What to Consider When You're Invited to a Destination Wedding

There are more factors to keep in mind than going to hometown nuptials.

If you are invited and find you are able to attend a loved one's destination wedding, these are the things you should keep in mind.

Photo: Vue Photography

Going to a destination wedding can be a lot of fun. You get to travel to an exotic location, and there is usually a whole weekend of events to celebrate. It’s also quite an honor to be invited, as guest lists to destination weddings are typically a bit smaller. However, it can also be a burden since attending can cost you both of time and money. Before sending your RSVP, it’s important to make sure you are able to afford the trip. No matter how much you love the couple, you shouldn’t go into debt in order to celebrate with them.

tips for attending a destination wedding

Photo by John Cain Photography; Planning & Design by Emily Clarke Events

If you find you are able to attend a destination wedding, these are the things you should keep in mind. 

- Don’t bring a gift with you. In some cases, presents are not as expected at destination weddings due to the expense involved; however, if you do choose to give a gift, it’s better to send it before or after the wedding – otherwise both you and the newlyweds have to deal with it while traveling. Regardless, you should still bring a card in either situation as a nice gesture.

- Book in advance. Not only will it put the engaged couple at ease to see their room block fill up, but it will also save you money if you don’t wait until the last minute. 

- Read the wedding website carefully. Check it for updates too! This is where you’ll get travel tips, information about proper attire for each event, and an itinerary in case there are any planned excursions. 

- Enjoy yourself, but not too much. While the time and money involved in a destination wedding means it is absolutely fair to treat this like a vacation, it’s also still a wedding – not spring break. Don’t party any harder than you would at a local wedding, unless you're ready to deal with the consequences.

- Pack carefully. Particularly if the celebration is in a remote location, it will be harder to get necessary items, such as spare clothing or toiletries, than it is in a big city. It’s worth checking a bag, but make sure to keep important items in your carry-on in the rare case of lost luggage. 

For more wedding guest advice and ideas, learn how guests can stress out the bride and etiquette tips for the reception.