in the wedding, we paid to go down there, and we were very excited to see then get married on the beach. After the wedding we found out they were already legally married for months and WE WERE PISSED. We wouldn’t have spent all that money to go and see them and we wouldn’t have requested the time off of work. We felt deceived about the whole thing. I strongly encourage you to reconsider telling people that you are already legally married. I really think it is something you need to disclose so they know. This isn’t your real wedding and if they find out later that they spent all this money for a reenactment they might also be pissed. Not sure why you think hiding it is a good idea. 

    The date is terrible. You are already going to have difficulties getting people to go down there because of the date. Some works black out these dates and you can’t request them off. So while only needing to take “two days” off sounds ideal, but it could still be impossible for some people. I also think it’s inconsiderate for you to assume they want to spend their holidays traveling. It will also be very hard to travel during the holidays, with traffic, or just high travel by plane. I really think that you aren’t thinking this through thoroughly. 

    The transportation idea is just a no. It honestly just adds insult to injury with everything else you have going on. 

    Post # 41
    8994 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper

    If you are so close to your family and the rest of us just don’t understand like they would then why haven’t you told them that you are already married?

    The majority of both my family and my husbands family are low income earners and live in rural or remote communities and I can tell you now that if we had lied to them about being married and asked them to pay $200 to sit on a bus for 17hrs and they found out they would have been pissed. 

    We paid for every guest to attend our Destination Wedding (flights, food, lodging, sight seeing) because the location was important to us but so was having them there. We did not go into debt for a party though.


    Post # 42
    1130 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2019

    mrstaylor6882 :  I’m sorry but if it was so important for them to be at your wedding, you shouldn’t be lying to them about already being married. You won’t be telling them until afterwards about already being married. I would be LIVID to hear that after spending $400 for my Fiance and I to travel to your wedding & take time off of work.

    ETA: YOU were the one who gave us a poll and posted “Yes, it’s tasteless” as an option. If you want actual advice, don’t bitch when we give it to you

    Post # 43
    1051 posts
    Bumble bee

    You could charter a bus for those who need transportation, but do you know for certain you’ll fill the bus? It would cost me $200 round trip in my car, so personally, I’d rather drive myself. For a little extra, I could stay overnight somewhere cool, and make a road trip out of it. What about inviting only your closest relatives, and offering to pay for their airfare? This may be more cost-effective. If you know for sure everyone on your side is attending, I would charter the most comfortable bus you can find. Of course you want your whole family to attend, but not everyone will want to make the trip, escecially in nightmare Thanksgiving traffic. It takes me sometimes an hour to get home from work the week of Thanksgiving, and I work 10 miles away. 17 hours is probably wishful thinking. The bus may hit bad weather, too. What if the bus broke down? Will it make accommodations for all of its passengers for the night? 17+ hours is a really long ride, regardless of stops—especially for kids, some elderly, people with bowel or bladder issues, and those who are prone to motion sickness. I would get some definite RSVPs first, Bee. 

    Post # 44
    372 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: November 2025 - City, State

    What’s your motivation for not telling anyone that you’re married?  I bet it’s that you know people will be unhappy with you, and less likely to attend the event in Florida.


    You’re married.  You had your wedding.  You chose a private courthouse ceremony for the legal/financial benefits, which means not getting the big party you envisioned (congratulations on making that smart choice, by the way).  Welcome to being a grown-up.

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