Destination weddings have become increasingly popular, offering couples a unique and memorable way to exchange vows in breathtaking locations. However, planning a destination wedding comes with its own set of considerations, including understanding and following proper wedding etiquette.

Dos and Don’ts for Planning a Destination Wedding

Looking to plan a wedding abroad? Lets explore essential dos and don’ts to help you navigate the world of destination wedding etiquette, ensuring a respectful and harmonious celebration for you and your guests.


When choosing your destination and wedding location do consider how accessible it is, a 6 hour flight and then a 3 hour car journey to the venue isn’t ideal.

Helping your guests with travel arrangements can ease their concerns and ensure a smooth experience. Provide details about transportation options, nearby airports, and any group discounts available. Collaborate with local travel agents to offer assistance in booking flights and accommodations.

Creating a detailed itinerary will help your guests plan their stay and participate in various wedding-related events. Include pre-wedding activities, group outings, and post-wedding celebrations, allowing everyone to make the most of their time at the destination.

Give your guests time

When planning a destination wedding, timely communication is crucial. Send save-the-dates at least six to eight months in advance, allowing your guests to plan and make necessary travel arrangements. Include the wedding location, dates, and any important details to help them prepare.

When sending out wedding invitations, provide comprehensive information, including travel details, accommodation options, and itineraries. Consider creating a wedding website or informational packet to guide guests and answer common questions.

RSVPs and Timely Responses

Prompt responses to wedding invitations are crucial for destination weddings. As the couple, you need to plan and finalise arrangements based on the number of attendees. Encourage guests to RSVP as soon as possible and communicate any dietary restrictions or special requirements promptly.

Ensure that your guests understand the significance of their timely responses, as it enables you to create a seamless experience and cater to their needs effectively.

Top Tip: Set up a RSVP website for your wedding, here you can also include accommodation information, itineraries and other useful and important details.


Helping guests find suitable accommodation options is an essential part of destination wedding etiquette. Research and provide a list of recommended hotels, resorts, and vacation rentals at various price points. Negotiate group rates, if possible, to make the stay more affordable for your guests, or perhaps pay or fund their wedding stay.

Try to have nearby hotels that are of different standards and budgets, this way there is something for all. Hotel weddings have the benefit of accommodation onsite for your guests.

Consider designating a point of contact or a dedicated travel coordinator to address any questions or concerns regarding accommodations. This will help your guests feel supported and valued throughout their stay.


If you are having a 3,4 or 5 day wedding celebration then think about what your guests can also do, happy guest having an amazing time makes for a memorable and epic wedding. Experience available from spa treatments, yoga and chilling by the pool, to wine tasting, hiking, or going out on a boat are great and popular options.

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Destination-Specific Etiquette

Before traveling to a foreign destination, take the time to learn about the local customs and traditions. Respect and embrace these cultural nuances, incorporating them into your wedding ceremony and celebrations where appropriate.

Consult local resources, such as guidebooks or online communities, to understand local etiquette, greetings, and gestures. By demonstrating cultural sensitivity, you will create a meaningful and inclusive experience for both you and your guests.

Dress Code and Attire

When planning a destination wedding, consider the climate and the venue when deciding on the dress code. Inform your guests about the recommended attire, ensuring they are appropriately dressed and comfortable for the weather conditions.

For beach weddings, opt for lightweight fabrics and embrace a more relaxed dress code. If you’re having a formal ceremony in an elegant venue, specify black-tie or cocktail attire

to maintain a sense of elegance and formality. Including this information in your invitations or wedding website will help guests dress accordingly.

Wedding Ceremony and Reception Etiquette

Destination weddings provide a unique opportunity to infuse local customs and traditions into your ceremony. Consult with local wedding planners or cultural experts to understand meaningful rituals or symbolic gestures you can include. This adds a personal touch and pays homage to the destination’s rich heritage.

Inform your guests in advance about any unique customs or traditions they may encounter during the ceremony. This allows them to appreciate and participate respectfully, enhancing their overall experience.

When it comes to the reception, consider seating arrangements that encourage mingling and foster a sense of inclusion. Place thoughtful consideration into the placement of guests who may not know each other well, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable experience for all.

During speeches or toasts, encourage speakers to keep them concise and engaging. Limiting speeches to a few minutes each will maintain the flow of the evening and keep guests entertained.

Gratitude and Appreciation

Expressing gratitude to your guests for traveling and attending your destination wedding is essential. Take the time to personally greet and thank each guest during the event. Small gestures, such as welcome bags or personalised notes in their rooms, can make them feel valued and appreciated.

Thank-You Notes and Gifts Beyond words

After the wedding, send thank-you notes to all your guests within a reasonable timeframe. Handwritten messages, mentioning specific moments or memories from the celebration, add a personal touch and show your sincere appreciation.

Consider giving thoughtful gifts to your wedding party and immediate family members as a token of gratitude. These gifts can be inspired by the destination or reflect your heartfelt appreciation for their support throughout the planning process.

Planning a destination wedding requires careful consideration of etiquette to ensure a seamless and respectful celebration. By communicating effectively, considering guest needs, respecting local customs, and expressing gratitude, you create an unforgettable experience for both you and your loved ones.

Embrace the unique opportunities a destination wedding provides, and let proper etiquette guide your journey to a joyous and memorable wedding celebration.