Destination Weddings Discussions

Wording to let guests know they have to stay at our hoteL?

I have a tricky etiquette situation. We're having a very small (about 35 people) destination wedding (it will be destination for everyone) on a private island. Rooms on the island are inexpensive, especially for the area - they start at around $99. The issue is, our venue will only allow guests of the hotel to be on the island - we can't get day passes for people not staying at the hotel. How do we word it on our wedding website so that people know they have be guests at the hotel if they are coming to the wedding?

Re: Wording to let guests know they have to stay at our hoteL?

  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I have a tricky etiquette situation. We're having a very small (about 35 people) destination wedding (it will be destination for everyone) on a private island. Rooms on the island are inexpensive, especially for the area - they start at around $99. The issue is, our venue will only allow guests of the hotel to be on the island - we can't get day passes for people not staying at the hotel. How do we word it on our wedding website so that people know they have be guests at the hotel if they are coming to the wedding?
    If they have to pay an entry fee to your wedding, you and your FI should really be covering those costs. You're essentially telling all your guests they must spend at least $100 just to attend your wedding. So you either need to pay for that night at the hotel (after which they can go elsewhere as they please and pay what they feel comfortable paying), or you need to find a way to negotiate with the venue for guest passes. But having an entry fee to your wedding is a major etiquette problem. There's not a good way to word it because it's pretty rude to tell your guests they Must stay at (and pay for) one specific hotel in order to see you married. 
    This. You chose a guest hostile venue, really.  You need to cover the costs.  This is so weird to me.  Does this island normally do weddings?  And how are guests getting to the island?  If there is only one option, I honestly think you should cover that too.  


    image
    SP29
  • LondonLisaLondonLisa London, UK member
    Eighth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Talk to your venue and negotiate some sort of day pass that is covered by you and your fi.

    That is the only solution bar finding a whole new venue. 
    STARMOON44InLoveInQueensSP29
  • Yeah I am with the others here, this situation is not working.  I would think that you could arrange some kind of day passes for your guests.  Even if you have to cover a smaller cost, guests should not have to pay admission/be forced to stay at a specific hotel to attend your wedding.

    As an FYI $100 for a single night is more than I could spend on any accommodations right now...so never assume that something "is inexpensive".  This is only made worse by it being a DW that includes additional travel costs.  I am not saying this is or isn't a good price, just something to think about.  No one likes to be reminded about a lack of money whether that was your intention or not.

    ei34YogaSandy
  • Yep, either work something out with your venue OR pay for the hotel that night for your guests. 

    I went to a DW in Jamaica a few years ago and the bride reserved the whole resort (it was small one with a bunch of bungalows). Some people offered to pay for their rooms which she accepted, but she didn't ask to be reimbursed. 

    I was invited to another DW in Jamaica after that and found out it was at some stupid exclusive resort that wouldn't allow guests who didn't stay there to attend the wedding. It would have cost me $1200 for 3 days....so I didn't go. The bride was PISSED that hardly anyone went, so also be prepared for that.
    SP29cowgirl8238ei34short+sassy
  • So...it's like $100 cover for your wedding?  That's not cool.

    If someone is your guest, they should not have to pay: to park, to drink, to dance with the bride, and especially not just to walk in the door.

    I like the solutions suggested above, because as originally written, this is a pretty crap deal for your guests.

    InLoveInQueensSP29ei34flantastic
  • Agreed, either negotiate a day pass with your venue, or you should be covering the costs of the hotel. In which case you can include an insert in your invitation letting guests know only hotel guests are able to access the island, so upon acceptance of your invitation, you will book a room for them.
  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited December 2016
    Find another venue.  Being polite to your guests is more important than your wedding vision.
    This is like a cruise ship wedding.  If your guests have to pay and go on a cruise to witness you wedding, then you are asking too much of them.  You cannot invite people and then tell them how to spend their money.  Do not charge admission to your wedding.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    SP29cowgirl8238InLoveInQueensei34
  • Yeah...you can't do that.  Sorry.  There is no way to tell people that they have to pay to attend your wedding because that is not an okay thing to require of them.  Either negotiate an exception or find a new venue.  Period.

    Also, if rooms "start around $99," what happens when those "cheap" rooms are sold out?  When grandma goes to book and the only room left is a $750 a night presidential suite?  Then she has to choose between spending a month's social security on a lavish hotel room she doesn't even want or missing her grandkid's wedding?

    Finally, as someone in the hospitality industry I agree that $100 is a bargain rate if the hotel is of good quality.  But as a traveler, I never pay that much. The 4-star hotel in a fantastic location that I booked for our upcoming trip to Barcelona is a splurge at $70-something a night.  I booked my parents an entire pristine 3-story apartment for $85 a night in Paris, a city known for being crazy expensive.  Abroad I tend to look for accommodations in the $30-40 range, and domestically I usually get an AirBnB for $70-80.  The only time I can ever recall having spent $100 or more on a room was a huge splurge on an internationally-famous 5 star hotel chain for a special occasion, and even that was under $200.  I would not be at all pleased to hear that you had made the conscious decision to force me to choose between paying a bunch of money for something I probably didn't even want and missing your wedding.
    ei34
  • @SaintPaulGal can I hire you to plan my vacations? I've gotten some good hotel deals, but nothing that low. I was proud of our $150/night condo in the French Quarter of NOLA (granted, that was Halloween weekend too and other hotels were $400+) and the $80/night apartment just off the beach in Puerto Rico, but damn! Teach me!
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    cowgirl8238SP29short+sassy
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Ninth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    It's rude to pass on any of the costs of your wedding on to your guests. 

    Just as charging guests for drinks, valet parking fees, etc. would be inappropriate, so is charging them for admission if they're not staying at the hotel.

    Unless you cover the admission charge yourself, you need to find another venue.
    SP29
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