Destination Wedding Etiquette

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weddings, tips + tricks

Marrying abroad is a brave decision. Planning a wedding at home is hard enough, let alone having to factor in all the extra problems that come with destination ceremonies. If you’re freaking out over destination wedding (DW) etiquette, calm those bridezilla fears. Relax and follow our guide to putting the right foot forward when you’ve decided to marry abroad.

Who Pays For The DW?

Traditionally, the ceremony, dress, and flowers come out of the bridal family’s pocket. The groom’s ‘rents pay for the rehearsal dinner and his attire. That said, a DW is far from traditional. In bygone days, the couple would get hitched in the local area, with all their family around. Going abroad may be against your parents’ wishes, so instead of asking them to front the bill, it’s probably best for you to get this one.

Who Pays For The Bridesmaids’ Dresses?

Your bridesmaids will be forking out for their clobber. However, if you have money to burn, it’s a nice gesture to pay for your bridal party’s dresses, as they’ll be paying for the air fare to get to your wedding.

When Should You Send Out The Wedding Invites?

The easy answer to this question is ‘as soon as possible.’ Your guests will need plenty of time to organise their travel and accommodation. One year in advance is a good rule of thumb.

Include a lot of information with your wedding invites. Do all the hard work for your guests and work out the travel costs, provide the details of accommodation in the area (catering for different budgets), and explain the finer details of the wedding ceremony. Link to a wedding blog with further information and update regularly.

Who Do You Invite?

As this is a DW, people who would get offended about being left off the guest list won’t mind if you forgo them this time. Everyone accepts that your bridal party will be small, because your ceremony is in another country. Distant relatives and colleagues won’t want to pay the huge expense of travelling abroad for one wedding. Unlike a country house wedding at home, you should keep your bridal shower and your wedding guest list small.

For those who can’t make it, you can set-up a live camera feed or just tape the wedding for a later viewing. You can always employ someone in the wedding party to do this, but hiring a professional means a nicely edited finish, and leaves your guests to enjoy the day without filming a beautiful wedding to worry about.

Who Should Attend The Rehearsal Dinner?

If you were having the wedding at home, only your immediate family would attend, but since you’re abroad, everyone should come along. The group is likely to be small anyway and it would be nice to rendezvous before the big day.

You’ll have to pay, so don’t worry splurging out on a slap-up meal, if you can’t afford it. Depending on your tastes, you could just have a casual get-together with pizza and beer!

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