Destination wedding... instead of a reception I was thinking of doing a party/dinner on a boat. The price is about $65 a person, I already expect to pay for some cost but would it be a terrible idea to ask our guest to pay? Or Am I super cheap and super broke!! I dont plan on having a big wedding, I want about 25-40 people to attend
You should 100% pay. Really a DW requires a higher level of hosting imo cause your guests are spending so much to attend.
For example I had a DW and we had a hosted RD that everyone was invited to, the wedding reception (obvi) and then a hosted morning after brunch. It was important to us to show our guests how much it meant to us that they'd travel and spend extra to attend our wedding
You should absolutely pay. Not only is it beyond rude to invite guests to your wedding and then expect them to pay for their dinner afterwards, but as LB said, the expectations are much higher when you have a DW. Also, just for your information, what you are describing as "a party/dinner" after the wedding is a reception.
If you don’t have the budget, why a DW? If budget is an issue have a ceremony at a non meal time (like 2 pm) followed by a simple cake & punch reception. You won’t need to pay for a full meal that way.
I think it’s incredibly rude to ask guests to pay for their own meal at your wedding. They already have to pay for travel and accomodations.
I can’t even imagine asking guests to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars to attend a wedding and then make them pay for their own reception meal. Usually a DW requires you pay for more activities and meals to thank guests for taking time and spending money to join you. If you can’t afford to feed your guests, either don’t have guests or come up with a different plan.
As others have said, consider other wedding options if you are unable to pay for the meals for your guests. For a destination wedding, folks already have to pay to travel, pay for accommodations, etc. to attend your wedding. It’s not right to also ask them to pay for dinner at your wedding, too. Do you know or are you close with anyone who has a nice property for a wedding & reception who will also allow you to use at a low cost or for free? Have you searched around for any nice venues that won’t require everyone to travel and that will not cost too much? What about food options? Maybe make the wedding and reception during non-meal hours and have appetizers & a dessert bar? Or do a pasta bar? Or something else that can be fun and elegant without costing so much?
Unfortunately, if your budget is really tight, then a DW may not be the right choice for you. We are currently planning a DW and boy oh boy has it been an eye opener for me! Soooooo many additional expenses you don’t originally think of!! Believe it or not, I actually thought having a DW would be EASIER than having one locally 😂 As other people have said, a DW requires a higher level of entertaining. Currently, we are paying for welcome bags for each guest’s hotel room, a welcome dinner for everybody (rather than just a rehearsal dinner for the wedding party), the wedding reception, brunch the morning after, as well as a touristy event for everyone at least one evening. We have already doubled our budget and the wedding is still nearly a year away- who knows what else will come up between now and then! If your budget is really tight, I would highly Suggest you have something small locally, as other posters have suggested. Or, if you are absolutely set on a DW (hey, totally understand having a certain vision for your wedding and not wanting to veer from it!) then maybe only go with yourselves, your parents, and your siblings. Or you and FS could elope then have a local reception when you get back. Or, consider pushing the wedding back in order to have time to save more money for the DW you envisioned!
I think you should have to pay bc you would have think about your guests and if they are able to pay for themselves or if they are able to pay a portion therefore some of your guests may or may not attend because they have to pay. I would pay for my guests bc I don’t expect them to pay. I would want all my guests to come and celebrate with me and my future husband.
Suggestions to cut costs:- cut down guest list significantly- don’t have a DW- have a reception a cheaper place than on a boat (I imagine renting a boat for the evening is expensive? Maybe I’m wrong)- find cheaper vendors so you can afford to pay for everyone’s meals - cut costs in other areas of the wedding (limit the bar, cheaper dress, less expensive florals)
You should absolutely pay for everyone. if people are traveling for you wedding they're expecting to attend the ceremony and the party that follows. most people don't pay to travel and then pay for the wedding also. sorry :/ i know that's not the answer you were looking for. if you were holding a normal reception and the party boat another day, then the guests could pay if they wanted to attend.
If it included lodging, you could possibly justify not paying but since it is just food and basically venue (boat related) cost, that is definitely a host(ess) expense. In a regular venue wedding, we are paying $4400 in catering with a micro-wedding package. $1525-$3900 honestly seems super reasonable and mine doesn't include a boat ride so there is no crew that has to make it go where it needs to go.
I agree that you should be the one paying for the dinner cruise. You are not obligated to pay for alcohol. Keep on mind that you will possibly be getting cash gifts that you can use to offset the cost after. Don't rely on these gifts but it could help you build your savings back up after.