Etiquette

Best way to offer financial assistance for wedding travel for out-of-town family?

My fiancee's sister and brother-in-law are struggling financially, and they live on the other side of the country from where our wedding will be. We know it will be a major strain for them to afford airfare for themselves & their 5 year-old son (whom we are planning to ask to be our ring-bearer). It would mean the world for both of us if they could be there, but I know it's especially important for my fiancee, as his family is small and currently the vast majority of guests on our list are my family and friends. I do not know them well, so I can't feel out the best way to broach the topic, and my fiancee is struggling with this himself. Anyone with any advice?


Re: Best way to offer financial assistance for wedding travel for out-of-town family?

  • I think the conversation should come from your fiance, but perhaps he could say something along the lines of, "{Brother}, it is very important to Redheadbride and I that you and your family be present at our wedding. We would also like to ask Little Johnny to be our ring- bearer. We know we are asking a lot of your family to fly across the country to join us, so we were wondering if, as a gift, you would accept us paying for your flights for the wedding?"
    holyguacamole79redheadbride15huskypuppy14[Deleted User]
  • lc07lc07 Sunny Southern California member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    My fiancee's sister and brother-in-law are struggling financially, and they live on the other side of the country from where our wedding will be. We know it will be a major strain for them to afford airfare for themselves & their 5 year-old son (whom we are planning to ask to be our ring-bearer). It would mean the world for both of us if they could be there, but I know it's especially important for my fiancee, as his family is small and currently the vast majority of guests on our list are my family and friends. I do not know them well, so I can't feel out the best way to broach the topic, and my fiancee is struggling with this himself. Anyone with any advice?



    I love SP's advice. Also, please keep in mind that sometimes people cannot afford to travel because they cannot afford not to work or the other expenses involved with traveling like meals, hotels, rental cars etc. I think it's lovely that you want to help them and I hope it works out.
    redheadbride15
  • Aww, thanks guys! <3

    I also thought about offering to use frequent flyer miles to pay for their flight, as it seems like less of a hand-out. (We do have some miles, though probably not enough for three tickets - I'd look into it). I agree that it has to come from my fiancee, but I know this is a hard conversation for him and I'm trying to be supportive and come up with good phrasing to help him out.

    It's easy for us to surreptitiously cover the rooms at our venue, as we do have 10 "free" rooms as part of our rental contract that we plan on using for immediate family. And most meals will be included as part of the wedding activities (Friday dinner at my parents', Saturday breakfast as part of room package, Saturday reception, and Sunday brunch). Rental cars are fortunately pretty cheap (at least in comparison to cross-country flights x3!). The time off work is something we obviously have no control over...
  • amelishaamelisha Canadian Texas member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer Name Dropper
    I actually think offering the flights through your frequent flyer miles is a great idea...whether or not the whole cost comes from them. I think it will be a lot easier to accept "I know flights are crazy expensive and I feel like I can't ask you to spend so much on us, but we have a bunch of miles and we'd be happy to book your tickets with them so we don't have to feel guilty about wanting you guys to fly all the way out here. We've got some free rooms because of our block too, so if that would make it doable we'd be happy to snag you one of those too." I'd approach it from the "it's a lot to ask," perspective (and honestly it is...I'm having a DW and I almost didn't because I felt so bad asking people to travel) because then it seems like you're just lessening a burden you've asked them to carry rather than offering charity.

    All this obviously is affected by their relationship and what kind of family they are, but I think if the brother isn't particularly sensitive about it then offering is worth a shot. Just don't be too disappointed if it still doesn't work for them and don't pressure in case they really can't afford the time off or whatever but they feel obligated to say yes because of what you're offering.

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    WildMageletSP29
  • I'm a huge fan of @amelisha's suggestion.  Using points (even if its just for part of it) and giving them a free room in a block you'd be getting anyways seems like less of a hand-out and less likely to cause issues with possible hurt pride due to their financial situation.
    Formerly known as flutterbride2b
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