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My Destination Wedding: Who pays for what?!

You’ve decided to book a destination wedding- Yay! Time to start planning the budget.


What should I expect to pay for?

Now that you’ve decided on a destination wedding, you’ll want to budget for your nuptial get away. Here’s a list of what you (or your gracious parents) should expect to pay for and some extras you may decide to offer your destination guests.

Wedding Weekend Experience

Welcome Party

This can include something as small as a cocktail or a large-scale dinner and after party.

Rehearsal Dinner

Rehearsal dinner for wedding attendants

(Consider inviting all your guests to the rehearsal dinner if the wedding is small and intimate)

destination wedding expense planning

Wedding Reception

This includes dinner and dancing for all guests – cocktails optional but recommended.


Morning After Brunch

One last meal with all your guests is a great way to wind down the weekend. It’s an opportunity to thank them all for spending their precious time making your wedding special. A few mimosas to cure that morning-after-wedding-dance-party wouldn’t hurt either.


If your ceremony, reception and accommodations are at different sites, consider providing transport to and from ceremony and reception sites for wedding guests.

Attendant Hotel Rooms

If this is something you hadn’t planned to cover, consider telling your bridesmaids and groomsmen that their companionship your wedding get away is a gift to you.

Welcome gift

Check out our guide to nailing wedding guest welcome gifts.



Consider covering the cost of one excursion for a special bonding experience between you and all your guests – like renting a boat for a snorkeling trip or taking a bus tour through the mountains.

Destination wedding planning


Guests will appreciate the pre-planned transport to and from airport upon arrival at your wedding destination

Special Guests

Consider covering travel costs for those extra special people in your life that wouldn’t be able to come otherwise, like a groomsman, dear friend or gramps.

What should my guests pay for?

Wedding Party

Ideally you'll pay for accommodations at least the night before and the night of the wedding for your attendants but this is totally optional.

Typically attendants can expect to pay for:

Personal travel to and from the wedding, wedding day attire (and pre/post wedding events), meals & libations outside of the wedding festivities as well as their own hair and makeup. Exceptions may include: your bridesmaid that works for a not for profit or the musician groomsman surviving on ramen (hey, if can't imagine your day without them it's probably worth the added budget)

Wedding Guests

Guests can expect to foot the bill for personal travel to and from the wedding, their own accommodations, meals & libations outside of the wedding day, and any non-wedding activities or excursions not booked by you and your groom (Like the ones you suggest from your pre wedding site visit).


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