Etiquette for destination weddings

Ok, you’ve chosen St. Lucia (or Cancun or wherever) for your destination wedding— here are some things you need to know

There’s no doubt that destination weddings amp up the “wow” factor of a couple’s big day ­— everyone is traveling to a place far away, maybe someplace really exotic, and that’s awesome.

But the fact that everyone is traveling to a place far away also has a not-so-awesome aspect. The distance raises a lot of issues that an around-the-corner wedding doesn’t have.

What about wedding gifts? According to, it’s acceptable to let guests know that they can send gifts to the couple’s home, or to bring gifts of money or gift certificates to the destination.

Who pays for what? Opinions vary, but generally the couple (or their parents) only pay for the ceremony, reception and other events for guests. The travel and hotel expenses are the guests’ responsibility (the average cost is $750 to $1,100). The one exception is the wedding party: their travel and hotel expenses should be taken care of. And be sure to tell them that’s the case when you ask them to be in the wedding.

What about people who can’t come? One way to handle that is to have a reception when you get home. Gifts aren’t generally expected at such a reception, but likely some will bring a gift anyway.

Categories: Planning Tips & Advice