Many brides and grooms dream about getting married in a special location, but they also sometimes worry about tactfully handling the expenses involved. Thankfully, as destination weddings have become more popular, some norms have been established about who pays for what. Here’s what you need to know about splitting costs for a destination wedding. 

Reception & Rehearsal Dinner

Whether you’re at home or abroad, the couple, or their families, are expected to pay for the reception and rehearsal dinner. This also applies to luncheons or other special events that are part of the wedding celebration. Close friends or family may offer to help with these costs, but the hosts should expect to manage them on their own. 

Transportation & Hotel Stays

Guests at destination weddings are expected to pay for their own travel and accommodations. While you can offer to help attendees with travel planning, it’s probably best to delegate these responsibilities to someone else as you plan the wedding. 

destination weddingAsk a friend or family member to help guests find flights to simplify the process. It’s also helpful to research hotels that are affordable and close to your venue and include this information with your save the date notices. If you have a hotel in mind, see if they offer discounts for block reservations so everyone can stay together.

Once your guests arrive, they’ll need transportation between the airport and hotel, as well as the hotel and venue. Generally, the hosts are expected to arrange and pay for this. Some hotels offer airport shuttles to guests, so consider this amenity when making recommendations.

Extra Activities 

Your guests are probably traveling a long way to be a part of your special day. With this in mind, it’s nice to provide extra activities to show your gratitude to everyone in attendance. Consider paying for a group tour or a welcome luncheon or dinner to bring guests together. If an organized activity is out of your budget, provide guests with recommended sights and activities for their downtime. 

Back at Home 

Once the wedding is over, be sure to thank everyone who attended. Since there will be people who ultimately have to decline the initial invitation, plan a get-together at home so they can celebrate with you as well. These parties can be as simple or elaborate as you choose, just make sure the wording is distinct from the original invitation so guests who receive both understand this is a separate event. 


If you’re planning to tie the knot on Maui, you can count on Envisions Weddings to craft a memorable ceremony. They have more than 30 years of luxury wedding planning experience and offer multiple planning packages that showcase the sights and colors that make Hawaii special. See some of their stunning work online and call (808) 874-1000 to start planning your destination wedding.