Destination Wedding Etiquette
Destination weddings have become very popular in the last few years with good reason but it is only right to respect the destinations cultures and values and ensure that your guests are up to speed with certain destination etiquette’s.
We tend to be very busy people with little time to prepare for a huge traditional wedding. Many destination sites will organize everything for the bride and groom leaving little to do besides to show up and get hitched. This style of wedding has great appeal, but there are some minuses to balance out some of the pluses. So, as you would with any style of wedding, please think it though thoroughly.
And because destination wedding have become so popular so quickly, etiquette rules have had to move quickly to keep up. However, we shouldn’t just throw all of these traditional rules out the cruise ship window. Some rules still apply.
- Consider your guests and their ability to pay for their travel and lodging expense.
- Look for group rates and suggest hotels for wide range of budgets.
- You may have a very small attendance.
- Mail those ‘Save the Date’ cards well in advance, so your guest can make travel arrangements.
- The bride and groom are responsible for the lodging of their attendants.
- Only send invitations to those whom you want to come to your wedding.
- You might be surprised at how many actually show up!
- Some family members may be very upset that you chose to marry away from home. As with all relationship building and maintaining, an open line of communication is key.
- Destination wedding couples can have a reception when they return.
- This will help those family members who could not attend the wedding feel as if they are a part of your celebration.
Note: Guests, please mail your gifts to the couple’s home or the home of the bride’s mother.
Note: Because guests have to travel to places they may not have visited before for the destination wedding, it would be best to suggest the dress code for their stay. Most destination weddings seem to be in warm tropical weather locations so these dress codes may be perfect.
- ‘Resort attire’ is a great example of a dress code that you might list. It means good quality summer attire that you would feel comfortable wearing to a golf club or country club. This could include good quality shorts, button and polo shirts, short skirts, sandals, and newish sneakers—no flip-flops, tank tops, t-shirts, or too much skin.
- ‘Evening resort attire’ is very similar to what we would feel comfortable wearing to a country club in the evening. Slacks and a nice shirt (jacket optional) for men and a dress or nice separates are perfect for women–no sneakers, flip-flops, t-shirts, or shorts.
- ‘Dressy casual’ is slacks with a nice top (for either gender), knee-length skirt with a quality top or a dress that you would wear to a restaurant. Shorts would be fine, but these should not be too short or cut-offs—no t-shirts or flip-flops.
- ‘Cocktail attire’ is usually the basic black dress and a suit for a man. For warmer, just think of that dress in lighter fabrics and you are on your way.