Monday, January 24, 2011

Advice needed from Paris!

Dear ESB,

My fiance and I live in Paris but are getting married in a little village in South-West France near Bordeaux in June. We have found a venue for the party which also offers accommodation, so our guests can stay there, at the teeny cost of 10 euros a night per person.

We were about to send instructions to everyone on how to book their accommodation etc, when my father suggested that maybe we should consider footing the bill for the guests' accommodations. Given how cheap it is, we hadn't really thought about that at all, and the idea of spending 1000 euros on this (when we could spend it on champagne!), doesn't sound so exciting, especially as we are trying to keep the whole thing "low-cost."

My father also thinks that it would "look better" if we paid for it all. Personally we think our friends don't really mind paying for their stay and are coming to the wedding anyway. What do you think? Are our friends secretly hating us because we are making them spend more money than required?

What's the etiquette on this?

Merci so much,

[Sexy French Name]


At the very least, you should shell out the 10 euros each for the members of your bridal party. Come on, it's TEN EUROS.

But it would be very very classy if you paid for everyone. (It would also prevent the cheapskates from cutting out early to drive back to Paris.)



  1. definitely pay for the bridal party.

    question : will the hotel accommodate everyone ? if not, it seems unfair to only pay for those that are able to book a night at that particular hotel.

  2. I would jump at the opportunity to pay for guests lodging- what a steal!

  3. jealous. soooooo jealous!

    your wdding sounds amazing. can i come? i'd happily spend the dough to stay at a hotel in france! my husband and i had our wedding at a resort, and almost all our guests had to travel from out of town. everyone paid for their own cabins, but the resort gave them a discount.

    we couldn't afforded to put our guests up, or cover their travel costs, but in our experience only a few people didn't come due to it being a "destination" style wedding, and it was worth it because we were able to hang out and relax all weekend long with all the guests who DID come. it was so much fun-- being all in one place made it so easy to visit with everyone, and our guests felt really at home. there were bonfires, lawn game, fishing, boating, etc. all weekend long. there was even an impromptu after-party in one of the cabins after our reception ended.

    so don't change your plans or feel bad. your wdding is going to be a blast for everyone. and if putting everyone up is going to take away from other things (like how much booze you can afford to provide), then i would say don't do it. i think your guests will treat your wedding as a mini vacation and be happy to pay for their accomodations. i know i would!

  4. As someone who went to a friend’s wedding in France this year, no one thought twice about having to pay for their own lodgings, which were more expensive than 10 euro a night. If you can afford it, go ahead, but if not I don’t think anyone will hold it against you, even the Frenchiest of them all. If it had been only 10 euros for us, we would’ve been “yay, we only have to pay 10 euro!” not “omg, I can’t believe they didn’t foot my 10 euro bill”. Also, 10 euro to spend a night in a small village near Bordeaux? No one’s going to leave early to go back to Paris for a deal like that. (However, you might want to specify what kind of lodging they’ll be getting. When I hear 10 euro, I think dormitory/hostel style, which some Parisians might turn their nose at…)

  5. Pay for the accommodation - ask them to bring a bottle of champagne; everyone's a winner!

  6. were i a guest at your wedding, french gal, i would rather you spent ten euros on champagne than on my room. i expect to pick up the tab for my own lodging, but i don't (usually) bring my own booze.

    that said, "bring a flask and we'll provide a bed for you" is kind of a fascinating wedding theme.

  7. I actually kind of disagree with the ESB here, I think its totally cool to have your guests pay their own lodging... especially since its so cheap! I would jump at the chance to stay at a cute place for only 10 euros! I've paid well over a grand before to go to a friend's wedding! (mind you I got a trip to cuba out of it... but still, I didn't mind paying)

  8. It would be super classy, but I wouldn't think twice about having your guests pay for it on their own.

    Now can we talk about going to Cuba @Carpensm?

  9. In my opinion, you and your fiance should offer to pay for your bridesmaids, groomsmen and the officiant's rooms.

    Guests can pay for their own accommodations unless your father would like to foot the bill, since he's the one concerned with appearances.

    Good luck! And congrats!

    p.s. Since when did we become "classy," ESB?

  10. Wow, I'm shocked to find I disagree with ESB!! I would pay for the bridal party as suggested, and maybe a small number of other select people (parents, officiant, photographer). But all the guests? I don't think so. The total cost will become quite the burden for you, whereas expecting each guest to pay for his own room is not burdensome at all.

    Plus, why should you decide for your guests where they will sleep? They might have friends nearby that they would prefer to stay with, or might decide to splurge on themselves and stay at a fancy hotel in the area.

  11. Yeah, I think it would be nice if you paid for people, but I sincerely doubt anyone would mind paying 10 euros to sleep, especially since they likely will be paying more than that to get there in the first place. Parents will always have their sticking points, but if you feel like it will be a burden and not a top priority for you, tell your dad if he feels strongly about hosting the accommodations, he's welcome to foot the bill.

  12. Yeah, I have to say that 10EU is nothing for your guests to pay--if your dad thinks it's a good idea to foot the bill perhaps he should pay for it?

    Er, also as a side note: ESB, Bordeaux is not really "drive back home to Paris" distance. I suspect most guests will choose to stay the night at a wedding 5+ hours away from home, regardless of a 10€ or 100€ cost.

  13. @paiige Shit, you're right. I even MAPPED IT. I guess I must've spelled it wrong. Shows you what I know about France.

  14. In other news, LET'S ALL GO TO BORDEAUX!

  15. Is paying for bridesmaid's and groomsmen's rooms a thing? I never had anyone do that for me...

  16. @Anonymous - it's a nice gesture, particularly if you're asking them to travel, but it's not necessarily required.

    Given the low cost, I agree with the other readers - pay for the bridal party (as part of their "gift"), but everyone else? Will thank you for the inexpensive accommodations. :)

  17. "just pay for it" ?? Dudes, it's 1000 Euros. It might look like it but it's not actually toy money. 1000 is a lot of euros.

  18. Imho 10 euro is more than ok for a guest to pay, why one person ought to get lumped with the bill for everyone seems unfair, especially with all the food and drink paid for by the hosts. I don't even particularly see why the bridal party can't pay for themselves - just because you'll look more monied and therefore superior (classier) to someone who couldn't afford it? Fine if you're rolling in it and wish to do it, not ok if you have to cut the champagne bill. Not neccessary imho.

  19. If your dad wants to pay it, let him. Then spend your money on champagne and chouquettes.

    If it was me, I wouldn't pay. In 10 years people probably wouldn't remember that they had to pay 10€ for a bed but they would if your apéro runs dry.

  20. Hiiii guys thanks for all your advice! this is the future bride speaking here :)

    My father has definitely decided he's paying for EVERYBODY, and it looks like there's no stopping him, so why fight? !
    The reason we are having everyone stay at the same place, it's because it's where the party is also happening, and er, the village is so remote, there's actually nowhere else to stay (it's a 2 hours drive from Bordeaux)

    I hope we get lots of champagne in return!
    merci merci!