The etiquette involved with wedding parties has long been a question mark for many brides and grooms. Who pays what, for whom and why is often a topic of discussion and uncertainty. Your best man has his own set of responsibilities to meet, but his hotel room on the wedding night or the night prior is not one of them.
Traditionally the groom is responsible for arranging and paying for the accommodations for his best man. If the groom's family is covering the cost of the wedding or part of the wedding, they may be asked to pay for the best man's room as well. The groom and/or his family also is traditionally obligated to pay for the hotel rooms of his entire half of the wedding party, not only the best man. This standard is kept for the most formal of affairs and among those who can manage the expense.
Destination weddings are a whole different animal from a neighborhood affair. If you are inviting people to a far away place for your wedding, you must make it clear what you are willing to pay for and what you expect them to handle on their own. Guests attending a destination wedding typically pay their own transportation costs but may or may not pay for their own accommodations. The most sensible way to go about deciding how to handle the situation is to weigh the individual financial status of your best man as well as your own. If your best man can afford the trip and the stay, let him know you will arrange everything but the bill is his. If not, talk it over and see if you can chip in to lighten the load.
In the current economic climate, few people have the extra cash to cover their best man's hotel room on the night of the wedding. The days of the bride's parents funding the entire affair are over and more and more couples are shouldering the burden on their own. According to "Brides" magazine, the amount of couples who pay their own way is up 9 percent over 2009 and continues to rise. Your responsibility today may begin and end with the reservation of a block of rooms at the hotel of your choice so that wedding party members and guests traveling from long distances have the option to stay if they wish. The responsibility to pay lies with each guest, including the best man and the rooms can be cancelled at no penalty if unused.
Whether you decide or are able to cover the best man's hotel room or not, every groom is responsible for presenting gifts to each member of his half of the wedding party during the bachelor party or bachelor dinner. The groom's party consists of several ushers and a single best man. The ushers can all be presented with identical simple gifts. The best man should receive something more personal and permanent to serve as a reminder of the event and his role in it.
- Emily Post: A Groom's Traditional Duties
- Emily Post: Traditional Expenses of the Groom and his Family
- The Daily Mail: For richer or poorer... Average wedding cost soars to nearly $27,000 as couples are spending more than ever on their big day
- Martha Stewart Weddings: Destination Wedding Dos and Don'ts
- The Knot: Wedding Party: Who Pays for Their Wedding Accommodations?
- GQ Magazine: Groom's and Best Man's Gift Responsibilities
Robert Morello has an extensive travel, marketing and business background. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Columbia University in 2002 and has worked in travel as a guide, corporate senior marketing and product manager and travel consultant/expert. Morello is a professional writer and adjunct professor of travel and tourism.