Destination Wedding Etiquette – What To Do & What To Avoid

Destination weddings, unlike normal weddings, take great commitment on the side of the guests you invite. They are giving up a lot of things to be with you on your special day. To make your guests happy, you must also take care not to offend your guests or leave them with a bad taste in the mouth. Here are the dos and don’ts of destination weddings you should pay attention to in order to ensure that everyone who attends your wedding leaves with a smile on their face.

Destination Wedding Etiquette – The Dos

1. Leave a Treat in the Guests’ Rooms

If you booked accommodations for your guests, you can arrange with the hotel or resort to having a few thoughtful gifts placed in the guests’ rooms. Small things such as sweets, chocolate or even a map of the destination can go a long way in making your guests happy.

2. Arrange For Ground Transportation

To show your guests that you really are grateful that they flew so far to attend your wedding, you can arrange ground transportation to pick your guests at the airport and shuttle them to their hotels or resorts. On the day of the wedding, if the wedding is far from their hotels, have a shuttle ferry the guests from the hotels to your wedding venue. 

3. Send Invitations Early

Your guests can’t just drop everything they are doing at a moment’s notice to fly to your wedding. When you send invitations early, you allow your guests enough time to make the necessary travel and work arrangements.

4. Contact Important People First

Before you send invitations to your friends, check in with your family members first to see if they are okay with the destination. Having family members that care about you at your wedding is far more important than having a long list of friends who agree with your decision but who may bail out on you in case the wedding plans fall into disarray.

5. Tactfully Explain to Friends Why They Aren’t Invited

Destination weddings usually have smaller guest lists than weddings held close to home. This means that a lot of people you are close to or who feel close to you will be left out of the guest list. Your friends will probably be wondering why they haven’t been invited to your wedding. You need to explain to them honestly why they couldn’t make the list. They will understand as they probably already know that your wedding can only accommodate a few friends and family members.

Often, this will come down to where you decide to have your wedding. You might want to have it at an adults-only resort, so no kids will be on the list. If you go for a family resort, you can invite younger guests, but that may limit the total number. All of these things factor in, and your guests should get that. 

The Do Nots

1. Don’t Direct Your Guests Activities

While your guests are at the destination for you, they’re adults and they can do whatever they please, provided they show up during the actual wedding. People have different interests and they have different perceptions of what constitutes a great time.

To ensure that there is order while still allowing your guests to have fun as they please, establish meeting times and meeting spots; have a welcome lunch or dinner so guests get acquainted with each other and have the main meals of the day together.

2. Don’t Bring a Wedding Planner From Your Town

You might love your city’s wedding planners but they have no business organizing a wedding at a location they are totally not familiar with. Wedding destinations handle several weddings every year. This means that there are great wedding planners on the ground have first-hand knowledge of what it takes to put together a successful wedding at the destination. They will also have better relationships with local tradesmen and vendors as well as better knowledge of the local culture.

3. Don’t Communicate Displeasure If Someone Chooses Not to Attend
Anyone leaving their home to come to your destination wedding is making a big sacrifice. Be grateful that there are people willing to attend. Since the wedding is away from home, there will be people close to you who won’t make it. This is understandable and is not something that should upset you.

With a little effort, some of the nos can be turned into yeses. Most of the people who won’t make it will probably cite financial constraints. If they are family members, you can offer some financial help if you really want to see them at your wedding.

4. Don’t Cause a Scene When Photos Make It to Social Media

No one wants their wedding photos posted on social media without their permission. Nonetheless, a destination wedding will surely make wedding guests over eager to take photos.  Some of these photos may make their way to social media without your permission. When they do, don’t get visibly upset about the situation when your guests are still around.

We hope you find the above Dos and Do Nots tips useful. Just remember to also relax and have fun when you are there.

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