My fiancé and I are planning to get married in fall 2020. We are on a quite small budget (preferably under 7k not including dress) and we are doing everything ourselves instead of hiring a planner, hence why I am asking this question so far ahead of time!
After kicking around a couple venue ideas, he suggested renting a large beach house at a nearby beach for the ceremony and reception. We just cannot afford to reserve a block of hotel rooms plus a venue, but some of our guests are on a very tight travel budget (mostly on his side) and we would love to be able to provide them with a low-cost sleeping arrangement. Some of the houses we are looking at would mean that for guests, it would be as low-cost as $200 per room for an entire week in a beach town! To clarify, that doesn’t mean that fiancé and I would only end up paying $200 for the week either – we would be paying the big lion’s share, plus event fee.
By renting a house instead of just a one-night venue, we get much more fun for the money, and get to have a mini-honeymoon after the wedding with some of our close friends and family. This is really the only aspect of the wedding that fiancé has been very vocal about preferring.
However, we are not going to be able to offer everyone overnight accommodation in the house, both because of space and lifestyle differences. I can’t imagine hosting my elderly, old-fashioned grandparents in the same home as some of our friends, for instance. And some guests, like my aunts from a number of states away, likely don’t want to hang out for multiple days with strangers.
What is the best way to divide the beach-house guests from the non-beach-house guests? All of the non-house guests would have no financial problem getting their own accommodation, but I don’t want to make anyone feel like a B-lister. We are only planning on inviting 35 people max, so it would not be a “select few” in the house while a big crowd has to find their own lodgings.
My plan so far would be to include a little extra card in with the paper invitation, sent out decently ahead of time for time-off’s sake, inviting the beach-house guests to stay and keep the fun going with us. All guests’ invitations would link to a wedding website which would include policies and rules of the rental (there are several with any beach house), such as no smoking, party has to end at a specific time, where to park, et cetera. 0420-18
Hmm, this is a conundrum. My first thought is that you are presuming to know the preferences of all of your guests as to whether they would prefer the beach house accommodation versus a hotel. Second, presuming that some of your guests are able to afford the more expensive hotel option. Third, you want to put the information regarding the beach house on the wedding web site all guests will have access to read it. Fourth, it sounds like you are categorizing guests into the “fun crowd we want to hang with” and the “old fuddy duddies”. It just seems to me that there are too many presumptions that have the potential to backfire on you in the form of offended guests who were specifically not offered the option of a cheap beach vacation.
I’d send the same card to everyone and let the chips fall where they may. People who really want to be with you that post-wedding week will hustle to RSVP and get in on the cheap beach house accommodations. People who wait will lose out. This is what happens when a block of rooms are reserved at a hotel, the first guests who RSVP get those rooms and when they are gone, oh, well. Too bad for those who waited.