Question: Do groom’s parents pay for their invited guest’s room?

Protocol matters received a question not often discussed in wedding etiquette books. The questioner wondered “if the parents of the groom are expected to cover hotel costs for out of town guests that they invite?“.  This is a good question because misunderstandings and confusion over a wedding’s financial obligations certainly add stress and can even spoil the occasion.  The short quick answer is “No”, the groom’s parents are not expected or obligated to assume hotel expenses for a guest traveling long distance.When weddings involve out-of-town guests, those invited  expect to pay for their own accommodations plus any of their expenses for traveling to the wedding location.

Among the “super-rich” (those people with endless bank accounts) the bride’s family (and/or the groom) may, if they wish to, arrange and pay for special guest accommodations. This is  neither typical nor expected, but is permissible under certain long distance circumstances, such as a private intimate wedding ceremony.

A considerate bride and her family, who are hosting the wedding, may arrange for guest rooms as a courtesy (and as my nephew’s thoughtful bride-to-be did) for their out of town wedding guests. For those of us traveling to Baltimore, she arranged and reserved a suite of nice rooms at convenient hotel. She sent us the hotel information and contact number so we could easily assume responsibility for our accommodations. By reserving a block of rooms, she also secured the group rate for each of us. Her efforts saved traveling guests time and money. Something much appreciated by this increasingly common courtesy.

Thank you for your important question. Your interest in protocol matters.


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