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Destination Wedding Etiquette

Destination Wedding Etiquette
If the idea of having a traditional wedding doesn't excite you, why not tie the knot in a vacation-like setting? However, while planning a destination wedding, make sure that you are following the basic rules of wedding etiquette on matters related to invites, gifts, etc.
Smita Pandit
In the recent years, destination weddings have become quite popular. This is especially the case with couples who want their wedding to be a private affair. Though you can adapt to the local traditions to make the wedding more memorable, basic rules of etiquette would not change. For instance, couples who wish to get married on a beach, island, or any exotic location, need to keep in mind that the people on the guest list need to be informed beforehand, so that they can make the necessary arrangements.

Once you have decided the venue, you also need to look into aspects like the wedding invites, gifts, and reception etiquette. The tradition and custom of the destination or the place where the wedding would be held, will certainly have an influence on the ceremony, attire, and food. So, you need to send invites to your family and friends so that they have an idea regarding the dress code and the theme of your wedding. If the venue is in a different country, you need to be aware about the legalities as well.
Invitation Etiquette
◘ First of all, prepare a guest list and create a save-the-date card, so that your guests have enough time to make arrangements.
◘ Do send the save-the-date notice at least 3-4 months before the wedding.
◘ Your wedding card should give the guests the information about date, venue, style of wedding, and attire if required.
◘ As far as the formal invitation is concerned, the structure and wording will be similar to the traditional ceremony invitation.
◘ Also, mention about the reception details, if you have planned it at the same place.
◘ If you would be holding the reception at a different place or country, send a separate reception card.
◘ You could also post the details on your wedding website.
Gift Etiquette
Since the guests would be traveling for your wedding, you could welcome them and show your gratitude and love by giving welcome gifts.
◘ You could also keep a personalized gift in the form of welcome bag or gift baskets in guest rooms.
◘ You could gift them meal vouchers of local restaurants, native crafts, souvenirs, or exotic items from that place.
◘ Depending on your budget, you could also keep wine, local food items, or gift certificates of local area attractions.
◘ If the guests wish to give a gift to the newly weds, they must send the gift to their home.
Reception Etiquette
While planning a destination wedding, most couples plan a separate reception because some want it to be a private affair and thus, a lot of people might not be a part of it.
◘ You could invite these people to your reception. So, it is advisable to send just the reception card to acquaintances or people who couldn't attend your wedding.
◘ For friends and family, you could have a single invitation with details of both wedding and reception mentioned on it.
Rehearsal Dinner Etiquette
The rehearsal dinner as an occasion can be used to socialize with the family and friends, as on the day of the actual wedding, you might not be able to chat with them.
◘ As far as the tradition goes, the groom's parents host the rehearsal dinner. In case, you don't wish to follow this tradition, make sure you discuss this issue with the groom's parents.
◘ Prepare the guest list wisely and invite your family and friends.
◘ Use this occasion to thank your families and friends who have helped you in planning your wedding.
◘ There aren't any fixed rules you need to follow. You could decide a theme and keep a dress code.
While planning a destination wedding, do keep the aforementioned rules of wedding etiquette in mind, so that both you and your guests are happy, and there aren't any glitches that stress you out during the happiest moments of your life!