Destination Wedding Tips You Need to Know

by Mariam Simmons
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destination wedding tips

Planning a destination wedding? Great! Marrying the one you love in a beautiful, far-flung location is such an amazing experience. However, exciting as it seems, planning a destination wedding is no easy feat. Marrying your love in a beautiful, far-flung location is such an amazing experience. These destination wedding tips will help make it all go smoothly.

Aside from the usual where, when, and how, you have to deal with some basic wedding etiquette like who pays for what, who to invite, and what to wear. When you think about a faraway destination that potentially has different customs, local marriage requirements, and cultural practices, everything can get a little mixed up. Here are our destination wedding tips to make planning a destination wedding a lot easier.

Add a Destination Guide to Wedding Invitations

The farther your chosen destination is, the more complicated the logistics become. That said, be sure to give your guests plenty of information ahead of time.

As much as possible, send out your wedding invitations earlier than usual and include a destination guide.

It should detail the exact location or address of the venue, time, and date, and most importantly, how to get there.

Unless you’re paying for your guests’ accommodation, your guide should include recommendations for some nice yet budget-friendly hotels near your wedding venue.

Check Local Marriage Requirements

Marriage paperwork can be a pain to deal with for destination weddings as countries have different legal requirements.

This is where it makes sense to hire a destination wedding planner who will handle the nitty-gritty tasks like securing licenses and permits.

If you’re DIY-ing your wedding, educate yourself far in advance so you don’t miss out on any requirements.

You may also consider getting married in a courthouse before or after your destination wedding. It’s the easiest way to ensure that your marriage will be recognized in your country.

Figure Out Who Pays for What

Part of wedding etiquette is to decide who should cover the costs.

There’s no need to emphasize that destination weddings can get very expensive. The good news is you’re not obligated to pick up the tab for the airfare and lodging costs of your guests.

Nevertheless, if you can cover at least a percentage of their expenses, it’s a considerate thing to do.

Whatever your decision is, inform your guests upfront.

Inform Your Guests What to Wear

Inform your guests about what they should wear, especially on your wedding day.

So for example, if you’re getting married on the beautiful island of Bali, Indonesia where it’s always sunny, advise them to pack light and comfortable clothes.

If your wedding will be held outdoors, say on a beach or a garden, advise the gents to wear men’s dress shoes and suits that aren’t too formal.

While it can be tempting to wear sandals on the beach, men’s dress shoes are more appropriate for a wedding and can be equally comfortable too.

For the ladies, lightweight dresses and heel sandals are the way to go.

Host a Welcome Party

One reason why many couples choose to have a destination wedding amidst its complication is the experience.

Just like you, your guests must be excited to explore a place they haven’t been to before. That said, show some hospitality by hosting a welcome party, which can be in the form of a simple dinner.

After all, your guests set aside other important things to show support to your destination wedding, so it’s just fitting to spoil them even just a little.

It’s also a great way to spend quality time with your guests than you’ll be able to on the day of your wedding.

Prepare some tokens to show your appreciation, such as welcome bags, goodies, and the like.

Keep the Guest List Short

There is no etiquette rule about how many guests you should invite to your wedding.

However, you have to remember that the bigger your wedding, the more expensive it gets.

So as much as possible, keep your guest list short. After all, intimate weddings are a trend these days. Consider limiting your guests to the people who are closest to your heart. When deciding who to invite, ask yourself this question: If this person will not be present on my wedding day, will I be sad?

By keeping your guest list short, you can allocate some of your resources to making your event more special and memorable, such as preparing a post-wedding brunch, choosing a more stunning venue, getting nicer gifts for your guests, or if possible, shouldering their airfares.

Destination Wedding Tips

Organizing a destination wedding does come with some challenges. But as long as you plan it very carefully–and hoping you’ve found some destination wedding tips here of use–everything will go smoothly.

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-All photos as credited. Cover photo by Phan Houng Kha on

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