Destination Wedding Etiquette
Destination weddings have become very popular in the last few years, and with good reason as we tend to be very busy people with little time to prepare for huge traditional weddings. Many destination sites will organise absolutely everything, leaving little for the bride and groom to do other than to show up and get hitched. This style of wedding has great appeal, but there are some cons to weigh up again the pros; so, as you would with any style of wedding, think it through carefully and painstakingly.
And because destination weddings have taken off virtually overnight, protocol has had to move quickly to keep up. But, don’t simply throw all the traditional rules out of the cruise ship window… some rules still apply.
- Consider your guests and their ability to pay for their travel and accommodation
- Look for group rates and recommend different hotels to offer your guests ranging budget options
- You may have a very small attendance
- Mail those ‘Save the Date’ cards well in advance so that your guests have plenty of time to make travel arrangements
- The bride and groom are responsible for the bed and board of their attendants
- Invite only those who you really want at your wedding
- You may be surprised at how many guests actually show up!
- Some family members may be very unhappy that you chose to marry away from home; as in all relationships an open line of communication is key
- To compensate, arrange a home reception for when you return, this will include family members unable to travel in your celebration
Note: Guests, mail your gifts to the couple’s home or the home of the bride’s mother.
Note: As guests will be travelling to possibly unknown regions for a destination wedding, it helps enormously to suggest the dress code for their stay. Destination weddings are mostly held in warm, tropical locations so these dress codes may just be perfect:
- ‘Resort attire’ is a perfect example of a dress code that you might list. It implies good quality summer attire that you would feel comfortable wearing to a golf or country club. This would include good quality shorts, button and polo shirts, short skirts, sandals, and sneakers; flip-flops, tank tops, T-shirts and too much skin are no go zones.
- ‘Evening resort attire’ is very similar to what we would feel comfortable wearing to a country club in the evening. Trousers and a buttoned shirt with optional jacket for men, and a dress or stylish separates are perfect for the ladies – no sneakers, flip-flops, T-shirts, or shorts.
- ‘Dressy casual’ means trousers with a good top for either gender, for the ladies a knee-length skirt with a quality top or a dress a la restaurant wear are both good. Shorts would be fine, but neither too short, nor cut-offs – again, no T-shirts or flip-flops.
- ‘Cocktail attire’ is usually the ladies’ little black number; for warmer climes, just think of that dress in lighter fabrics and you’re on your way. And of course for the men, the obligatory suit.
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