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Common Destination Wedding Etiquette Questions, Answered

There are tough decisions to be made in planning a wedding to begin with, but transporting the affair to a far-off destination poses new questions. Of course, destination weddings in exotic locales provide an exciting opportunity for a truly romantic & memorable big day. However, brides & grooms will need to work through some tricky situations regarding expenses & social etiquette to make sure the event goes smoothly & guests are happy.

Whether you're saying "I do" in Riviera Maya or St. Lucia, here are some helpful tips to make planning your destination wedding a little easier:

Are we expected to pay for our guests' travel expenses? Fortunately, you are not expected to shell out for your attendees' airfare & accommodations – & it's crucial to make this clear to anyone you invite from the get-go so they can plan accordingly. Of course, if you have very close relatives or friends who you know can't afford to make it, you may want to factor this into your budget to make sure they can be present for this important milestone. Additionally, it's a nice gesture to pay for the transportation to get your guests from the airport to their resort. Since you're expecting attendees to pay for their stay, you should consider a resort that is appropriate for a range of budgets. Keep in mind that all inclusive travel eliminates some of the financial stress for guests.

Do we have to spend all our time with guests? Some couples may feel obligated to be with their friends & family every moment, but you should have plenty of alone time surrounding your big day. Sometimes the lines can get blurred between destination weddings & honeymoons, so it's important to strike a compromise between being social with your attendees & being an activities director. You may want to do some research in advance about local attractions so that you can suggest some things for your attendees to do without you & your spouse-to-be, giving you some time to yourself.

Are we supposed to plan out the trip for attendees? Don't stress too much about your attendees' itinerary. You should plan a welcome dinner the first night guests arrive, & it's helpful to schedule at least one big group activity in the middle of their stay. For example, you could schedule a girls spa day & a guys golf expedition. This is a great way to show appreciation for your loved ones that traveled the distance & it can also be a group bonding event that makes your big day just that more special. However, you definitely don't need to plan out every moment of every day for your attendees – you have many other things to think about when designing your dream wedding day.

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