As any destination wedding guest can attest, a long weekend away spent celebrating the marriage of family or friends is nearly always worth the price tag. But if you're feeling a little nervous about asking guests to travel for your wedding, or else just want to find a few ways to make the experience a little more affordable for your loved ones, here are a few tips that will help your attendees keep their budgets in check.
Create hotel room blocks.
Booking a block of hotel rooms can save your guests anywhere from 15 to 40 percent off rack rates, so it's a good cost-saving measure to take for your loved ones. Look into booking a variety of hotels at different price points, usually two or three options should do the trick. You'll also want to check what's included in the price of each room. Some hotels and resorts offer breakfast daily as part of the rate, but if not, you may want to see if you can negotiate this into your group block. It's a simple way to save guests a bit of cash and can go a long way in terms of convenience throughout the weekend.
Supplement the cost of hotel rooms.
If you're in a position to chip in towards accommodations, you can inquire about paying a percentage of each room's cost, and your guests don't even have to know you've done such a thing. You should be able to work with the hotel block manager to specify rates for each room or each guest. Say the room rate is negotiated at $400 per night, you might opt to cover half of that so your guest only has to pay $200 per night. If you go this route, it's important to chat through the logistics with the hotel manager so you can keep the supplemental cost confidential.
Organize group airport transfers to get the best price.
If your wedding venue is an hour or more from the airport, transfers can add up quickly. You should be able to get a group discount if you have all your guests book through one transportation company. The company will do all the work of planning schedules based on when guests arrive. Simply provide the contact info on your wedding website and let guests book on their own.
Be generous with advance notice.
Flights are usually at their most affordable in the 3-6 months prior to travel. When you send out your save-the-dates, you can include your wedding website and all the info guests need to book their flights and hotel rooms far in advance. The more notice guests have, the more likely they are to be able to plan for time off work and to budget for your wedding.
Avoid a holiday wedding date.
Holiday season travel is expensive, plain and simple. If you can avoid your guests having to fly during a three-day weekend, Christmas, or peak travel time, they'll thank you for it.