When it comes to etiquette for a destination wedding, I promise EVERYONE involved flounders around at the beginning. Who pays for what? What does the guest have to bring? It can all be overwhelming. But you can let Blue help you! In today's post, I'm giving you tips on etiquette for a destination wedding.
You As The Guest-
You were invited to a destination wedding. Clearly, you're special to the happy couple. You're awesome! Don't let that go to your head though- yes, the couple pays for the reception, your meal, etc, but getting yourself to their wedding is something you take care of yourself. The couple's wedding is expensive enough for them; you need to buy your own plane ticket and hotel room.
What To Wear?:
Use the wedding invitation as your guide. Oftentimes the couple will put a preference on the invite, like cocktail, beach attire, or black tie. If the invitation doesn't say, take into account the location of the wedding. Is the wedding actually on the beach? Your outfit can be of a more casual nature. Is the ceremony at a big, famously beautiful church? Go dressier! I've provided picture examples for help!
Can Tots Tag Along?:
If the couple wants a child-free wedding, that's their decision. If they made that choice, they'll understand you having to decline the invite due to no having a babysitter, or an important little league game to attend. Invitations are good clues to everything- are the children's names listed? If not, the couple most likely wants an adult-only event. When in doubt, you may have to ask someone in the bridal party, or the bride and groom themselves. It's a valid question, after all.
For destination weddings, most guests will send the gift to the couple's house, because those would be a lot of gifts to have to bring home as luggage. If you want to bring the gift with you, make sure it's a smaller gift that won't become a hassle later. Do you have to give a gift? Despite the fact that it's a dest
Upon Your Arrival:
Make sure you don't arrive two hours before the wedding. Fashionably late isn't an actual thing. Your flight could be delayed, someone could steal your luggage with the cute cocktail dress inside, you'll be starving from avoiding airport food- things like this need to be considered. Plan your flight accordingly. Also, make sure you book your hotel room and flight as early as possible. And if you and other guests are coordinating with each other, or coordinating with the couple for cheaper group rates, make sure you're all on the same page and you're all booked nice and early.
You As The Marrying Couple-
Everything You Pay For:
As the marrying couple, you're asking your guests to join you in celebrating your special day. While you aren't expected to pay for the guest's hotel accommodations and airfare, you have to pay for typical wedding expenses- the reception dinner, the favors, the ceremony, etc. A fact not well-known to brides though, is that you are NOT expected to pay for your bridal party's attire. It'd be generous of you, but the bridesmaids generally buy their own dresses. If you can't afford to be generous with their dresses in your own budget, make their lives easier and pick a more inexpensive dress style for them.
Getting The Info Out:
For destination weddings, information on the destination and the date of the big day needs to be known far in advance. That gives your guests time to save up some funds and get someone to water their plants for them while they're gone. Generally, the earlier a flight is booked, the cheaper it is. You should also provide any travel info to your guests, like driving distances, the time a flight takes, things like that. They're there to make your celebration a blast, make their trip easier.
So, who do you invite to a destination wedding? Usually, the response is your closest family and friends. Destination weddings tend to be a smaller affair, as it's hard to expect 50-100 people to work their schedules around traveling far to see you. Maybe have a smaller celebration back at home for the people not as close to you, but still special, to celebrate. Also, if you don't want children in attendance, don't put "Please no children" or phrases such as that; it's tacky. Just put the guest's names. If you wanted them to know children are okay, put their names, "& Family."
Do I Expect Wedding Gifts?
How far away is your wedding from your home? How expensive will that be for a guest to attend? Depending on expenses, you could do guests a solid and put something on your invitation like "Your presence is the best gift we could ask for." If you do make a gift registry, try to put cheaper items on it.
Politely Planning The Honeymoon:
Most likely, your honeymoon will be in the same place your wedding is. Your guests are paying to come attend your wedding, so it would be rude to just you know, try to kick them out of the country. You either have to be comfortable with running into your guests during a snorkeling lesson, or maybe put a "(Insert Actual Wedding Ceremony Date Here)-(Insert Last Day You Want To See Guests Here)" on the invitation. Most people will get the message!
When it comes to destination weddings, there's a lot of factors to take into consideration. Whether you're a guest at the wedding, or the couple getting married, follow our advice in a polite fashion, and your wedding will run smoothly!