Who doesn't get excited when a destination wedding invitation arrives in their mailbox? It's the perfect excuse to plan that vacation you've been thinking about while also celebrating a couple you love. Before you start searching for flights and booking hotel rooms, there are a few destination wedding etiquette rules you should make sure you feel comfortable with. Here, Lindsay Logacre of LVL Weddings and Events talks about the appropriate protocol for destination wedding attendees.
Don't Assume You're Getting a Plus-One
Just because you're invited to the couple's far-flung ceremony and reception doesn't mean you'll get to invite a guest. While it's customary to extend an invitation with a plus-one, many couples plan to host a destination wedding in an effort to make their day more intimate. If they're really only looking to celebrate with their nearest and dearest, you may not actually get that plus-one that you thought you would. The same is true of your kids. "Given that we do a lot of destination weddings, I would say the biggest no-no we see is to assume you are getting a guest or that kids are invited," advises Logacre. "Read the invitation and details carefully so you are aware who is actually invited. Typically destination weddings are intimate gatherings so it is important to be sensitive to the couple's wishes when it comes to the guest list." Before you book flights, make sure everyone you're planning travel for is actually invited.
Don't Nag the Couple About Accommodations Near the Wedding
The couple will probably go through a great deal of trouble to ensure you understand where to fly in, stay, eat, and relax while in town for their destination wedding. That information is generally available on their wedding website or as an enclosure card in their invitations, so be sure to look for it before asking the couple personally. Remember that the bride and groom already have a lot to plan, and your vacation or what to do before or after the wedding is not on their to-do list.
Don't Be a Last-Minute Planner
It's pretty simple: If you can't go to the wedding, you can't go. Being a bad guest causes a ton of stress for the couple, their bridal party, and anyone else affiliated with the wedding. Most times, a final head count needs to be given to vendors ahead of time, and the couple needs to know if you're going to attend the wedding or not by the RSVP date on their invitations. If you realize you have a few extra vacation days or that you can afford to go after all, you're creating more work (and maybe even more expenses) for the bride and groom. Plan early.