Your Destination Wedding Guide: Guest Edition

22 Aug

POV: You get a wedding invitation in the mail and surprise! It’s a destination wedding! Destination weddings are the greatest excuse for a getaway. I mean what could be better than a wedding and a vacation all wrapped into one? Although fun, destination weddings can lead to many guests being confused about the etiquette of such events. Logistics such as gift giving, travel details, and wedding attire, all while staying on budget are definitely things to think about! No worries, we’re here to help you navigate all of these hard-hitting questions to ensure that you’re the best destination wedding guest there is. Read ahead for our destination wedding tips that you need to know before you go.

custom cocktail napkin

Destination Wedding Tip #1 - Travel 

Having your travel details organized for a destination wedding is essential. When you’re giving up precious PTO days and a good chunk of money to watch one of your loved ones walk down the aisle, you want everything to go as smoothly as possible. Our first destination wedding tip is to have your travel plans scheduled far enough in advance that you aren’t panicking to find flights last minute. (Pro tip: If you book flights far enough in advance, you can usually save a good chunk of $, and who doesn’t love that?)

It is also typical to arrive one or two days before the wedding occurs. This way you have some time to adjust to any time changes and of course enjoy the beautiful destination you’re in. This will also give you a cushion just in case there is a hiccup in your travel plans (AKA a flight cancellation, delay, lost luggage, etc).

Happy newlyweds walking on the beach, hand in hand

Destination Wedding Tip #2 - Gift Giving

Our second destination wedding tip is how to decide whether or not to get a gift. Typically for any other wedding, it is considered proper etiquette to buy the couple a gift as a way to give your best wishes to the newlyweds. So you may be asking, is it still necessary to buy a gift for a destination wedding? Although it is considered a common courtesy to get a gift for the newlyweds, many guests opt out of this tradition in the case of a destination wedding. This can be a case-by-case situation. Here are a few tips to note before deciding whether or not to purchase a gift for a destination wedding. 

Check to see if the couple has a registry. If the couple doesn’t have one, this probably means they aren’t expecting gifts as the time, effort, and cost of attending the wedding is considered a gift! If the couple does have a registry though, you may want to think about purchasing a lower-priced item off the registry. This could even be as simple as sending them a card with your well wishes. If you are buying a physical item, however, you should send it directly to the couple’s house, as they will not want to have to pack their gifts in their luggage to bring back home with them.

Close-up of cup that says “By your side no matter the tide”

Destination Wedding Tip #3 - What to Wear

Although most destination weddings are in tropical locations, this doesn’t necessarily mean the dress code is casual.  Luckily we have a few destination wedding tips to look for to indicate the dress code. First, check the invitation and the couple’s wedding website for dress code instructions. If there is no indication there, the time and location of the ceremony are also a good indicator of how to dress! For example, casual attire may be appropriate if the ceremony takes place on the beach during the day. If it is taking place in a waterfront resort at sunset, you may want to choose something more formal. No matter the time of day, destination weddings usually allow for more fun colors and patterns, so feel free to wear that bright floral maxi dress you’ve been looking to wear! 

That being said, many light fabrics such as linen or cotton can be appropriate for this type of occasion, but definitely err on the side of caution about your color choices. These fabrics often come in whites and creams, but unless specifically mentioned that it is okay to wear white on the invitation or website, it’s best to stray away from these, as it is still a no-no to wear white to a wedding. If anything, reach out to the bride and double-check with her!

Three light blue matchboxes with wave pattern, surrounded by linen fabric and sea shells

Destination Wedding Tip #4  - Get the Party Started!

The most important destination wedding tip we have for you to be the best guest at a destination wedding is to take it all in and have fun. The newlyweds will be happy that you made the time to spend their big day with them as they ultimately planned this all for everyone to have a good time and to celebrate their love! We hope our wedding expertise here at FYP helped guide you to be the best destination wedding guest you can be!

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