Planning is the Key to your Dream Destination Wedding
Believe me, I know, it is truly difficult to think beyond that blissful vision of white tulle and crisp linen on the beach - but it takes an awful lot of expert planning to get to that point. Just as with a traditional wedding, there are a lot of decisions to be made that will impact the look and feel of your special day. First and foremost of course is to start planning! Here is a general guideline for destination wedding planning which most brides will tweak to fit their own individual situation.
TOP 9 DESTINATION WEDDING ETIQUETTE & PLANNING TIPS:
1. The destination spot will be a hot topic as you plan your dream wedding. Many well-meaning friends and family members (especially parents who typically pay for a big portion of the wedding costs) may attempt to sway you towards a certain destination. Thank them, tell them you’ll consider their suggestions, but be firm when you tell them you and your hubby-to-be will make the best decision suited for the two of you.
2. The wedding date. Try ruling out scheduling conflicts: ask your VIPs (wedding party or those who must be there) for a list of “can’t miss” prior engagements they’ve already booked; look for long weekend availabilities with the hotels you’re considering; and avoid booking your wedding date on cultural or religious holidays (e.g. Rosh Hashanah or Easter) as well as key times of the year people may be occupied (e.g. tax time, exams or graduations).
3. Who should be invited? Customarily, a third of the guests are from the bride’s family, a third from the groom’s family and a third made up of the couple’s friends.
4. If you’d prefer an intimate wedding, be clear and communicate your plans to friends and family you won’t be inviting to the wedding just before or when you send your Save the Date cards. Word quickly spreads and it’s better they hear it from you. To mitigate damages, plan a party at home to celebrate your union with those who won’t be attending your destination wedding. Lower your stress by scheduling this get-together after you return home.
5. Guests are making a commitment when accepting an invitation for a destination wedding. Respect their time by sending out your save-the-date cards 6 to 8 months before the wedding date.
6. When your RSVP date has passed, follow up with those who haven’t responded yet by email or call them. Ask them if they have any questions or if you can give them any more information to help them make a decision. Always make your RSVP date one week earlier than necessary to be able to accommodate late-comers.
7. No matter how much you love them and they love you, friends or family members with too many responsibilities or who generally lead complicated lives are not good candidates for your wedding party (a.k.a. attendants). Have an honest yet diplomatic talk with them and request they play another important part in the wedding.
8. Be a good leader. You’re organizing this show so it’s up to you to delegate with clear instructions, inform your party of plans they need to know and your expectations of them. Just remember: they’re doing you a favour. Appreciate that, be a gracious leader, and you should have smooth sailing.
9. A wedding website is now considered an essential communication tool to provide your tech-savvy guests all the information they need to make a decision, up-dates that will affect them, and details and tips that will help them plan to attend your destination wedding. Although brides and grooms can use a blog or Facebook page for any reason, we think it’s perfect for coordinating wedding planning with the wedding party. Put a parent in charge to communicate with your non tech-savvy guests.