Dear Mary Pat,
My fiance and I are planning a destination wedding in Mexico next year. We want to keep the guest list small with just our closest family and friends. There is one couple in particular that might not be able to afford the airfare and lodging but we really want them to come and we are hoping they will be part of the bridal party. We are struggling with whether we should offer to pay for them to be there since we don’t want to offend them. And if we pay for them, should we offer to pay for the other two couples that will be standing up with us?
Sister Bay, Wis.
Dear Destination Dilemma,
Destination weddings can be wonderful and it is certainly a great way to keep the guest list small. They are, however, more expensive for your guests to attend. It is thoughtful of you to be aware of this and ask the question now. Are you realistically able to afford to pay for the whole bridal party? Can you negotiate a good room block or rent a private home where they can all stay more affordably? Depending on the time of year, there also might be good airline deals. The most important thing to do is to give your friends and family enough notice to plan and save. It would be a generous gesture for you to cover some of the expenses but it’s not expected. It might be worth a conversation sooner than later. Do your research ahead of time so you can be up front about how much it will cost them. If they hesitate, perhaps you can offer to cover some of their expenses. If they are close friends, they hopefully won’t be offended that you are looking out for them.