Wedding Guest Accommodation Etiquette and FAQs You Need to Know

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If you’re planning a destination wedding or hosting out-of-town guests, accommodation is something you’ll need to think about. But when it comes to wedding guest accommodation – who is responsible for covering the costs? 

From reserving hotel blocks to sharing accommodation details with your guests, we’ve answered all of your FAQs below. Read on for our guide to wedding guest accommodation etiquette, including some tips on making the process as seamless as possible for your loved ones!

Photo via Ryan Ray Photo

Who Pays For Wedding Guest Accommodation at a Destination Wedding?

Destination weddings are certainly a less traditional way to tie the knot, so it can be tricky to know the correct etiquette involved in hosting your guests. If your loved ones are required to travel to attend your wedding, do you need to cover their accommodation costs in return?

Here’s the good news: it’s generally understood that your guests will be responsible for covering all of their travel expenses, including flights and accommodation. Let’s be honest – it would be an expensive endeavor to foot the hotel bill for your entire guest list!

With this being said, hosting a destination wedding means you’ll likely be covering costs in other areas – for example, organizing a shuttle bus to and from your venue, hosting a welcome dinner, and providing food and drinks on the wedding day itself.

What About Out-Of-Town Guests?

Even if you’re hosting a local wedding in your hometown, you may have certain guests traveling from abroad who will require accommodation. Again, it’s not expected for you to foot the bill for their lodging. However, you may be able to help them out by offering a spare room at your house (if possible), or picking them up and dropping them off at the airport.

Who Pays for Bridal Party Accommodation?

Okay, so what about the etiquette involved in bridal party accommodation? Are your bridesmaids and groomsmen expected to pay their own way, or are you responsible for covering this cost?

Well, it really depends on the situation. If you’re requesting your bridal party stay with you overnight before your wedding, we’d say it’s only fair to cover this cost, as they don’t have the option to find a more affordable alternative.

However, if the members of your bridal party are responsible for booking their own separate accommodation, you’re not expected to cover this cost (unless you’d like to chip in as a thank-you gift, of course!).

Photo via Sandra Fazzino

How to Find Group Rates and Special Deals on Wedding Guest Accommodation

To help your guests find suitable accommodation without breaking the bank, it can be a nice gesture to find group rates and special deals on group accommodation. Many hotels and resorts will allow you to reserve a block of rooms for your guests, and provide an exclusive discount for those attending your wedding. 

There are several online resources like Hotel Planner that can help you find and compare discounted group rates. Or, you can simply get in touch with your preferred hotel and ask them if they offer any special deals for wedding accommodation. As well as a reduced rate, you may also be able to negotiate extra perks like complimentary breakfast, late checkout, or a fully stocked mini-bar.

If you’ve decided to reserve a block of rooms, it’s a good idea to do this early, especially if you’re getting married in a popular location with limited hotels to choose from. It’s also worth asking your wedding venue if they have any partnerships with surrounding venues. Certain Airbnbs or group accommodation options may offer an exclusive discount for wedding guests.

Questions to Ask When Reserving Group Accommodation

Once you’ve found some hotel options, you’ll want to get the nitty-gritty details of exactly what’s involved in reserving a block of rooms for your wedding.

Consider asking the following questions to help you find the best hotel to suit your needs:

  • What is the best discount you can offer?
  • Is there a cut-off date when guests need to reserve their room in order to access the discounted rate?
  • What room options are available? Do you have any images you can show us?
  • What is your cancellation policy if guests are unable to attend?
  • Do you require a deposit? If so, what are the terms required for us to get it back?
  • Do you provide a shuttle bus service?
  • Are there any penalties if a percentage of the reserved rooms are unbooked?

Asking these questions upfront and understanding exactly how the process works will help you avoid any nasty surprises later down the track.

Photo via Katie Ruther

How to Ask Guests to Pay For Their Own Accommodation

As mentioned above, it’s generally understood that your guests will be responsible for covering all of their travel expenses. This means they will already be expecting to foot the bill for their accommodation costs.

With this in mind, it can be helpful to clarify this and even share some accommodation suggestions in the local area to make it easy for your loved ones. You can do this by including a separate insert card in your wedding invitations or creating a wedding website to share all of the essential wedding details with your guests.

Using your wedding website to share accommodation suggestions can streamline the process as your guests will be able to click the relevant links and make a booking online in a matter of minutes. You’ll also have more space to share multiple accommodation options, without trying to cram everything into one small piece of paper!

If you’re planning a destination wedding, we’d recommend having your wedding website ready when you send your save-the-dates. This will give your loved ones ample time to budget and make arrangements for their accommodation.

When it comes to asking guests to pay for their own wedding accommodation, keep it simple. You can say something like:

“We appreciate that you will be looking for a suitable place to stay to attend our destination wedding. There are several accommodation options available within a short distance of our venue. Please find some of our top recommendations listed below including direct links and contact information. We hope this helps!”

Be sure to provide a list of options at different price points to suit the various budgets of your guests. You may want to include a small blurb about each option, including the distance from your wedding venue. 

We’d recommend providing a range of accommodation styles, from hotels and resorts to Airbnbs and other group properties. Be sure to consider any special needs, too – for example, guests traveling with children, or accessibility for guests in wheelchairs.

Photo via Asha Bailey

How to Word Hotel Block Information on Your Wedding Website

If you’ve reserved a block of rooms at a local hotel, you can also use your wedding website to share the relevant details with your guests. Be sure to include instructions on how to access the discount, whether that’s mentioning a special code or referencing your surnames. If you’ve organized a shuttle bus to transport your guests to and from the venue, this is also something you’ll need to specify.

When it comes to wording hotel block information on your wedding website, you can say something like:

“For your convenience, we’ve reserved a block of rooms at Palm Springs Resort. When making your reservation, simply mention “The Johnsons” wedding in order to receive a discounted rate. You can contact the hotel directly here to make a booking: (insert contact details).

A shuttle bus will be departing from the hotel at 2.30pm for our ceremony, and returning to the hotel every 30 minutes from 10pm onwards.”

How to Make Out-Of-Town Wedding Guests Feel at Home

Whether you’re planning a destination wedding or hosting out-of-town guests, there are a few thoughtful ways you can help your loved ones settle in after their trip. For example:

  • Gift them a welcome bag filled with relevant supplies such as a map of the area, some local delicacies, bottled water, postcards, a first aid kit, toiletries, or souvenirs.
  • Include as much detail as possible on your wedding website to help your guests make the most of their stay, such as an itinerary of events, restaurant recommendations, and things to see and do in the local area. Read our guide on what to include on your destination wedding website here!
  • Host a welcome dinner to give your guests the opportunity to mix and mingle before the big event. 
Photo via Lissa Ryan

Create Your Destination Wedding Website

We’ve made it easy to share all of the essential wedding information with your guests here at WedSites! Use our drag-and-drop wedding website builder to create a helpful online resource for your loved ones (including accommodation suggestions and FAQs) while also tracking RSVPs for your event. Check out our destination wedding website wording examples here!
You can view our beautiful range of wedding website templates here, or create your free account to get started.