Look at you! Not only are you getting married to the love of your life, you’re bucking traditional expectations and going with a destination wedding. How exciting!
But because of its relative newness, especially in Asian cultures, it is understandable if you’re feeling uncertain of how exactly to approach the logistics and etiquette surrounding destination weddings, or even wedstivals for that matter. Fret not, here are a couple of dos and don’ts:
…give plenty of notice
Regardless of whether your wedding location is across the country or on another continent altogether, make sure you give your guests plenty of notice of your impending nuptials – six to 12 months ahead sounds about right. Not everyone has flexible schedules, and if visas need to be arranged for in advance, this will help people get sorted.
…ensure there are no missing links
Have you got a friend or family member you adore to bits but drives you crazy with their tardiness? Especially if this person is in your bridal party, make sure they are careful not to miss their flight! Have another trustworthy friend or family member keep tabs on this person (in a subtle way, of course), because the last thing you want on your wedding day is to have a missing maid of honour or best man.
…be clear about money matters
For the more affluent families, a nice touch would be to cover your guests’ costs of travel and accommodation, but this doesn’t have to be a hurdle. If you’re planning on only covering the cost of your guests’ accommodation, be clear about it and tell them how many nights you’re paying for and what they will need to cover, and whether the cost of meals is included. You can also choose to be helpful by referring them to flight ticket sales or special deals.
If you have a fair few wedding guests and the cost of accommodation is a tad prohibitive, why not offer to pay for their activities instead? Your guests will enjoy a day cruise to nearby islands, or the thrill of jet-skiing or snorkeling! At the very least, a welcome dinner for your guests at your expense will be a nice touch of breaking the ice and helping everyone feel appreciated.
…forget to spend time with your guests
Hurrah, you’re married! But while it may be tempting to spend all your days loved up and alone with your beloved, don’t forget your guests would probably like to spend some time with you, too. Have shared fun activities, like a day island-hopping or dancing till the break of dawn with your best buds. There’ll be plenty of time to be alone on your honeymoon!
While some guests will undoubtedly still bring along gifts for you, don’t expect gifts from most of your guests especially if they’ve had to pay their own way to attend your wedding. However, feel free to suggest a gift registry with items at all price points, or tell your guests to make a donation to a charity instead. If you do get a gift, smile, and accept with gratitude!
…be offended if some people can’t attend
One of the last things you want is for guests to feel obligated to twist their schedules or wring their finances dry to attend your wedding. Be understanding and tell them they don’t have to feel bad because they are starting a new job/having a baby/have a new mortgage on a house – and mean it. And smile – after all, it’s your wedding day!
Happy destination wedding to you!