Destination weddings can be fun, romantic, and a little more hectic than a regular wedding. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it, but it may take extra planning and time to get everyone where they are supposed to be. Also, there’s usually some confusion as to who pays for what when you are invited to a destination wedding. Here are a few tips on destination wedding etiquette.
If you are the happy couple… You should send “save-the-date” announcements as soon as possible. Nine to twelve months in advance gives your guests the opportunity to make travel arrangements and ask time off from work.
After sending the “save-the-date” the formal invitation will be expected. These should be sent out two to three months ahead of the wedding date. The formal invitation should only focus on the invitation itself, don’t turn it into a travel brochure. Put your wedding URL on the invitation and have all the travel information there. Another helpful detail to include is the ceremony location (beach, lawn, etc.) so guests wear the proper shoes.
You might also want to add a line about gifts. Since people are coming a long way for your wedding at their own expense, it might be nice to let them know their “presence” is their present. If they insist, put an address in the invitation to let them know where to mail the gift.
Since destination weddings often involve multiple events, create a card separate from the main invitation to invite guests to any other celebrations — a welcome breakfast, a golf outing, a post-wedding lunch, etc. This way, you can include boxes to check on your reply card, which will make it much easier for you to track who’s coming to what. It will also let your guests know that the festivities begin before the wedding day itself so they can plan accordingly.
Finally, when guests arrive at the end of a long journey, it’s very gracious to have a gift waiting for them in their room. Give a gift that can be enjoyed during their stay (snacks, wine, etc.) or a suitcase-friendly item that will be easy to take home. Along with the gift, include a brief itinerary of wedding events for their convenience, in case they forgot to bring it.
The bride and groom are responsible for the ceremony and the reception. Because a destination wedding adds days to the celebration, you might consider also hosting a welcome reception or farewell luncheon. It’s not required, but it is a nice touch and gives your guests more opportunity to see you.
If you are the wedding guest… If your wedding invitation does not include the names of your children or other people in your home such as a mother-in-law or maiden aunt, this means they are not invited. Do not put the couple in an awkward position by asking if you may bring them along.
If you would like to give a gift, send it to the couple’s home, or the bride’s home if they are not yet living together. You might bring a token gift, but make it something they can enjoy at the destination such as a bottle of wine or champagne.
You are responsible for getting to the destination. It is expected that you will pay to get there and stay at the hotel or resort.
We hope these tips will be helpful for you. Keep reading our blogs for more info about weddings and more.
If you are planning a destination wedding, Sea Trail Resort can make your wedding very special. We can provide accommodations for you and your guests. We have several places for an outdoor wedding, including beautiful Sunset Beach. You can have your rehearsal dinner and reception in our Convention Center. We can do it all – all you have to do is enjoy your special day. Click here to begin planning your own destination wedding.