Allison
February 2022

Destination Wedding Etiquette

Allison, on April 10, 2021 at 7:24 PM Posted in Etiquette and Advice 0 16
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Hi everyone! I have been planning an intimate destination wedding (40 people) for the past six months and invites went out recently. The deadline to RSVP is approaching and one of my bridesmaids still has not RSVPed. I have mentioned this to her several times casually via Snapchat and reminded the bridal party (small, only 3 girls) and she still has not taken the hint.


I’m concerned she’s waiting to the last minute and is going to ask to bring a guest because she is in a brand new relationship (2 months) and totally obsessed with this new person. When we first started planning and invites went out, she was single. Even if they had been dating, a plus one would not have been given because our guest list is so small. To limit the number of guests, we made the decision to only invite those with long-term significant others. Everyone has been fine with this since our group of friends is super tight and the singles have all known each other for 5-10 years so no one going will be “left out” or have to travel alone. We are paying for guests hotel rooms and have everything mapped out already so adding a plus one is frankly not happening.
How should I respond if she asks to bring her new bf? I don’t want to create drama but no one on our guest list is “unknown” to us and I would find it frankly rude if she had the nerve to ask knowing that we are footing the bill for guests and moving her out of a shared room with 2 close friends and into a private room with her bf would cost us significant $$$.
All advice appreciated! I just know it’s coming and would like to be prepared to react rationally and not emotionally.

16 Comments

Latest activity by Catherine, on April 11, 2021 at 4:25 PM
  • Ava
    Super May 2022
    Ava Online ·
    • Flag
    If I were in your situation, I would allow her to bring her significant other. It sounds as though she is really into this person and excited about where the relationship is going. As one of her closest friends, you should support her relationship like she is supporting yours. If the cost of booking an additional room is of concern, I would just explain to her that you are extremely happy for her and would love to have her boyfriend attend the wedding. However, since rooms have already been booked, she would need to secure a room for her and her bf.
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  • Hannah
    Master July 2019
    Hannah ·
    • Flag
    Your wedding isn't until Feb 2022, so it is way too early to expect people to RSVP, even with it being a destination wedding. Also, by the time of your wedding, your bridesmaid would have been in this relationship for a year, and given it is a destination wedding, you are asking this person to travel. In all honesty, I think she would be entitled to bring her significant other.
    • Reply
  • V
    Champion July 2019
    Veronica ·
    • Flag
    With your wedding still so far, I don't understand why your rsvp deadline is coming up. There is no way guests can accurate tell you so far in advance if they can attend. As for your bridesmaid, I think it is wrong to exclude her boyfriend especially because if they are still together by the time of your wedding they will have been together for nearly a year. I think it is wrong to exclude him because you are asking her to celebrate your relationship, but ignoring hers. I also think it is a lot to expect her to travel by herself.
    • Reply
  • Allison
    February 2022
    Allison ·
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    View Quoted Comment
    Wedding is in a few months not in 2022. I did not put the accurate date for privacy reasons.
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  • Sarah
    Master September 2019
    Sarah Online ·
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    If you don’t want to invite him, you can tell her that. You can’t stop him from traveling with her and booking his own room though. And I would weigh the pros and cons. Will you be ok if she ends up declining the invitation if she can’t bring him?
    • Reply
  • Hannah
    Master July 2019
    Hannah ·
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    What is a few months? Most RSVP deadlines are a month out from the wedding. Also, at the end of the day, you can't control what others do. She may be holding off because she wants her bf there. She also may just be procrastinating because that's what people do. Most RSVPs come in at the deadline, and she figures you know she's coming because she's in the bridal party. You can wait until the deadline and talk to her, or you can try to broach the topic now. But be prepared with a response of what to say if she asks about the boyfriend, whether that's a yes or no is up to you. Most people extend a courtesy plus one to guests traveling because no one wants to travel alone,, as well as to bridal party members, so it wouldn't be totally off the wall if she was expecting to be able to bring him.
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  • Allison
    February 2022
    Allison ·
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    We’ve been planning this for over a year and she and the other bridal party members have all been discussing how excited they are to stay in a villa with us and the groomsmen so I would be very offended for her to try to change plans at the last minute to accommodate someone I have never even met.
    • Reply
  • Allison
    February 2022
    Allison ·
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    I thought I clarified but the bridal party and I are a close group of 4 who have been friends since HS. We all still live in the same city and she would not be traveling alone. The other two girls are also not bringing dates and the plan was for them to all room together. And I am paying for all room accommodations to make travel as easy as possible. Having to book another room would be a significant cost for a long weekend. I think someone else recommended that I should ask her to cover the costs of their accommodations if she would like to bring her bf. I will do that. Thanks for all the responses!
    • Reply
  • P
    Savvy April 2023
    Peyton ·
    • Flag

    I hope it works out. Sounds like a very intimate and wonderful wedding. It might be a be a nice opportunity to get to know your friend’s bf. If he really wants to attend, he will not think paying for his own room is an unreasonable prerequisite. What do your other bridesmaids think? How about your fiancé?

    • Reply
  • Catherine
    Expert March 2023
    Catherine ·
    • Flag
    If you’re paying for everything and adding anything room for privacy for bridesmaid and boyfriend would be too much of an added cost, I definitely agree that explaining to your bridesmaid that she’s welcome to bring her boyfriend if she/they for the added expenses of the room and flight is very mature. I hope if all works out!
    • Reply
  • Samantha
    Rockstar October 2022
    Samantha ·
    • Flag
    I wonder if she doesn’t realize that you expect her to send an RSVP? She’s agreed to be in the bridal party, right? When you say she hasn’t taken the hint, have you said “you’re going to be in the wedding, right? Staying at the villa, you’ve got plane tickets, passports, everything?”
    • Reply
  • Samantha
    Rockstar October 2022
    Samantha ·
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    Ok I know I’m old as dirt...but you live in the same city and you are a group of four tight knit friends and so far you’ve only approached this through snapchat?
    Give her a call! Text! Zoom!!
    • Reply
  • Elizabeth
    Super June 2021
    Elizabeth ·
    • Flag
    First, a significant other is not a plus one. But seeing as how she wasn't dating this person when invites when out, I think it's okay to simply say that it's not in the budget and you're sorry but you just can't add another person.
    • Reply
  • Elizabeth
    Super June 2021
    Elizabeth ·
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    Who wait it's in 2022???? I completely change my mind. This is too early to ask people to RSVP, and you'll have to invite everyone who is in a relationship by the time the real invites go out (which should be in December or January, this is WAY too early to ask people to commit)
    • Reply
  • Janae
    Dedicated April 2021
    Janae ·
    • Flag
    Congratulations on your engagement! That's amazing your able to foot the bill for your guest. I have also been planning a destination wedding for 4/24/21. One thing with destination weddings are not everyone will rsvp on time. You can always add another room later. I wouldn't continue to stress yourself out on one person. You have already spoke your peace and she had the info. She will not be shocked about what's to come next. I have also notice because of covid people are alot more hesitant. We are still in the unknown of what's to happen with traveling in the future. I understand its frustrating but just move on to the next task. If she does bring someone uninvited they will have to pay simple as that. Don't worry about what she's going to say or do it's about you and your fiancé. Just enjoy your planning and your engagement.
    • Reply
  • Catherine
    Expert March 2023
    Catherine ·
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    She said she put the wrong wedding date for privacy reasons. She’s getting married in a month or two.
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