Your partner popped the question, and you’ve shared the news of your engagement with your overjoyed friends and family. Now the real decisions begin: setting a date, choosing a location, deciding on your guest list and countless other options rapidly growing on your to-do list. If the thought of getting married on foreign soil and sharing the experience with your nearest and dearest appeals to you, read my tips below.
Destination Wedding Etiquette and Things to Consider Before Making a Final Decision
- Size of the guest list. The size of your guest list may be limited when you choose to get married at a getaway location. This can either work for, or against you, depending on your situation. Unless you are willing to absorb the cost of travel and lodging for your entire bridal party and special guests to ensure their attendance, you could be disappointed with the RSVP response.
- Hurt feelings. One of the biggest negatives to a destination wedding is the reality that even your close friends and family members might not be able to attend due to cost, distance, time off work along with other factors. If there are guests that you can’t live without being at your wedding, take that into consideration as you make your plans.
- Timing. You will definitely secure a better rate during the off-season, but you also run the risk of having a monsoon or snow storm as an additional guest. On the other hand, a wedding in the snow can be a memorable occasion if you provide your wedding guests with beautiful gloves, scarfs, blankets (perhaps one item as a takeaway gift for their travel efforts), outdoor heaters, and a beautiful venue. Just make sure the ceremony is short and sweet.
- Planning is all inclusive. There are venues—especially at resorts—that handle everything from linens and flowers to securing the DJ and selecting the menu. Some brides may welcome the long distance assistance while others would prefer to scour flea markets for antique decorations, choose from a dozen caterer menus, and have their favorite cover band play at their reception. Everything and anything is possible for a price.
- Location… location. Persuading your guests with a beautiful setting is generally not a strong negotiating tool. Most would prefer to take their own vacation and not have their time dictated by someone else’s schedule. While you may think you are offering a great locale, everyone has their preferences, and a destination wedding includes your plans and time frame, not theirs. Your dream of seeing the Eiffel Tower may not coincide with your best friend’s vacation ambitions or budget.
For more of my Wedding Etiquette tips, check out my blog “Wedding Etiquette: 8 Tips to Surviving the Season” on The Huffington Post.