How to Cover Guest Expenses for a Destination Wedding

There have been tons of articles recently about destination weddings. These articles have been about how guests feel about destination weddings and the costs associated.

For some guests, destination weddings are a super fun and happy thing.

Because it gives you an excuse to travel! It gives you a chance to explore somewhere new or revisit somewhere you’ve been before.

And you’re happy to spend the money.

Bride and groom walking at their resort in St. Croix a destination wedding in the Caribbean by Destination wedding planner Mango Muse Events
(Photo credit: McAllister Photography)

But, there are other guests who find destination weddings selfish.

Because they don’t want to spend money to attend a wedding. Or because they don’t want to go to that destination. Or because they don’t have the time off or money to spend on a destination wedding.

No matter how you feel about destination weddings, it’s true that a destination wedding will cost a guest more than a hometown wedding would.

And this is purely because of the travel aspect.

But there is a way to make it easier on your guests by covering some (or all) of the travel costs.

But, how do you do that? And what guest expenses should you cover?

What guest expenses you should cover and how you do it really work together.

And the short answer is to do what’s easiest.

But let’s take a step back for a moment.

Before you can figure out what’s easiest, you have to figure out how much you’re able to cover and how much you want to cover. And these may not be the same thing.

So, you’ll have to take a look at your budget and make sure that fits with what you’d like to spend per person.

Once you have that, then it’s just a matter of figuring out what fits that amount in conjunction with what you can take care of easily.

Because not everything is easy. And you don’t want to make this harder on yourself or your guests.

That would defeat the purpose.

So, let’s talk about each of the main areas of travel and how you can help ease some of your guest expenses.


So, flights are a hard thing to cover as each person will have different needs for their flight (timing, location, etc…).

And each flight will cost differently. So, how much you’re spending on each person would vary, which is a little odd.

And you can’t really reimburse them for their flight costs, because let’s face it, that’s just weird.

So, flights are not something you can take care of easily.

The only way to do it would be to hire a travel agent that all your guests would use. But, unless you’re covering the flight costs in full, this will be a hard sell as everyone has preferences on airlines and things like mileage programs.

So, flights are not usually something I suggest you cover unless it’s for a few singular people. It’s just too hard otherwise.


Pool area of the Mauna Kea beach resort wedding on the Big Island by Destination wedding planner Mango Muse Events
(Photo credit: Emily Piraino)

Hotels on the other hand are much easier to cover. And there are a couple of ways you can do it.

One way is to cover all the rooms in total for X amount of nights. So, it’s a set amount for everyone and if anyone stays longer or upgrades to a different room, they’d cover those costs.

Another way is to cover a portion of all the rooms. So, for example you could cover $200 for each room. They’d get to pick which ever room they want and stay as long as they want and you’d be helping to reduce the total costs.

Both of these options are easy for your guests and for you.

But, the important thing to remember with hotels is that covering the room costs or part of the room costs only works if all your guests are staying in one location.

If people are spread out at different hotels or staying at airbnbs, this option wouldn’t work. So, keep that in mind as you’re exploring options.


Of all three areas, transportation is the easiest.

It’s easy because it’s a set amount. So, you could cover everyone’s transportation to and from the airport in your destination.

You’d just coordinate with a shuttle company (or ferry or whatever mode of transportation is required).

Then your guests would book their reservation directly. That way they have the right timing and location and would get a confirmation.

And then you can easily take care of the bill at the end.

It’s easy for you and it’s easy for them.

Happy wedding guests having fun dancing at a barn wedding by Destination wedding planner Mango Muse Events
(Photo credit: Arrowood Photography)

Now for most couples, you wouldn’t be able (or want) to cover all your guest expenses completely. But, if you can and want to, then I highly suggest you work with a travel agent.

They can coordinate all the flights, hotels and transportation for your guests and then just bill you at the end.

Covering some (or all) of your wedding guest expenses is a really nice thing to do.

Not everyone can do it, but if you can and want to, no matter what you choose, your guests will be thankful and appreciative.

And if you need some help figuring out exactly what makes sense for your wedding, contact us today. We can help you with all aspects of your destination wedding and how to make it easy and enjoyable for your guests.

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