11 Apr Destination wedding etiquette – critical must-knows to keep you out of hot water!
Stressed about destination wedding etiquette? Don’t be! Whether you’re trying to figure out who pays for what, who you need to invite, or if you should entertain guests as they arrive, these tips are just for you. Some will keep you out of hot water, and others will ease your mind and help you focus on your big day. So relax, take a breath, and read on. Then get Bliss Honeymoons on your team to ensure your destination wedding is everything you dream it can be.
Over the years we’ve worked with many amazing couples to answer their questions, ease their fears, and make their wedding unique and memorable. Seems like we’ve seen it all when it comes to wedding etiquette snafus and commonly asked questions. Here are the ones that come up most frequently, and tips on how to handle them.
Who gets to pay?
With destination weddings, guests usually pay for their transportation and lodging for the duration of the stay, just as they would for a local ceremony. While you’ll be expected to pay for the reception and perhaps a rehearsal dinner or greeting party, your guests typically pay for their travel and any additional costs they accrue. While we have had a few destination weddings where the bride & groom paid for everyone, this is not expected.
Who to invite?
When it comes to the guest list, you get to call all the shots on whom to invite. If you want to keep your ceremony small and intimate, do so. If you’d prefer a more elaborate affair with hundreds of guests in an exotic location, by all means, go for it.
It’s not unusual for couples planning a destination wedding to keep the guest list relatively short. As noted above, guests will need to pay for their own travel. Knowing and tactfully sharing that with friends and colleagues can help avoid hurt feelings and misunderstandings regarding who gets invited. It also saves couples money, as it generally costs less, not more, to have an intimate destination wedding ceremony with 35 people than a backyard wedding bash with 350 guests.
Just remember as you’re planning to make to make sure others know your intentions. This can help spare feelings later if someone who isn’t invited knows up-front you’re only asking immediate family, the best man and maid of honor, for example, to attend.
Who entertains the guests?
Destination weddings are often multi-day affairs that involve guests trickling into the location over the course of several days. With this in mind, brides and grooms often fret over their duties of playing party hosts.
The biggest question that pops up here is: how responsible are brides and grooms for their guests’ pre and post-wedding entertainment? The answer is…it’s entirely up to you!
If you want to plan out activities for a full week of pre-wedding fun, go for it. If you don’t, there’s no need. Just ask guests to arrive in time for the big day. If they choose to come early, they can explore your chosen destination at their leisure and take in sights and events of their choice.
Destination wedding etiquette isn’t as tricky as some couples fear. Just plan ahead, let guests know your plans and intentions in advance, and have fun. Remember, it’s your day!
Looking for more destination wedding tips? This is the place! Learn:
- best ways to get your dress to the destination
- destination wedding planning services
- honeymoon registry options
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