Destination Weddings - Etiquette
Do you dream of marrying on a beach in a foreign land? On a mountain top outside a rustic lodge? Destination weddings are increasing in popularity and size. They are one of my favorite styles of weddings to plan!
It used to be the destination wedding had 10-15 guests, mostly family and friends watching you say your I Do's. That size has grown greatly recently. It seems most of the destination weddings I work with are 60 people and more.
So what's the destination wedding etiquette.....it really is pretty similar to planning your wedding at home, read on....
Who do we invite?
You can invite the same people you would for your wedding at home, but usually it's narrowed down to the people you REALLY want to have there. Think about it, who are you comfortable asking to spend money to come to your big day! Family (obviously) & close friends are the ones who usually attend. Some really close co-workers and bosses often make the trip too.
Who pays for these guests?
Each guest is responsible for their own travel and accommodations. So keep that in mind when you are selecting your resort. Also, keep in mind if your guests have children, many resorts are adults only. I know many brides think that the majority of their guests will spend a week at their destination of choice. In reality it seems most guests will have a 3-4 day stay.
Keep the guests up to date!
With a destination wedding you'll want to get your guests notified about your plans much earlier than you would if you were planning a wedding in your home state.
You'll want to notify your guests ASAP about your plans so that they have time to request vacation, save money, and get passports. You'll also want to give your guests some information about the resort, any group activities you have planned (costs for these if you're not covering them), and an indication of the level of formality....are you wanting them to go barefoot on the beach? There is no absolute rule that a destination wedding has to be informal.
Showers, parties, etc...
Since you really are only inviting people to your shower who you are also inviting to your wedding, you may consider skipping that big invite out to everyone to attend your shower. They may consider it rude and that you are asking for gifts. Consider throwing an after party when you return to share all the great pics and funny stories.
Rehearsal dinners....I would say the majority of the rehearsal dinners I do for destination weddings are 50/50 on inviting everyone. It's very dependent on the size of the group who traveled. Smaller weddings try to include everyone, while larger groups seem to stick to inviting only the bridal party (but gather with everyone later on for a drink). So here you have to see what's right for your group, and of course the groom's parents if they are paying.
What's so great about a destination wedding, and why are so many people having them?
The best thing about destination weddings is that your celebration lasts 3 days (or more) and everyone really gets to know each other! It also can be much more cost effective than putting on a wedding at home.Of course a wedding consultant experienced in this type of event can be super helpful in guiding you through the etiquette and destination wedding plans! ;)
Give us a call!