wedding guests going broke attending destination wedding?

Today on the Good Morning America show they talked about the costs associated with destination weddings for your guests.

On average, $490 per person ($980-$1,000) is spent by guests attending a wedding out-of-state, potentially more at higher-end resort destination locations. Many guests are admitting to going into debt trying to attend these weddings. They simply can’t afford to attend your destination wedding.

Personally, I have had people complain to me about their family or friends planning weddings that require them to spend a lot of money to attend.


The couple’s reasoning: “It will be a like a vacation for you”.

The guest’s reasoning: “I’ll go on a vacation when and where I want, your wedding isn’t a good time for me to spend all this money”.


#realtalk alert

They won’t complain to you. They will complain behind your back.

tips for couples planning a destination wedding

1. Don’t be upset when guests or family cannot attend. It’s not their fault you are planning a wedding far away and they may not have the funds at this moment. If they are that important to you for them to be there, then offer to pay for them.

2. Talk to your family. If everyone is on board with attending your destination wedding, then talk to them about the timing and location. Perhaps plan well in advance so that they know the general costs and can save for it appropriately.

3. Just the two of you. Consider going to a gorgeous resort, just the two of you. Have a beautiful, intimate wedding and a fabulous honeymoon. Then come home with great photos and a video and throw a reception for all your friends and family. You get the best of both worlds.

what do you say?

Are you planning a destination wedding and having pushback from your family and friends?

Do you feel it’s fair to expect everyone to attend your destination wedding?

plan on!



why you should join your reception cocktail hour …

We live in a very traditional area, especially when it comes to weddings. That’s okay, but it’s time to break out and change things up at your wedding. For instance, joining your reception cocktail hour with your guests.

why joining your reception cocktail hour, is like, awesome

You’ve planned the biggest party of your life, your wedding reception. Lots of time, energy and money has been spent on this one evening.

So instead of spending time with your guests (especially the ones that have flown across the country to share your celebration), you’ve decided to take tons of photos after your wedding. Maybe, because you didn’t see each other before your ceremony (we’ve talked about the benefits of this here).

Of course, this is totally up to you … but we suggest, a simple alternative.

just imagine

Your guests have sent you off from your ceremony. You take a few moments to be together (just the two of you) or with your wedding party. Allow the guests to go to the reception and enter; getting themselves a drink and munching on your hors d’oeuvres. Then, while everyone is still basking in the glow of your lovely ceremony, you enter! *HINT: be sure to have your emcee announce you.

You’re rushed with loved ones wanting to congratulate you and actually be a part of your day. You get to have some of your treats, instead of just hearing how good the bruschetta was later on in the evening.


Now you have probably made direct contact with at least half your guests. No more walking around during the meal to greet your guests. I’ve never really liked that idea. How awkward to have your guests of honor talk to you when you are trying to eat.

All of our brides and grooms (and I’m happy to report, this is happening more and more) are so happy they decided to join their guests during their reception cocktail hour.

It makes for a more memorable day. What do YOU think?

feature photo credit: jordan barclay photography

plan on!



top 10 offenses by wedding guests

This morning I was interviewed by Atom Smasher and Liberty on the 96 STO Atom Smasher Show. We’ve known each other for years and it’s always fun to talk to him.

They were highlighting the worst offenses by wedding guests and asked me my opinion. Of course it was a quick interview, so I thought I’d share more of my thoughts here. Here we go!

1. Bring a +1 guest when only YOU were invited.

2. Ask to bring your kids when you know it’s an adult reception only. Or bring them, that’s worse.

3. Leave your drugs at home. Yup, we’ve smelled the pot burning outside.

4. Talk about your wedding and how it was or going to be sooo much better than this one.

5. Bring up past girlfriends or boyfriends of the bride and groom. Or invite one of them as your +1 … #awkward

6. Do no hit the dessert table until it is time to have desserts.

7. Asking to be INVITED to the wedding. DO NOT DO THIS. I repeat, DO NOT DO THIS. Go home and wait for an invitation. If it doesn’t arrive, you have your answer.

8. Arrive late to the ceremony and insist on walking in after the processional starts.

9. Doing the “nasty” with your significant other. Wait till you get home or back at the hotel, please.

10. TOP ONE …. getting sloppy drunk and making a fool out of yourself.

What did I miss? Love to hear your thoughts.

ps The photo that is show on this blog posts were AWESOME guests, not bad ones. At all.

featured photo credit: pfe iPhone

plan on!



psa :: to wedding guests

Dear Wedding Guests:

When you go to a wedding, please do not take the centerpieces AND vases from the reception, UNLESS you are told it’s okay by the bride or wedding planner. Often taking the FLOWERS is okay. But NOT the glass vases. Either way you should always have permission.

Vases, tables, chairs, and even votive candles are often rented by the bride and groom. And actually need to be returned OR paid for. So not only did you enjoy dinner, cocktails and dancing on your friend’s dime, but now you have also cost them extra money to reimburse what you just stole.

featured photo credit: joanne fowler photography

Thank you.

ps I should add that melting candle wax on the linens because you are “bored” will not be received well.

pss Feel free to enforce these everyone-should-know-better rules at a wedding you are attending.


blocking hotel rooms for your wedding guests…

You are planning a wedding and anticipate a lot of out of town guests. As a host of your wedding, it’s nice to be able to “block rooms” with local hotels so that your guests will: 1. Know where to stay that is convenient to the location of your wedding reception and 2. Take advantage of a reduced rate.


The challenge arises that most people do not know how hotels operate. They are in it to make money. Blocking TOO MANY rooms thinking that all your out of town guests will come, does not help the hotel … make money. They frown upon that idea.

So here are few quick tips when blocking rooms:

  • Do not over estimate the amount of rooms you may need. You can always go over the block, but it can get sticky when you go way under.
  • Negotiate the cut off date for the room block. Some hotels it is 30 days in advance (period). This is because they can fill ALL their rooms every single weekend at a full rate.
  • Tell your family to book their rooms early. Don’t want to miss the reduced rate you negotiated.
  • Read the contract carefully. Does it say that YOU have to pay for rooms that aren’t booked by guests? It shouldn’t.
  • Do not expect the hotel to be able to block all the rooms on the same floor. I understand that this is convenient for you, but with so many other public people booking rooms, this is often a request that a hotel cannot guarantee.
  • Talk to someone LOCALLY at the specific hotel. Do not leave it up to a customer service representative from a 800 number. The information will not trickle down. Seriously. NOT trickle down to the local hotel.
  • Check, Double Check and then Check again. Again, statistically with so many employees of the hotel, it is very likely there will be confusion and mistakes. So always, always … double check.

I learned of a horror story of a wedding that my favorite hair stylist was a part of in Louisville. While there were many problems along the way, the short story is: on the day of the wedding (while the family was AT THE RECEPTION), their rooms were booked to the public. The hotel staff took all their belongings, dumped them into trash bags and left their stuff at the front desk. Thinking, they simply did not “check out”. They strolled in at midnight with no rooms, wadded up clothing and feeling helpless.


Should I mention this wedding did not have a wedding planner? I suppose there is no need.

feature image photo credit: pfe iPhone

plan on!

ps You can see more about this subject and about how increased gas prices may effect your wedding on today’s Fox 7 Wedding Planner. Do you watch? It’s on every Wednesday at 6:55 am!