Wedding etiquette is always important to keep in mind when you have been invited to share a couple’s special day with them. The growing trend among many couples today is to have a destination wedding, and the rules of etiquette are somewhat different for this type of wedding than a typical wedding.
The first and most important rule of etiquette for a destination wedding is that once you have RSVP’d that you will be attending it is tacky to back out of the wedding at the last minute unless you have an unavoidable emergency. Last minute cancellations cost the bride and groom enough when the wedding is local; they cost more in the case of a destination wedding. One way around this is to purchase travel insurance if you are expecting to attend a destination wedding as the travel insurance will get you a refund if you do have to cancel, and you can give that refund money to the couple.
As expensive as attending a destination wedding is, if you are invited to one it is your financial responsibility to get yourself there if you accept the invitation. The only thing you can expect the couple to pay for is meals that are an official part of the festivities that surround a destination wedding.
When you arrive for a destination wedding proper etiquette states that you offer to help the couple in any way you can. Destination weddings are a lot of work and there is no doubt that the couple will appreciate your help. Last minute preparations can often be stressful and anything you can do to ease the couple’s stress falls in line with proper destination wedding etiquette.
Since this type of wedding is such an ordeal proper etiquette states that you do not criticize or question the couple’s choices. Once wedding plans are already set they usually can’t be changed, especially in the case of a destination wedding. So even if you have good intentions keep your criticisms to yourself; the couple will appreciate it in the long run.
While it is standard to purchase a wedding gift for the couple, destination wedding etiquette states that you should mail the gift to their home as opposed to brining it with you. This is especially true if the gift is a bulky item. Bringing a congratulations card to a destination wedding for the happy couple is perfectly acceptable and usually preferred.
Don’t expect the couple to plan activities for you when you arrive for their wedding. It is better to take the initiative to schedule your own activities while you are there. However, you will want to avoid going overboard if you are in a situation where you have access to as much food and liquor as you want.
It is not unusual for something to go wrong at destination wedding. The more flexible you are the better. The goal is for you to help the couple enjoy their special day.
Photo Credit: Geneva Baxley Photography