You always wanted your wedding to be perfect, and you even decided to make it more special by choosing a place that will make it more memorable. Whether you decide on saying your I Do’s on a white beach, a magical lake or perhaps a European city that you love, you have to take considerations about a lot of things, especially your guests.Eight of the basic things that you should know about destination wedding etiquette to allow your guests to have the best time possible.
Planning a destination wedding is not easy and is usually coupled with problems in terms of logistics and questions that you need to address. Here are some do’s and don’ts when planning a destination wedding:
- Know your location.
You really can’t control nature, so you have to keep in mind about some things first before choosing a location:
- weather disturbances
- safety and security
- possible health issues or outbreaks
- community and cultural differences
For example, if you want to have a beach and rustic wedding, you might want to do it during the summer season. You might also want a rustic wedding guide to have an idea on how to match your theme to your chosen location.
Having knowledge about your chosen place will show that you are concerned about your guests’ well being and you want to avoid the possibility of problems arising on your big day.
- Prepare your guest list.
Once you’ve chosen the location, it’s now time to prepare your guest list. Here are some tips you can consider:
- Set a number of guests to invite – Estimate how many guests you wanted to invite so that you will have an idea how much budget you should allocate for your wedding catering.
- Plan how to divide your guest list – Usually it is half for the bride and another half for the groom. Also, if you want to make it in a small and intimate setting, strict allocation of seats should be observed.
- Print names on RSVP – If you are working on a budget, include names of your guests to your RSVP card and not writing the number of seats instead, to limit the number of guests.
- Avoid last minute invites – You want to be stress free on the few weeks before your big day, so you have to make sure you get your final guest list two weeks before the wedding. After that, no more changing or adding guests in the list.
- Send save the dates and invitations ahead of time.
When planning a destination wedding, you have to send save the dates and invitations earlier than planning a traditional wedding ceremony. If the usual timeline is four weeks before your desired date, wedding experts usually recommend sending save the dates 8-12 months before and 3-4 months for official invitations.
This will allow your lovely guests to plan their schedule and give them enough time arranging their day offs from work, passports, visa, plane tickets and even saving money for the trip.
- Make it easier for your guests to arrange their itinerary.
Most destination weddings require hours of travel, so you can arrange and suggest alternative ways on how they can get to your chosen location. You can coordinate with them by suggesting travel arrangements together with other guests so they can save time and money, and also create a group on social media where you can share travel deals or inform them that maybe some other guests are willing to carpool.
- Give them an idea on possible costs and expenses for the trip.
Having a destination wedding means that your guests will be covering for the costs of their transportation and accommodations. After all, every couple sticks to a wedding budget and won’t be able to cover everything for their guests. It will be thoughtful if you provide them with a checklist of things that they will be paying for.
You can also recommend websites offering affordable lodging and travel deals such as plane fares and land arrangements. If, for example, your wedding is in a luxury beach resort, you really don’t expect all your guests to stay in the same hotel.
Provide them with a wide variety of other options that suits their budget. You might want to ask your hotel if they can give you a discount on group bookings. Another good idea is renting a vacation home for your guests. Again, this will show you that you are well concerned about them.
- Know your guests’ preferences.
One big reason that it can be a disaster is by having bad catered food. You don’t want your guests to be disappointed that they flew all the way just to be served with food that they do not eat. Knowing their food preference will help you decide what type of food your caterer will be preparing. You also have to take note if some of your guests are vegetarians or have food allergies. You can read on a guide to wedding catering to help you plan this out.
- Ease up your gift preference.
You do not want to be carrying a microwave after your wedding, so you have to inform your guests about the thought of giving you wedding gifts.
Usually, you can note it on the invitation that you prefer monetary gifts but keep in mind that they already shell out money just to be there on your special day. Let them know that their presence is the best gift that they can give to you.
- Carefully leave your wedding reception without being rude to your guests.
After your reception, you need to have quality time together as newlyweds. It is usually acceptable, and your guests should completely understand if you leave right after the festivities. A destination wedding is a great excuse to take a vacation and have fun.
Observing proper etiquette will help you achieve a perfect wedding. The general rule when you choose a destination wedding is to always consider your guests. After all, you want your big day to be surrounded with people that you care about the most.