How To Not Go Broke Accommodating Your Out-of-Town Wedding Guests
OK so…. you’re planning your wedding and you’ve got several out-of-town wedding guests coming and you feel obligated to either pay for their hotel accommodations or at least help them get the best possible deal. Without seeming like a cheapskate or breaking your budget… what can you do?
photo Credit: Lee Haywood
Well, there’s good news and there’s more good news.
The good news is that, according to no-less an authority than Yahoo Answers, it is not, and never has been in the US, the custom for the bride and groom to pay hotel accommodations for out-of-town wedding guests. Most likely, your guests know that and if they had any question in their mind they would ask.
On the other hand, it is possible that something might have been said at some point in the past or perhaps even in the invitation itself which implied that you were providing paid hotel accommodations but that’s something you’ll just have to find out.
However, there are ways that you can use your leverage with the hotel to get your guests a discount, and sometimes a very substantial discount, on the hotel rooms. In order to do this you simply need to determine the number of rooms you might hypothetically need for your out-of-town guests and then arrange a block of discounted rooms for the hotel sufficient to put them all up. The hotel knows that the guests will be spending money in other revenue areas of the hotel so they don’t mind offering a discount like this to get the guest into a room.
Inform the hotel of the number of guests you can bring, as overnight guests (or longer) and they will always give you a discount. Depending on related factors such as in-season/off-season for the hotel, how their overall business has been going, etc., sometimes they can give very substantial discounts on the rooms for the guests and/or other related costs such as meals, local tours, entertainment, etc.
There are other factors which affect this issue. More and more people getting married are trying to save money on weddings in as many ways as possible. Assuming your last name is not Rockefeller or Trump and that your pockets do have a finite depth, there are many ways you can save money on your wedding in other ways.
The bottom line is that if the guests really are your true friends… they aren’t coming because they think they’re getting a free vacation and/or a sumptuous meal at your expense. They’re coming out of respect and friendship for you. If they have budget issues with paying their hotel expenses, that’s unfortunate, but then perhaps they just won’t be able to make it. But it won’t affect your friendship. However, there are hotels that offer wedding specific packages that are often relatively inexpensive. The best place to find these packages is through wedding directories as for example The Perfect Wedding Guide’s Hotels and Accommodations directory.
Since many of your guests will be coming to your town for the first time, there are items of information that you can provide them which will be much appreciated.
Photo Credit: Trip Hosley
- Give them a detailed schedule of the event so they know exactly what’s going to happen and when… and will thus be able to plan other things that they might like to do while they are there in your town.
- Give them a list of other hotels, guest rooms, B&B’s, or possibly even budget hotels or motels in the area. Let them make their choice.
- Give them some information about other interesting things to do in your town. That kind of information is easy to get from many different sources. The hotel might have some info packs but you can also probably get something for the local C of C or one of the local tourist agencies.
- Some of them will be renting a car if they plan on staying so be sure and let them know what agencies are available and if, perhaps, the hotel where the wedding is has a representative of that agency or perhaps even a fleet of cars from that agency.
- One thing that is financially practical for you to do is to arrange to pick-up out of town guests at the airport. You know how expensive airport taxi’s sometimes are and it really won’t cost you that much to pick them up or arrange for a friend to do it. Your guests will really appreciate this.
- For your guests who are staying in one of the rooms you had set aside at the hotel, it’s also not unreasonable to leave a basket of fruit or something similar for them in the room when they get in from the airport. They’ll appreciate that too. No…. you’re not responsible for putting your guests up in a hotel but you can preserve your budget and your friendship with them by helping them if they’re on a budget.
By Angela Q. a travel planner and a travel review blogger at the Local Q&A. Angela has extensive travel planning experience in the hotels and accoumodations industry.
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