Jasmine
VIP August 2020

Destination Weddings Guest Count

Jasmine, on February 12, 2019 at 11:31 PM Posted in Planning 0 48
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For the ones that are already married or already have their final headcount for the big day, where do you stay and where are you having your wedding? How many people did you invite and how many people actually showed up or already RSVP'd?

My FH and I are looking into possibly having destination/out of state wedding (not quite sure where just yet) but are also worried about whether or not our guests would be willing to to travel. Was there anything that you guys did to accommodate your guests to make them more willing to say yes or did they just up and go without question? We're stuck on what to do.

48 Comments

  • A
    Devoted January 2020
    Abby ·
    We are doing a DW in Hawaii (and couldn’t be happier) we are having 20 people at our actual wedding then having a reception at home (where there will be 100 plus)! The wedding is going to be so cheap there that throwing a party back home and showing the video of us getting married is very cost effective! The people we asked to go were THRILLED to say yes and are super excited to go! Another thing we are doing is using VRBO and renting out a house with our close friends and all staying in a house together!! It’s SO much cheaper and people normally love a vacation and a wedding for a good deal!!
  • Jasmine
    VIP August 2020
    Jasmine ·
    View Quoted Comment

    OMG! That's amazing! Super exciting. Definitely something to look into. Thank you!!

  • A
    Devoted January 2020
    Abby ·
    View Quoted Comment
    Yes it’s wonderful!!! We are having our wedding on the beach with 20 people the whole thing (including beach permit, lies, special kuinut leis, minister, a photographer, picture release, help with your marriage license and much more) is only $800(if you have less than 20 it goes down in price.. up to $400 dollars less depending on how many ppl you have there). Plus we will already be on our honeymoon. Really we thought it was going to be so much more expensive to do it this way and it’s ended up being so much cheaper!! I wish you the best!
  • Jasmine
    VIP August 2020
    Jasmine ·
    View Quoted Comment

    Oh wow! That definitely kills two birds with one stone. That price is killer! And thank you. I'm sure we'll figure something out. Where did you find that deal? Is it only for Hawaii??

  • Pirate & 60s Bride
    Champion March 2017
    Pirate & 60s Bride ·
    We had a DW in Napa (in state but an 8-hour drive or 1-hour flight for most guests). We checked with all 15 guests, mostly family, to make sure everyone could go before we booked our venue. 15 guests attended!

    We also had a local reception for 50 guests three months later. We didn’t have band/dancing or wedding cake at our DW but we did at our reception. We got the best of all wedding celebrations with two events (but yes, more work since both were heavy DIY). 🤪
  • A
    Devoted January 2020
    Abby ·
    Yes, it is only for Hawaii (it may also only be exclusive to O’ahu. I’m not 100% sure though). It’s called Sweet Hawaiian weddings. They help you with everything even the cake for extra cost that way everything is at your wedding (for a reasonable price). I am honestly so impressed by this company!! It’s family run. The airfare is only going to be $700 round trip per person so overall it’s really cost effective and people get a trip out of it. We are creating a itenerary for everyone to know what we are doing and other ideas for the island. Most of the activities are cheap and we are having our “reception” on the beach. The people are so nice and SUPER helpful!
  • Jasmine
    VIP August 2020
    Jasmine ·
    View Quoted Comment

    Oh wow. That's still pretty great though. I will definitely have to talk to my FH about exploring this option. Thank you!

  • Jasmine
    VIP August 2020
    Jasmine ·
    View Quoted Comment

    That sounds amazing! I'll have to see if there's any other destination deals as well. I appreciate your help!

  • A
    Beginner February 2019
    Alexandria ·
    We are going to have 15 people at our DW this April, and then 150+ at a reception hosted later this year in June. Like other people have stated, it is AMAZINGLY cost effective to do it this way. Originally, we were going to have a more traditional wedding and it was going to cost us $25k minimum. Ew! Our destination wedding & super DIY reception will cost us $10k or less. With all this money saved, we are going to spend some of that “extra” money on chipping in for hotel rooms and travel costs for our 15 guests, which encourages all of them to come.
  • N
    Expert July 2019
    Natalie ·
    I’m having a DW. My FH and I live in north California with all his friends and some of my friends while my family is all in south California and some in Nevada we will meet in the middle about 3-4 hour drive from each side. My family doesn’t have a lot of money and I was afraid of them not being able to come for the wedding due to finance luckily my venue comes with cabins already included in the price so we are able to charge my family however much we see fit.
  • Future Mrs. Petro
    Devoted November 2018
    Future Mrs. Petro ·
    We had a DW in New Orleans. We live in New York and most of our friends and family are in the northeast. We inv
  • Future Mrs. Petro
    Devoted November 2018
    Future Mrs. Petro ·
    Get not sure what happened...we invited about 75 ppl and about 50 ppl attended. We had a fantastic time and so did our guests. 😃
  • Kiki
    Super May 2019
    Kiki ·

    My FH and I are doing our DW in Cancun Mexico. Our RSVP's aren't due until the end of the month but so far we have 40 out 80 people coming. I'm expecting 10 more to trickle either before or after due date.

    We are staying and getting married at the Grand Oasis Cancun, FH and I actually met each other at this resort a few years ago that's why we chose it as our venue!

    Good thing about a DW is it kinds of weeds out people who you don't really care to have there because they won't want to spend that kind of money to go but for all the guests to attend the wedding is one day and the rest is a vacation for them.

  • MrsV1027
    Master October 2018
    MrsV1027 ·

    We had our DW in Vegas. We invited roughly 40 and we had 30. We knew some of the 40 wouldn't be able to make it due to health concerns but wanted to extend the invite in case they could come. All of our guests were really excited to travel because there is just so much to do around Vegas. Most of them went to national parks and took tours and had a nice mini vacation with a night of partying on us. Everyone thanked us for having it in Vegas since some of them had never been there. My aunt and cousin even took a helicopter tour of the grand canyon!

  • Yoice
    VIP March 2019
    Yoice ·
    I’m having a destination wedding in 23 days in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. I gave my guest a year and 6 months to prep and plan for this. I had 84 guest on my list to invite so started doing the preliminar calls and telling the plan. That list went down to 65 that I ended up inviting. I have 45 people attending our wedding now. I did my best to accommodate everyone. Got a room discount for our hotel. Found another hotel nearby that wasn’t all inclusive to accommodate the ones on a budget. Send people travel alert when I found the flights on sale so they’ll book at the best price. Provided transportation discount to make sure they save on that. Our website is very very detail to make sure everyone understands and feels comfortable so they have a smooth planning as well.
    Now as far as the guest. Yes, they’ll be people that would not be able to go and it would hurt. Neither one of my 2 cousins would be assisting and I’m still sour about that. I don’t have a flower girl because of it. But the people that love you would make every effort possible to be there! We have an amazing group and we are so thankful for it.
  • Aubrianna
    Savvy January 2022
    Aubrianna ·

    Hey Jasmine!

    So, our "big day" has not come quite yet, but we're planning a wedding in New Mexico, which neighbors the state that most of our family and friends will be traveling from. We were worried about people not wanting to come, or not having fun in their weekend leading up to the event. We chose New Mexico because they have unique venues, it's close to our home-state and we're sure our guests will enjoy the area (in between Santa Fe and Albuquerque) if they decide to stay more than one or two nights. Also, the venues tend to be considerably less expensive than the ones here in Texas, while including more amenities and services. We're sending out "Save the Dates" almost a year in advance to give everyone ample time to ask off for work and arrange travel plans. We cannot have more than 80, and yet we're inviting about 90 because we're sure that a somewhat decent chunk won't be able to make it. We've also put quite a bit of research into Airbnb's in the area and have received quotes for block room rates. I'm trying to lay everything out for our guests on the website so that they won't see planning as such a pain. I think that including information regarding events in the area like glass blowing, hiking and popular museums on our Weddingwire website will entice our guests to make a family trip of it. Also, since it's in January, we've included information about popular skiing spots in New Mexico. We've tried to include activities with a range of prices (including free) so that each guests can find something that will accommodate their tastes. 28 family members and friends (including the wedding party) are allowed to stay with us at the venue, beginning the Thursday before. We're hoping to set up yard games and have plenty of things to do at the venue before the big day as well, for those who would like to pop-in. We're having quite a bit of trouble deciding who to invite to stay (especially because my FH's groomsmen each want to bring their girlfriends to stay, no matter that we haven't even met some of them yet). So, I totally understand your dilemma with RSVPs and wish I knew what to say. We planned who to invite pretty carefuly, and unless there's a hurricane or an earthquake, I can only imagine about 10-15 of the guests not attending. I can't really imagine someone showing up without notifying us via Facebook, the wedding website, or the formal RSVPs, so I really don't know what to say if that were to happen. Is this more common than I would anticipate with out-of-town or even out-of-state weddings?

    Anyway, thank you for your post! It's made me think more deliberately about the way we're should to structure our RSVPs! In addition, I'm thinking about doing more to prepare for either an excess of guests. I'm going to hang around this thread in case there are any tips or tricks to combatting these dilemmas!

  • Clara
    Dedicated August 2019
    Clara ·

    Hey there! I think destination weddings are a ton of fun and a great way to cut your guest list down. I've been to quite a few and I haven't ever been offended if I couldn't make it to one. Our big day is in August in Montana. It's where my dad's family is from but only 2 of them still live in the state so all of our guests are coming in from around the country and some even internationally. We invited 160 people and we expect 130 or so will attend. We are also going to send our invites out soon so hopefully RSVPs will start rolling in. I've heard it's best to send out invites for a DW about 6-8 months in advance so guests can book rooms and flights. We sent out save the dates 10 months before and already had people start booking flights and rooms. We are getting married at a rustic lodge that has room for 80 guests so we know that some people will have to stay offsite. I think having rooms right at the wedding site makes it super easy for your guests! There are also tons of Airbnbs in the area so a lot of our guests have already booked those. I think it's great since most of our guests know each other they can save money by renting a house that sleeps 10-14 people. We gave our guests a heads up that they should book Airbnbs asap since it gets busy in the summer. We also gave them recommendations on which ones to book.

    We have had so many guests tell us they can't wait and are super excited to make a vacation out of it. Even guests we didn't think were going to make it are planning on it. The people that really want to be there will make it work. We ended up inviting more people than we thought we would but less than if we had had the wedding in a non-destination area.

    The one thing with the destination weddings I've been to is that there are usually welcome events for the guests on Friday if the wedding is on Saturday and often a farewell brunch. We are only doing a welcome BBQ/s'mores on Friday night but I think it'll be great for the guests especially since there aren't that many other restaurants in the area. Providing the Friday night meal for our guests seemed like a nice gesture to us.

  • Pirate & 60s Bride
    Champion March 2017
    Pirate & 60s Bride ·
    View Quoted Comment
    You’re welcome! If you want to do something similar, you could do something like a casual catered BBQ lunch or just “cake & punch” reception at a non meal time.

    For a DW, estimate costs for guests before booking your venue and ask your VIPs if they would go. Flight + hotel + food & travel costs (+ time off work) is a LOT to ask of guests. I went to DWs for BFF, sister & BF’s friends (but he paid for our trip) and declined DWs for cousin, colleague, and another friend due to cost.
  • Jasmine
    VIP August 2020
    Jasmine ·
    View Quoted Comment

    Oh my goodness! That is definitely a great save! We were thinking hotels too but then realized that would pretty much break us for our overall budget.

  • Jasmine
    VIP August 2020
    Jasmine ·
    View Quoted Comment

    That's amazing that you're venue comes with cabins! We were thinking California too because our family and friends are in CA and NV but we've been seeing cheaper solutions offered in other states so we were just kind of stuck on what to do.

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