Post # 1
So we are having a destination wedding at an all-inclusive place in Mexico that isn’t cheap. I’ve been there before with my family and we looooove it and think it’s great value, but we totally understand that we are forcing guests to shell out a lot of money if they want to attend our wedding. We’ve gotten some mixed feedback from people and I’m thinking that instead of giving up my dream to have the wedding at this resort, we consider some creative ideas like subsiziding guests. Although there still is a cost for the ceremony and reception, I don’t feel right pushing a lot of the costs for the reception onto the guests by having them stay in this all-inclusive and I’m getting the feeling that some of my guests don’t. Pepole have started to ask around about other options in the town and my feeling is that it will ruin the idea of a destination wedding if they have to buy passes to come all the way over to our resort, and can only stay for a short bit, etc. Fiance and I don’t live so close to our friends or family so this is a great way of having some quality time.
I have had this brilliant idea of working with our travel agent to help pay down a bit of the guests’ room/all-inclusive costs. My parents don’t think it’s a great idea and want us to save our money but I’d really like for our friends to be there and I’m not sure they all will due to cost. These might not be people who necessarily are broke, eg. laid off, but people who have other costs like their own weddings or just general life costs, babies, etc.
Thoughts? Any idea as to how to arrange this? Do we have the travel agent tell the guests we are doing it, or do we try to have her lie to the guests about the total cost as being lower after we pay? Do we pick and choose which guests we are doing this for based on complaints, or do we have the travel agent ask if they are going to have trouble with the cost?
Post # 3
@flowerring: It’s a terrible idea. You’re going to embarrass people! I would be seriously annoyed if people tried to push this on me. Generally, unless it’s very close friends or family, we don’t attend destination weddings. We’re just not interested in spending so much money and vacation time to attend a wedding and we like to plan our own vacations.
When you decided to have a destination wedding you should have known that it would exclude a lot of people. That’s just the way it is. Take “NO” for an answer and be done with it.
Post # 4
I think this is part of the trade off of having a destination wedding. It sucks, but when you choose to get married at a resort, you have to understand that it’s not always feasible for your guests to attend.
Post # 5
It’s a lovely idea, however I think that if you’re going to do this for some guests then you need to do this for all guests. It’s also probably wise for you to contact all of your guests and let them know what the subsidised cost will be, and that it is only available through your travel agent – if I were your guest and you hadn’t told me this, I probably wouldn’t even bother talking to your travel agent in the first place, as I would assume that I couldn’t afford the resort (which I would have already researched online to get an idea of costs). Instead, I would start looking for cheaper options in the town, and would book them myself, rather than doing it through a travel agent.
Post # 6
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
@JulietFoxtrot: +1. Do it for everyone, and tell people asap what the reduced cost is and how to get it.
Post # 7
I think that’s just part of having a destination wedding. It’s expected that a lot of people will decline because of the cost/time for travel. I would only help out my immediate family or members of the wedding party if they couldn’t afford it but really wanted to go.
Have you thought about just having a hometown reception instead of subsidizing guests?
Post # 8
I generally don’t like destination weddings, but I would be much more likely to go if I wasn’t getting stuck with the whole bill!
Post # 9
@solidarity: +1. This, exactly.
Post # 10
It is part of having a destination wedding and while we invited over 100 people, we knew that we’d be lucky to get 15 to attend. We DID subsidize the cost for our close family members in order to help with finances, but we didn’t do it until they had RSVPed and wouldn’t be lured by the subsidy (I hope that makes sense and doesn’t sound horrible ). We figured out what we could afford to contribute and budgeted accordingly. It ultimately came out of the “extras” that we wanted to do (excursions, speciality dinners, etc), but we’re glad they were able to attend and share in our wedding.
Money is a touchy subject, so I’d make sure to offer it in a way that won’t offend anyone. Our families viewed it as a gift and we viewed it as an investment to have all of our favorite people in the same place.
Post # 11
@JulietFoxtrot: That is a very good idea.
Yes, exactly- “Our families viewed it as a gift and we viewed it as an investment to have all of our favorite people in the same place.”
I’m a bit surprised at the negativity coming out on this board– we are having a celebration when we return, thrown by my parents, where my parents and some friends and relatives live so guests have the option of coming to that.
I’m really excited about my wedding, it was a long and agonizing decision that wasn’t made lightly, and I’m not sure why I should need to justify my choice here, but I understand that people won’t come. The people who aren’t into it, don’t feel close enough to me, etc. won’t come. A subsidy wouldn’t change that. I’m referring to the people who are on the fence, people who would want to come if it were only a little bit cheaper, etc. I’m trying to be creative and think of ways so that everyone wins.
Post # 12
@flowerring: When having a destination wedding you have to accept that not everyone you want to come will be able to. I’m Canadian and Fiance is American, so we felt a destination wedding where everyone had to travel was the most fair thing to do. Only a few members of his family are able to come, and about half of my family who would otherwise come to a local wedding.
I know how you feel, wishing more people would be there but it is a compromise you have to make when choosing what type of wedding is best for you. If it is in your budget to offset some of the travel cost that would be a nice thing to do, but you would have to do it for everybody. I don’t think you need to announce that you are doing it which could embarass some guests as a PP mentioned, but you could tell them it is a travel deal through a specific travel agent and let them know the price.
If it is between people staying at a different resort versus not coming, I think you should let them find alternative accommodations. If it is still cheaper to stay elsewhere and get passes to your resort I think it is ok. They will still be there and spending time with you.
Post # 13
@flowerring: If this were me, I would give my guests details of the hotel we were staying at, and let them know that if they decide to stay elsewhere that isn’t a problem, but ask that they let me know so I could arrange passes. I would then cover the cost of day passes for those guests who stayed elsewhere.
I wouldn’t subsidise hotel costs for select guests though, and nor would I mention I was paying for day passes.
Post # 14
I totally understand where you all are coming from. I’ve always dreamed of getting married in Jamaica. Now the opportunity has come and we’re hearing all kinds of negative remarks. Why would they go cross-country to marry when they’re family is here? Who can afford to go to Jamaica in this economy? Some have said that they feel it’s selfish of us…I mean really? This is OUR wedding and this is what WE want to do. Can you believe that my FI’s mother isn’t planning to come because she’s scared to travel that far? Really? So are we supposed to cancel our dream wedding to accommodate others who will probably have something negative to say whether we marry locally or not? No! We’re going as plans. Those who really want to join us will…those who don’t, just won’t. I don’t want to sound harsh because I want them to come. But at the end of the day, we have our hearts set on a tropical wedding (something outside the norm).
Post # 15
@flowerring: There are ways to do this. I had a destination wedding and we had a few different suppliments going on. Most of them the guests didn’t even know about in advance.
First, we orgaized an AMAZING rate through West Jet Vacations for all guests who booked in one particular booking. They had to book by a certain date to get in on it. Based on the number of people who booked, they gave us back a credit. Instead of takign this credit ourselves, we applied it to the two families in the group that had a lot of kids traveling (teenage kids, so paying full rate). It wasn’t huge, but it was a few hundred bucks.
We considerd the option of arranaging with our travel agent to straight up pay a portion of the cost of the trip for our guests, in order to get the cost under what we thought was acceptable to ask of them. (In our case, that number was $1300 including taxes, per person.) In that case, we would have just told guest that the cost was $1300, though our agent, and paid the extra dollars to her directly. They wouldn’t have even known.
We also had one case where we just straight up paid for a guest (DH’s brother who didn’t have the financial means). It wasn’t a big deal.
Good luck! We were really nervous about our Destination Wedding working out for guests, but at the end of the day only the people who wanted to be there (and to pay the money) came and it worked out great. Wouldn’t have changed a thing.
Post # 16
I don’t think its a great idea. As a PP said, you will likely embarass people if they are the sort would prefer staying in a resort, but don’t have the cash.
Also, people might not want to stay at an all inclusive resort because it is an all inclusive resort. Personally, I hate travelling like that. I feel like I don’t get to experience the culture or the regional food when I stay in an all-inclusive resort or on a cruise ship. My favorite part of travelling is local food, so if I’m going to spend the money to go to Mexico, I would not want to stay in an expensive resort when I would have a nicer time, for less, in a local hotel. (This is no way trying to insult your decision. Everyone likes to travel different ways. You’ve gotta do what works best for you and you enjoy most!) I would likely be treating your wedding as a part vacation for me though. 🙂
I do think someone else’ suggestion of paying for the day passes would be a very nice gesture which would be appreciated by your guests. 🙂