Wedding Etiquette Forum

Who pays for out of town guests?

Majority of our family members are out of town guests, who pays for their hotels?

I have a aunt who is travel agent who can probably get a block of rooms for a certain rate, but again what is the protocol?

Re: Who pays for out of town guests?

  • dcbride86dcbride86 Washington, DC member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Second Anniversary First Answer

    Each out of town guest pays for their own hotel room.

    You contact the hotels and get a block rate for them, but they pay for their rooms.  That said, it is polite to offer a less expensive hotel block if the primary block is expensive.

  • mikenbergermikenberger In a f'n cornfield member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer

    Majority of our family members are out of town guests, who pays for their hotels?

    I have a aunt who is travel agent who can probably get a block of rooms for a certain rate, but again what is the protocol?

    They do. You can set aside a room block for them at the same hotel if you'd like, but you are under no obligation to pay for hotels, flights or cars. That's on them.

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  • nhultberg461nhultberg461 Henderson, NV member
    100 Comments 25 Love Its
    What I am obligated to pay for? Aside from all the normal stuff, like the ceromny and reception stuff. I will be paying for my daughters dress, but who pays for what in the bridal party then? Sorry I'm slightly confused.
  • dcbride86dcbride86 Washington, DC member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Second Anniversary First Answer
    What I am obligated to pay for? Aside from all the normal stuff, like the ceromny and reception stuff. I will be paying for my daughters dress, but who pays for what in the bridal party then? Sorry I'm slightly confused.


    The bridal party traditionally pays for their own dresses, but you need to privately ask each of them what their budget is.  You can pay for their bridesmaids dresses, but it is not required.  You only need to pay for the BM bouquets, and anything you REQUIRE them to have/wear (if you require them to get their hair professionally done, you need to pay for that).

    Also, you should get each bridesmaid a gift.

  • The wedding party pays for their attire.  You should NOT dictate what jewelry or shoes they wear unless you're purchasing them.  They are also not required to get their hair/makeup professionally done unless you're footing the bill.  So...the clothing they wear is all they need to pay for but before you select their attire, ask them each privately what their budget is.


  • mikenbergermikenberger In a f'n cornfield member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    What I am obligated to pay for? Aside from all the normal stuff, like the ceromny and reception stuff. I will be paying for my daughters dress, but who pays for what in the bridal party then? Sorry I'm slightly confused.
    You don't have to pay for anything, technically. If you're having a bridal party, you should ask your bridesmaids individually and privately what they're willing to spend on a dress and work within those parameters.

    But you should get them a gift/token of appreciation of some sort. Typically these are given at the rehearsal or the morning of. And for those, just shop like you would for their birthday. 

    If you're requiring a certain shoe or hair or makeup, you should pay for those as well. But if you don't really care either way and you're having your hair and makeup done, you can definitely say "Hey girls, I'm getting my hair and makeup done at X and the cost is $Y. Let me know if you'd like to join in! If not, you're still welcome to come and hang out at the salon at 9:00a!"

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  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    I'm a firm believer of paying for anything your budget will allow.  Especially for OOT WP members.  What ever you can do to help offset the travel costs is always much appreciated.     

    For some people that means not being able to do anything.  Others can afford to buy lunch for the WP the day before. For others it's the dresses, or 1 night hotel, of having a welcome reception for everyone the night before.  


    Our wedding was OOT for everyone.  We did a combination of picking up accommodations for some of the WP, paying for attire of others, even paying for hair for one of the BMs.  We had an open house the night before for the entire guest list.  Just drinks and light foods.  I would do that again in a heart beat.

    Our beach rental was an open house of sorts for 3 days.  We made sure we had plenty of food, snacks and drinks for people to stop by.   The morning of golf outing all the GMs stopped by for breakfast.   At a restaurant it would have cost $5+ per person.  We feed everyone for that amount.  Even though the savings was small, it was much appreciated. The day before I took all the BM out for lunch.   DH bought the GM lunch also.

     Everyone has different budgets so there is no right or wrong answer.   But I feel it's very nice to be able to do anything you can WITHIN YOUR BUDGET.  






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    [Deleted User]
  • You really don't have to pay anything extra for out-of-town guests than you do for in-town guests. They pay for their own hotel, flights, etc. 

    Regardless of whether your bridal party is in-town or out-of-town, they have to pay for their dress (as long as you stick to their provided budgets!) and you have to pay for anything else you REQUIRE them to have (hair, makeup, shoes)...but if it's all optional then they pay for themselves.

    That being said, most weddings I've been to out-of-town for as part of a bridal party, the bride has essentially paid to feed and entertain me the whole time i'm there. Usually this includes a welcome bag at the hotel (a few bottles of water and some snacks usually), the rehearsal dinner with open bar, breakfast/lunch (depending on the timing) while getting ready the day of the wedding, then of course all of the food and drink at the reception. There's also usually a going-away brunch the next day if there's a lot of out-of-town guests, and I'd say that's pretty 50/50 on whether the hosts pay or everyone pays their own way. 

    For weddings where I was only a guest, there have often been receptions the night before with food and drink to greet the out of town guests, but this is in no means required. Honestly, this has only been my rich friends!

    Also, if the venue is not at the hotel that the out-of-town guests are staying at, the hosts usually pay for transportation (a shuttle) for everyone staying at the hotel to get to and from the venue.
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