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Off resort guests--RSVP wording & guests inviting themselves


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I have an etiquette question. If this is addressed in another thread, please let me know.

 

There is an extra fee for guests attending the wedding but staying off the resort. Here is my dilemma, the fee is $35--not that bad. But, when added to the per person rate of $70 the total cost becomes $105 pp for off resort guests. Not cool for me:) I think asking ppl who decide to stay off the resort to PAY attend my wedding is inappropriate (tacky). There have been family members that have complained about the cost of the resort (despite us negotiating great rates) and want to stay at timeshares or other resorts. There is a strong possibility that families on my FI's side will invite themselves--YES! I said 'invite themselves' to our wedding and show up to the resort. I've already had people not invited to the wedding claim that they are making travel arrangements to attend.

 

My questions:

 

Is it appropriate to ask where people are lodging on the RSVP? If so, how should that be worded?

 

How do I deal with people who have invited themselves to the wedding--especially since they have made or are making travel arrangements? I can imagine that their logic is "I'm paying to travel to your wedding, how can you not invite me?" This poses a problem for guests who are staying at other resorts/timeshares.

 

There resort requests the number of off resort guests prior to the wedding date so that they can invoice us.

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I definitely think you can ask where people are staying.  I'd just add a line on the RSVP card.  You will probably have to hound people to get the info, since some of them won't know when they RSVP, but I don't think there's anything wrong with asking at all.  I do agree that you can't really ask people to pay to attend, though.

 

Seriously, I know this isn't new, but WHAT IS WITH PEOPLE inviting themselves??  SO rude!  How many people are we talking about in your situation?  I'll think about suggestions for you.

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Hi there.  I think most of us brides on this site have dealt with the same or similar situations, including myself.  And what you will find, is that most of those people will weed themselves out eventually when they realize what the costs will be to them, and you just need to have alot of patience.  First, have your Save the Dates gone out yet?  If they haven't, here is what I would suggest, send your Save the Dates only to those people who you know for sure, 100% you want to invite - e.g. your immediate families, your closest extended family & friends, and bridal party, and that's it.  Those are the folks that you know for sure must be invited and need to book their flights/hotel sooner than others.  Then, when you get ready to send out your invitations, create an A list, and a B list.  Your A's are the same folks you sent the Save the Dates to, as well as other folks that you really want to invite - with a given RSVP date.  When I sent mine out I did not ask where they would be staying, b/c I was hoping everyone would stay at our resort which we already negotiated group rates for..but of course you need to give people the option to stay where they want to.  So my workaround to that was I had created a wedding website, and on the page for travel info, I typed a note telling folks where we would be staying at with rate info, AND letting them know if they wanted to stay at another resort we understood however there is a $X fee they would need to pay for a one day pass into our wedding resort.  Thats it..I put the ownership on them.  And, don't worry because most people get it..they know you're already paying for a per person fee for your ceremony/reception.  I had a few folks that wanted to stay at another resort and when they told me I explained that was totally fine, but I also pointed out that between them paying for the 1 day pass (for my resort its almost $100 per person), PLUS a cab ride to my resort and back, and they would be missing out on all the group activities, they quickly changed their minds, lol.  

 

As far as your B list invitations - that would be for the folks that you will invite if you get enough declines from your A list.  Obviously, the RSVP date for your A list has to be sooner than your B list, and you'll need 2 different RSVP dates.  

 

And if anyone gives you crap about not inviting them, explain as nicely as you can that you have a very tight budget, and are only able to invite your closest family and handful of friends.  

 

I got really worked up during  the initial planning & invitation sending started and trust me it'll work itself out.  ALOT of people will say they're coming, whether you invite them or not because everyone wants to feel included.  But you will find that those people who you do NOT invite hush down the talk of travel booking when they realize they did not get an invitation..they figure it out and most are understanding and actually relieved.  

 

PS - You shouldn't feel its a tacky gesture to have guests that are staying at another resort pay for their own day passes.  I think you'll find you will feel very differently once all your costs start adding up, lol.  It all adds up very quickly, and $35 per person can make a difference in your budget. 

 

Good luck!

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Originally Posted by maridr2012 View Post

 

 

PS - You shouldn't feel its a tacky gesture to have guests that are staying at another resort pay for their own day passes.  I think you'll find you will feel very differently once all your costs start adding up, lol.  It all adds up very quickly, and $35 per person can make a difference in your budget. 

 

Good luck!

Thank you for saying this-- I started to think I was a terrible person for expecting guests who choose to stay elsewhere to pay the day pass fee. I chose the resort we're getting married at and negotiated group rates for a reason. While it's totally up to my guests if they want to stay somewhere else to save money, I feel that they can use the money saved to pay the day pass fee to attend the wedding. That really only gets them onto the property-- I'm still essentially paying for their food and drinks at the wedding. Plus we'll be getting everyone (even people staying at other hotels) a nice gift bag of goodies. Hopefully people are happy with that!

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I was going to give the same advice because I am facing the same situation. I put the day pass fee on our website and stated that the people not staying at the resort would be responsible for paying for the day pass. I also stated that they HAVE to tell me in advance or else the resort will not have accommodations for them at the wedding and reception because we were not aware that they were coming. It's very stressful, I still get headaches about it but it's your money! They know there is still a cost associated with their attendance. 

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Originally Posted by kisha311 View Post

 

I was going to give the same advice because I am facing the same situation. I put the day pass fee on our website and stated that the people not staying at the resort would be responsible for paying for the day pass. I also stated that they HAVE to tell me in advance or else the resort will not have accommodations for them at the wedding and reception because we were not aware that they were coming. It's very stressful, I still get headaches about it but it's your money! They know there is still a cost associated with their attendance. 

That's actually a great way to handle it. Granted people want to save money and stay at a resort they think is less expensive- and you can't collect money the day of like the troll at the bridge- but just because your guests want to save a buck shouldn't mean it should cost you! I have been grappling with this myself and my Fiance has no bones about telling people to pay their own way- but I was on the fence about it. I too, searched for a way to word the invite that let people know they should book through our travel agent. I saw some suggestions on the site from where we ordered our invites. "strongly encouraged to book through our travel agent" etc. 

 

As far as people inviting themselves-the ther bride here who suggested patience is right. I think people huff and puff but in the end, they weed themselves out. At first everyone said they were coming- we actually worried we would be over the guest count. Then so many people gave us grief about how expensive it was and we were worried no one would come. Now we have a few people booking so I'm going to take it easy and see what happens.

 

One dilemma I ran into- was people deciding to turn the wedding into their family vacations and inviting their whole family. Case in point- I invited a coworker/friend. She invited her mother, her sister, her sisters husband and their 5 kids, and her other sister and her two kids, and her brother... I only invited her... When I sent the Save The Dates- her mother asked how come she didn't get one. I was hoping she would have the sense to realize bc she wasn't invited and spare me the awkward conversation but hat didn't happen. I flat out told her we had a strict limit on guests and we simply could not go over. I wanted to tell her my wedding wasn't her family reunion/ free-for-all, but how do you tell people- your family can't stay at the resort? You really can't. As luck would have it- it costs too much and they all decided to stay elsewhere and she is just coming as a guest to our wedding. Awkward convo spared and friendship intact. 

 

Sometimes it just takes waiting it out a bit.

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LOL....she invited her whole family?!  That's crazy!!!  I just don't get it, people have no sense of etiquette sometimes.  I also had a few people asking if they could bring other guests.  I just did the same as you, telling them we had a strict limit on # of guests, but if they wanted to bring along friends/relatives to the resort they absolutely could.  It is their vacation after all, but just for the day of the wedding their additional guests would not be able to participate in our ceremony or reception.  They took it fine, and eventually they weeded themselves out.  

Originally Posted by EVKnowsitall View Post

That's actually a great way to handle it. Granted people want to save money and stay at a resort they think is less expensive- and you can't collect money the day of like the troll at the bridge- but just because your guests want to save a buck shouldn't mean it should cost you! I have been grappling with this myself and my Fiance has no bones about telling people to pay their own way- but I was on the fence about it. I too, searched for a way to word the invite that let people know they should book through our travel agent. I saw some suggestions on the site from where we ordered our invites. "strongly encouraged to book through our travel agent" etc. 

 

As far as people inviting themselves-the ther bride here who suggested patience is right. I think people huff and puff but in the end, they weed themselves out. At first everyone said they were coming- we actually worried we would be over the guest count. Then so many people gave us grief about how expensive it was and we were worried no one would come. Now we have a few people booking so I'm going to take it easy and see what happens.

 

One dilemma I ran into- was people deciding to turn the wedding into their family vacations and inviting their whole family. Case in point- I invited a coworker/friend. She invited her mother, her sister, her sisters husband and their 5 kids, and her other sister and her two kids, and her brother... I only invited her... When I sent the Save The Dates- her mother asked how come she didn't get one. I was hoping she would have the sense to realize bc she wasn't invited and spare me the awkward conversation but hat didn't happen. I flat out told her we had a strict limit on guests and we simply could not go over. I wanted to tell her my wedding wasn't her family reunion/ free-for-all, but how do you tell people- your family can't stay at the resort? You really can't. As luck would have it- it costs too much and they all decided to stay elsewhere and she is just coming as a guest to our wedding. Awkward convo spared and friendship intact. 

 

Sometimes it just takes waiting it out a bit.

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Originally Posted by maridr2012 View Post

 

LOL....she invited her whole family?!  That's crazy!!!  I just don't get it, people have no sense of etiquette sometimes.  I also had a few people asking if they could bring other guests.  I just did the same as you, telling them we had a strict limit on # of guests, but if they wanted to bring along friends/relatives to the resort they absolutely could.  It is their vacation after all, but just for the day of the wedding their additional guests would not be able to participate in our ceremony or reception.  They took it fine, and eventually they weeded themselves out.  

 

Yep- she sure did. My cousin and her husband were also invited and they invited their mothers but she understood without my telling her that the mothers could not attend the wedding. They are just staying in the hotel with them- which doesn't bother me one bit. I let her know that if we received negative RSVP's and were under our guest count the mothers would be more than welcome. It's just the approach. I'd rather be asked than to have people assume. Etiquette is a rare commodity. 

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Wow, some pretty crazy guests! LOL

 

My FI and I have some of his family staying down in mexico for free at their own time share. I couldnt really argue with their accomidations for free but like most, they will cover the cost of their day passes to get onto the resort and we will be covering the cost of their dinners at $53 per person. They are a family of 6 which makes it a little bit more difficult, but I cant really argue with that as they are the only relatives from FI's Dad's side. His Dad wont even be able to come due to health problems. The way I look at it if they are paying their day pass, I would have to pay their dinner anyway if they were staying at the hotel.

 

As far as guests inviting themselves I have just had a bunch of people assume that bc its a DW that whoever can come and its just so easy. I think a lot of people dont realize especially with large groups you usually have to pay extra!

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We had quite a few guests that told us they were coming, but not staying at our resort. We didnt feel that if they chose to stay at another resort that we should be responsible for their resort fee since it was their choice to stay at another resort; however, we did let our guests know that there would be additional costs that they needed to take into account should they choose to book elsewhere. After seeing the resort fees, they realized that the savings they would get staying at another resort would almost be eliminated if they had to purchase day passes to take part in the activities we had planned throughout the week. Rather than try to explain everything on an RSVP card, we sent an email to all of our guests. Below is an exerpt from our email. It may seem crass to some, but I think everyone was very understanding and had no idea that we would incur quite a bit of additional costs if they chose to stay elsewhere and they didnt want us to have to pay the extra money.

 

Dear family and friends,

       

     

We would like to thank those of you who have already put your deposit down and committed to joining us on our special day! We have had conversations about the excitement surrounding our destination wedding, as well as answered questions and concerns. It has been brought to our attention that some of our guests would love to join us for our special day, but are looking for other living accommodations to possibly save money. We understand the temptation to "bargain" search and try to make the trip as affordable as possible, but we want you to know that we have performed extensive research and looked for the best value for our guests. The idea behind our choosing to have a destination wedding is to share more than one busy night with our guests, and we hoped that over a couple of days, many of our closest friends and family from the Midwest and East Coast could get better acquainted. Having guests staying at various other locations prevents everyone from taking advantage of this opportunity.




Also, we wanted to share a couple of reasons we chose to host our wedding at the El Dorado Royale…

·         ALL-INCLUSIVE - Our resort provides premium alcohol and a variety of cuisine options at the 10 restaurants on the property. (No runny guacamole or watered down drinks here!) All-inclusive also includes 24-hour room service, beach and poolside service, unlimited premium alcoholic beverages, and as many meals as you can pack in. Because it is all-inclusive, any guest staying at another resort will incur fees associated with entering the host resort. A $72 fee per person is assessed for guests wishing to attend the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception dinner; and a fee of $95 per person, per day is assessed should you want to attend any other functions we have planned throughout the week on resort property.

·         ACTIVITIES THROUGHOUT THE WEEK - Another great thing about a destination wedding is that Nikki and I can plan fun activities and socialize throughout the trip with our closest friends and family. (We realize this trip will be a lot of guests†vacations, so we donâ€t want to take up too much time!) We are still working all of the festivities out, but here is an example of what we are planning thus far:

o   Wednesday: Black and White Themed Cocktail Welcome Party

o   Friday: Rehearsal Dinner (everyone is invited!)

o   Saturday: obviously the big day! Ceremony is set to start at 5pm

o   Various daily activities at resort: sand/pool volleyball, breakfast/lunch/happy hour/dinner gatherings, happy hour gatherings, poolside lounging, dancing, nightly band/shows, oh, and did I mention happy hour gatherings! 

·         DISCOUNTED ROOM RATE - We have reserved a block of rooms at a special discounted rate for our guests (20% off!) To lock in the discounted room rates, Nikki and I are currently holding a block of rooms, but unfortunately, if we do not get a majority of these rooms booked, Nikki and I will incur additional expenses.

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