Does the Location of a Wedding Change Etiquette

February 1, 2013 by Justin CLeave a Comment

The answer to this question is a resounding, yes!

The thing is: it’s obvious that a wedding’s location will have a huge impact the situations and scenarios that will be encountered during its preparation and execution, and will thus impact the etiquette necessary on the big day. The real question here is how location will affect wedding etiquette, for both guests and hosts. So, before running off to book a destination dream wedding at, take a moment to review these simple examples of how observing special etiquette will ensure your destination wedding goes off without a hitch.

1. Consider Regional Differences

In the event the “destination” wedding is really more of a “compromise” wedding (a ceremony held closer to one fiancée’s family, to which the other’s family will be required to travel), it will behoove everyone involved to consider the etiquette and traditions native to the wedding’s location, and to embrace those rules of etiquette from beginning to end.

2. Destination Wedding Invitations

You must not:

Have a destination wedding if there are members of your family, wedding party, or close circle of friends who you know won’t be able to afford the trip, or the time away from work unless you choose to pay room and travel expenses for your wedding party and immediate family members.

You must:

Send out invitations to all destination weddings as soon as possible. Once a date is settled on, a “Save the Date” card must be mailed to all potentially relevant attendees. While etiquette does not dictate that you clear a destination wedding location with everyone who might come, it does encourage open discussion and avoidance of “surprises.” Unless all your friends are filthy rich and perpetually unemployed, they will appreciate an early warning. Early means at least six months advance notice for destination affairs.

3. Destination Wedding Gifts

You must not:

Let people wonder about whether it is appropriate to bring a gift to the wedding. As with any wedding attendees who are expected to travel, it is not acceptable to expect destination wedding guests to bring gifts along.

You must:

Ensure that a member of the wedding party informs guests early on about where the bride and groom are registered for gifts, and to articulate the bride and groom’s preference for receiving those registry gifts at home, via post. Here’s why the word “preference” is crucial: it takes the pressure away from the guests, placing responsibility for a behavior that makes them uncomfortable squarely on the shoulders of the bride and groom. It avoids passive aggression, and creates a comfortable and easy way for people to follow traditional gifting etiquette.

In the event that your destination wedding is intercontinental, allow the parents of the bride to instruct the guests regarding the bride and grooms willingness to accept money or gift certificates at the wedding. Never let guests feel it is necessary to purchase a present from the destination location.

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!