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Cory
Just Said Yes May 2025

Destination wedding: charging guests for lodging

Cory, on May 21, 2024 at 2:11 AM Posted in Planning 0 18
I've searched but haven't had much luck finding tips on this. I have a destination wedding in Ireland. We rented a castle for the wedding and to stay at with our guests for a week.


Everyone is expecting to pay but all the rooms are very different. Some are bigger than others and not all the rooms have a bathroom within the room. For my sanity, ideally I want to just charge a flat rate but I'm not sure if guests will okay with that. Should I charge one rate? Or two: with private bath and one without?
Wedding festivities is 4 nights but I could only rent by the week. I don't think this will matter. Hotel for 4 nights with no meals cost more than a week at the castle if I divided the cost by number of rooms.
Any advice is appreciated.

18 Comments

Latest activity by Westland, on May 23, 2024 at 7:38 AM
  • Michelle
    Rockstar December 2022
    Michelle ·
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    If you want guests to stay on site, you have to cover the expenses. It is a faux pas to ask them to pay you. You cannot charge guests because you are not a hotel. Go back to the drawing board and let guests stay where they wish.
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  • Cory
    Just Said Yes May 2025
    Cory ·
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    Thank you! I'll give them both options. The castle includes meals for almost $100 less a night than the local hotels. Most guests have expressed needing to keep costs down. I like the idea of giving hotel options as well. Thanks
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  • Michelle
    Rockstar December 2022
    Michelle ·
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    If you keep the castle option, you have to cover those expenses yourself. You cannot pass the cost to the guests. Also look outside the box at non hotel lodging because you can often find deals and they don’t advertise. Some people may want to rent those depending on the cost. It’s also acceptable to decline if they can’t afford to stay somewhere.
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  • V
    Champion July 2019
    Veronica ·
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    It's not the guests responsibilities to pay your venue. That is up to you and your fiancé to cover any fees associated with the venue.

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  • Andrea
    Rockstar January 2024
    Andrea Online ·
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    As long as it’s an optional “some rooms are available in the castle for $X, or local hotels include A, B, and C,” then I don’t see a problem with it. It’s no different than giving an option to have your hair done by my stylist if you want. It’s only when you’re requiring something that you’re required to pay for it all. It can get sticky with having them pay you instead of a hotel, so you need to be clear how this is being handled.
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  • Cory
    Just Said Yes May 2025
    Cory ·
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    Thank you. Not the venue but the rooms (suites), they cannot be blocked but rather booked as all or nothing, so I booked them to hold for my guests . It's a destination wedding with a small group of family and close friends.
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  • Cory
    Just Said Yes May 2025
    Cory ·
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    Thank you! I agree. I'll do a bit more research and give three options for our guests.
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  • Michelle
    Rockstar December 2022
    Michelle ·
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    Are you able to get a refund if someone doesn’t stay there?
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  • V
    Champion July 2019
    Veronica ·
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    Okay that makes more sense then, but I think you still need to give guests options on whether they stay in the suites or book a completely separate space. On the details card I would say something of the effect of x numbers of rooms are available at insert venue name. Rooms vary on amenities so please contact us if you're interested in staying at the venue so that I can make sure you book a room to your liking. Otherwise, if you aren't planning on staying at the venue, there are hotels also in the area.
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  • C
    CM ·
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    PP is correct. It doesn’t matter that staying at the castle works out to be less than a hotel would or that people are expecting or willing to pay you.


    It is unacceptable to charge your guests in order to cover any of the required costs involved in renting your venue, including the rooms. Not only does that put you in the unseemly position of innkeeper, charging your own wedding guests, it transfers the costs of renting out the property from you to them.
    It would be inappropriate anywhere renting out an entire property is required, but considering the already added expense, time off and inconvenience of a destination wedding it’s especially unfortunate. Remember, it’s your vacation, not theirs.

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  • Cory
    Just Said Yes May 2025
    Cory ·
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    Thank you for the feedback. I'm not changing anyone for the venue. And it is just as much their vacation as mine. I didn't invite people traditionally and planned it like a group trip. I did a full itinerary, I'm including meals, and more. It is 100% optional if anyone joins us or attends the wedding. I'm looking forward to spending time together with my small group of family and friends that I don't get to see very often. Instead of booking my perfect intimate venue and having everyone drive everywhere, stay in a hotel, and eat out everyday, I'm hoping to make it more affordable like an all inclusive group trip. Thank you.
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  • C
    CM ·
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    You can correct me if this is wrong, but If you are putting yourself in the position of charging your guests to stay in rooms that were mandatory for you to book in order to have the venue, then you are in fact charging in part for your ability to have that venue. That shifts the costs from you to your guests.

    I understand that it's optional to attend, but it's also your wedding, which only happens once. People to whom you are important may sacrifice to be there and/or privately wish for something less expensive and more convenient.

    If you planned all of this completely jointly from the outset with a very small group of family and friends then I can see that being an exception, but to me, a real vacation is something I plan at a time and place of my own choosing, with travel companions I pick, a hotel that I choose for myself, activities that I plan for the duration, and a budget that I control from the start.

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  • Cece
    Rockstar October 2023
    Cece ·
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    I completely agree with Andrea. As long as it is offered as an option, and not a requirement, I don’t see anything wrong with that. Like she mentioned, though, I would definitely get a plan in place for how payment will be processed.
    Congratulations on the engagement! A wedding at a castle in Ireland is going to be phenomenal!
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  • Cece
    Rockstar October 2023
    Cece ·
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    I get what you’re saying, but I think the alternative would actually be worse. If the couple pays for all the rooms, then offers to let certain people stay there for free, that creates an unfair situation to other guests who have to pay for accommodations. I think offering it as an option is a great idea. It sounds like it is also a very affordable option, compared to other accommodations in the area; so I’m sure guests will appreciate having that option, along with the typical hotels, Airbnb, etc.
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  • Andrea
    Rockstar January 2024
    Andrea Online ·
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    It’s not just optional to attend, it’s optional to stay. There are other hotels OP said she’ll provide information for that the guests can stay at if they prefer. So they can stay at a hotel of their choosing and still attend the wedding. Sounds like a typical destination wedding to me. That one of the options is paying the bride and groom instead of a hotel directly doesn’t suddenly make it rude.
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  • C
    CM ·
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    Not if there's room for and the option for everyone to stay there for free. Which it sounds like most guests would be eager to do since they have expressed their wish to keep costs down.

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  • C
    CM ·
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    Agree to disagree. I don't think it's appropriate to take money or bill guests for any reason, especially if it's benefiting OP because she gets a partially subsidized venue out of it.

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  • R
    Rockstar June 2018
    Rae ·
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    To answer your initial question: I would charge a different amount based on the rooms with ensuite restrooms. You can have two different options.

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