Do You Believe the Wedding Party Should Pay for Destination Weddings?

By: Elizabeth Ervin
| Published:
February 6, 2023

If you chose to have a destination wedding at an exotic or touristy overseas location, would you expect your wedding party to pay their way fully, or would you contribute to the cost of attending? After a Canadian bride-to-be asked Reddit this question, these are the top-voted responses.

Many Agreed That It’s a Burden of a Request

After someone said they would never burden other people with paying for their wedding, one user wrote, “This is the most Canadian answer, in my opinion.” Furthermore, they clarified, “No one needs to spend a fortune so you can have some fancy schmancy wedding.”

Someone Suggested Making it a Family Vacation

Another shared that they were married in the Caribbean, and seven immediate family members joined them to celebrate their special day. “We viewed it as a family vacation with a wedding thrown in.

Everyone paid for their flights, alcohol, and excursions while we were there. However, my partner and I paid for all meals and accommodations, including renting a massive house for two weeks.”

Others Believe It Depends On The Financial Situation

Many in the thread agreed that it depends on “your financial situation and how badly you want your chosen wedding party to be there.”

One elaborated that if you don’t offer to pay, don’t expect people to prioritize attending your destination wedding. “No one cares about your wedding as much as you do, and it is unreasonable to expect that.”

One Said No. Wedding Parties Should Not Have to Pay

Someone confessed to considering having a destination wedding. “I’d be willing to pay for the expenses of the wedding party and immediate family who I’d need to be there. I wouldn’t invite anyone else who isn’t explicitly in that group.”

They elaborated that they would never expect people to pay for flights, hotels, wedding attire, and other expenses a destination wedding incurs. Additionally, there are expenses, including childcare, missing work, and using your paid vacation days.

“So expecting a wedding party member to be perfectly okay with spending thousands of dollars on flights, hotels, and other expenses on top of taking extra vacation days off work is pretty self-centered.”

Others Said Yes. But Don’t Expect Everyone to Come

Many in the thread agreed that it’s common for people to pay their way with destination weddings. But don’t expect everyone to come. One noted, “Even essential people you may have never imagined you wouldn’t have on your wedding day. You can’t hold it against anyone if they do not come.”

Many Suggested Destination Weddings Are a Self-Serving Gift Grab

One user explained that unless you’re having a destination wedding as a middle-ground meeting point for families from two different regions or countries, they are rude and a “self-serving gift grab.”

Another suggested that if you’re going to have a destination wedding, you should restrict the guest list to immediate family and closest friends. She explained that her friend had a destination wedding, inviting almost 400 people.

She knew not all these guests would attend and that they would send a wedding gift instead. Finally, one reminded people that when guests attend a destination wedding, their showing up is their gift.

She warned brides, “Don’t be my cousin, who invited 100 people to their destination wedding and 75 showed up, and then they got mad because they received few items from their wedding gift registry.”

While Others Agreed It Is Intentionally Small and Intimate

Many in the thread suggested that destination weddings are meant to be small and intimate ceremonies. People throw them because they don’t want everyone to attend but don’t want to offend people by not inviting them. 

Finally, one summed up, “The purpose of most destination weddings is for people that want to elope but don’t want to deal with the backlash of not inviting people. You can come to my wedding if you really want to.

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A lot of people think the concept of a traditional wedding is outdated or just a waste of money when young people can’t afford to home themselves. People who organize a destination wedding and expect most people to show up are delusional.”

We hope you enjoyed this Reddit discussion about whether the wedding party should pay for their expenses when going to destination weddings.


This article was inspired by the internet and did not necessarily reflect the views of The Budget Savvy Bride.

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