Destination Wedding Etiquette for Guests
My advice for destination wedding etiquette for guests was recently published on Yahoo Lifestyle and Style Me Pretty!
Destination weddings require more planning for the couple and guests says Tifany Wunschl of Gourmet Invitations. “It is very likely the couple has given you all of the information you need.” Make sure to read through everything. She adds “there is nothing more frustrating to a couple who has spent time listing all of the details for their wedding, to just have their guests ask them what airport they should fly into.” Go through everything very carefully and avoid contacting the couple. If you have questions while on-site, talk to the hotel staff which has most likely been prepped with information and can recommend local attractions. And last, if you RSVP no and then find a cheap flight right before the wedding, avoid the urge to go. This adds additional stress to the couple.
Destination weddings are more and more popular every year. As a wedding guest, this is going to be a completely different experience than an evening wedding. Here are some destination wedding etiquette tips as you travel as a guest to a destination wedding.
RSVP on time
One complaint that I have heard for years and years is that guests don’t respond promptly for a destination wedding. Many guests aren’t sure if they can attend and when there is two weeks or even a week left, they find a great deal on a flight and decide to attend. This puts a huge strain on everyone to add guests last minute. There are rooms to handle, special gifts for the guests, maybe special outings, and dinners. As a guest, if you don’t know if you can attend before the response date, it is proper etiquette to reply that you are unable to attend and send a gift to the couple’s home.
Read all of the information provided to you – do NOT contact the couple!
A destination wedding takes more planning – not only for the couple – but for guests too. It is very likely the couple has given you all of the information that you will need. How to book your rooms, what airport to fly into, a list of events associated with the wedding, are all things that you can find in your invitation, on their wedding website, or in emails about the event. Please read through everything. There is nothing more frustrating to a couple who has spent time to list all of the details for their wedding to just have their guests ask them what airport they should fly into.
When you arrive at the hotel for the wedding, there will likely be information in your room. Couples often list all of the events, times, and locations for the coming days. Under no circumstances should you ever contact the couple with questions. The concierge at the hotel will be an excellent source of things to do on the days when wedding events won’t be happening.
Do you need to bring a gift?
Do not bring a gift with you to a destination wedding. Not only will you have to have luggage space for it, but so will the couple to bring it back home. The proper etiquette is to send the wedding gift to the couple’s home before the wedding.
The same goes for a gift of money. Send a check or a wire transfer to the couple just before the wedding. If you do write a check, be sure to write it to the couple with their current legal name(s). It takes a few weeks to legally change a last name. Checks made out to couple with a different last name with force the couple to both endorse the check as written and then also endorse it with their legal name. Always address the check to one person in the couple to make it easier for them the deposit.
If you are lucky enough to attend a destination wedding, enjoy the special time with the couple on the biggest day (or days) of their life. Just remember to be considerate, don’t bother the couple – especially on the wedding day, and most importantly, have a fantastic time.