Traditionally, wedding guests pay for their own hotel rooms. Although it would be a nice gesture for a couple to offer to pay for everyone’s hotel rooms, but it is not expected of anyone.

Your primary responsibility as the host is to reserve a block of hotel rooms. Blocking rooms ensure that your guests stay in the same location instead of all over the city. They can hang out, arrange for transportation and even have breakfast together.

There have been instances where some guests may feel that the host should be paying for their rooms. Fortunately, this is far from normal and if the price of the room is a problem, wedding guests are free to choose a cheaper option or not come altogether.

The bride and groom are expected to pay for the wedding reception, the rehearsal dinner, the welcome party, and the morning-after brunch. In some cases, the parents of the bride or groom might offer to pay for some of this, but that depends on the particular family dynamic. If possible, it would be well received if the bride and groom can also cover some selected activities for wedding guests to enjoy such as a tour or a group trip.

Also, a shuttle to pick up guests from the airport is a very nice gesture. Traditionally, the hosts offer to pay for the accommodation for the bridesmaids and groomsmen. Howbeit, if this will be out of budget, the bride or groom can let the wedding party know and tell them that they are not obligated to give any gifts on top of this – just being there on the special day is a gift. Some even host a bridal luncheon, which is an optional pre-wedding party for attendants. This can be a great way to show appreciation for bridesmaids and treat them to a lovely meal.

Indeed, there have been some cases where a guest really wants to be at the wedding but just doesn’t have the means to pay their own way there. For instance, an unemployed sibling or elderly relative who simply can’t afford it. On a case by case basis, the bride and groom might offer to pay for transportation and accommodation expenses for these guests.

However, this should be done discreetly and it is imperative not to tell anyone because not only could others be jealous that you didn’t assist them, the receiver of the help may be embarrassed.

Few Rooms the Bride or Groom May Have to Pay For

While some things should be covered by the couple, wedding guests should definitely expect to pay for some aspects of the weekend. Nonetheless, the few rooms the bride and groom may have to pay for include;

  1. Officiating Minister

If the officiating minister is coming from out of town, it is would be nice and a proper etiquette to pay for his/her room for the night of the wedding. You can always iron this out ahead of time by talking to the officiating minister at the time of booking.

  1. Friend in need

This is can sometimes be a common problem. There is always a bridesmaid that genuinely cannot afford to come because of finances. Note that considering that each bridesmaid may need to spend over $1,000 between the travel, accommodations, hair, makeup, and dress, it is not out of the world of reality to conclude that someone will not be able to afford it.

Although you are not mandated to, you can choose to help this person with their accommodations. One bride who felt guilty about the amount of money her bridesmaids were spending for hotel rooms ended up offering to pay for the hair and makeup. Not only were the bridesmaids happy, it got everyone together a few hours before the wedding, making for a fun get together.

  1. Family

While you more or less don’t have to, a good number of couples will choose to pay for parents and in some cases, the siblings too. However, this is not expected by anyone so don’t feel obligated to do so. In most cases, parents and siblings will hold up their own end, but be ready to help if they need it.

Although this is an exception to the rule when it comes to paying for guest rooms, but while you’re free to pay for anyone’s room, it is not an obligation. It is something you have to do out of your own willingness, while also making sure it doesn’t stretch your budget.

Conclusion

Indeed, there are generally accepted etiquette guidelines for who pays for what when it comes to destination weddings. Each wedding is unique and it is up to you to figure out what works best for you, your partner, and your guests.

For a significant number of your friends and family members, showing up for your nuptial celebration may mean booking a flight and crossing state lines. These out-of-towners will go through a lot of effort and expense to share in your momentous occasion, so it is your job to welcome them, help them get around, and keep them entertained.

Solomon. O'Chucks
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