Respecting Your Guests: Top Destination Wedding Etiquette

Your Bahamas destination wedding should be flawless, and a wedding planner specializing in this location can help. Of course, it’s equally important and gracious to ensure that your guests are well cared for – especially when they have to pay travel and hotel bills to attend your celebration.

Events Paid For by the Hosts

Respecting Your Guests: Destination Wedding Etiquette

Photo Courtesy of Mario Nixon Photography

With a destination wedding being a three to seven-day events, in addition to the ceremony and reception, the hosts ideally cover the following items:

  • Activities and excursions, such as a group sailing trip, a beach safari, an island tour, or a snorkeling expedition.
  • Transportation to and from the ceremony and reception locations.
  • Guests airport to their host hotel transfers upon arrival and return transfers to the airport for departure.
  • Travel expenses for wedding VIPs.

Guests should otherwise expect to pay for their plane tickets, hotel room stays, and meals or beverages outside of wedding festivities. They should also expect to pay for outside activities and excursions.

Sending Out Your Invites: Who SHould We Invite?

Respecting Your Guests: Destination Wedding Etiquette

Those that matter most. The wonderful thing about destination weddings is that you no longer have the same etiquette-driven obligation. There’s no need to invite family members you never see, coworkers you do not like, or your dad’s poker buddies who call you by the wrong name. Now, you have an excuse. Other than that, it would help if you still planned on inviting those who matter most. Send save-the-dates to the entire proposed guest list.  Then, send a formal invite to just those who are most likely to come or express the intention to attend.

Send out your save-the-dates at least eight months before to your wedding. It’s critical to give guests enough time to plan ahead for your destination wedding. Twelve months is the ideal time frame, as it allows guests the ability to schedule their travel and take time off work. When sending out save-the-dates, be sure to include relevant information about the destination. Link to your wedding website as a courtesy.

The average timeline for formal wedding invitations is six to eight weeks beforehand, but for destination weddings, you should allow more time. Send out invitations up to three months ahead of time, emphasizing the wedding itself. Include detailed information on your wedding website.

Your wedding site should also feature online updates like ceremony location, travel information, hotel rates, airport info, and more.

Because a destination wedding usually involves multiple events, consider sending out invite cards for other celebrations, like brunches, day trips, and more. Hosting a bar event brings all your guests together, including those who haven’t yet met each other.

Is there an appropriate way to say “adults only”?

Yes. As is true with at-home weddings, some celebrations are not appropriate or ideal for children. Parents understand this. Instinctively, many parents will opt to leave the little ones at home for a destination wedding trip. To be sure, this can be noted on your wedding website or social media and can be spread through the grapevine by your bridal party. There are more sensitive ways to word the request than “no kids allowed,” such as, “The wedding party requests the company of adults. Children will be welcome at the post-wedding brunch at home on the 18th.” Something of this nature sounds more positive in etiquette tips Bahamas wedding.

Handling Wedding Gifts

For destination weddings, guests are already expected to shell out several hundred dollars for plane tickets, hotels, rental cars, and new items of clothing – a huge investment. As a courtesy, you can tell your guests their presence is enough of a gift.

Many guests will want to offer gifts anyway, so to avoid lugging bulky and expensive items to and from your Bahamas destination wedding, place a honeymoon fund or charity fundraiser on your wedding website. This way, your guests will avoid worrying about keeping these items safe and secure, and you won’t need to worry about leaving extra room to bring gifts back home.

Guests should never have to stress about destination wedding gifts, so consider including an “opt out” checkbox on your website. This way, if guests choose to give a gift, you’ll know it’s an active decision and not offered solely out of obligation.

Help Your Guests Feel Included

Respecting Your Guests: Destination Wedding Etiquette

Photo Credit;: Chelsea Erwin Photography

If you’ve invited guests who can’t attend, it’s important to help them feel included. Throw a second reception for family and friends who, for financial or other outstanding circumstances, are unable to hop on a plane to your Bahamas destination wedding.

You can also offer them a way to view the ceremony itself by live streaming the event on video. If invitees can’t view the wedding as it’s happening, leave the video up so they can enjoy the show later on. Another option is to have a designated social media friend or friends to update Twitter or Instagram with a special #hashtag for your event.

Start the Planning Process Now

A wedding planner can help you ensure all your Bahamas destination wedding guests’ needs are met. They’ll help you negotiate airport transfers and other logistics.  Hotel or resort bookings, guest excursions, and more are planned. If your wedding is at a secluded beach location, a planner also arranges guests’ travel to and from the event.

A planner can help guide you and your betrothed through all the important components of destination wedding etiquette, offering invaluable advice. For your Bahamas destination wedding, consider a Bahamas wedding planner like Chic Bahamas Weddings. You don’t have to take care of every detail – we are here to do it for you.