10 Destination Wedding Etiquette Everyone Should Know

Destination weddings are very popular with many couples.

Nevertheless, there are some etiquette rules every bride and groom should be aware of.

How many guests should be invited?

Who do you leave out?

Who should pay for what?

When your wedding is in a different country, things may be other than what you consider normal. Here is some basic destination wedding etiquette everyone should know.

1. Decide Who Pays For What

For the couple, you have to decide who pays for what. You have to consider your guests when it comes to costs as not all your guests are wealthy.

Don’t choose an expensive location that will lock out some of your guests. It is poor wedding etiquette to ask guests to spend more than they can afford to attend your wedding. 

2. Have a Short Guest List

When creating a guest list, there are no definite rules. However, for many destination weddings, the best strategy is to keep the guest list as small as possible.

Invite your closest family and friends who would not want to miss your wedding.

3. Give The Guests Enough Time

A destination wedding needs planning for both the couple and the guests.

Mail your save-the-date cards approximately eight to ten months before your wedding, then mail the actual invitation cards three or four months in advance, which gives the guests enough time to confirm attendance and make travel arrangements.

4. Welcome Your Guests Warmly

When your guests arrive at the destination, make them feel right at home.

If you are holding the wedding in a Bali wedding venue, organize a party on the day all guests arrive in anticipation of the wedding party. Organize gift bags with flip-flops, sunscreen, or other essentials. Inform them of the weather conditions, what to wear and other tidbits helpful during the wedding.

5. Learn the Local Culture

Learn the local culture and avoid doing things that might be offensive to the local people. To steer clear of cultural blunders, ensure you find out what is acceptable and what is not.

Then, ensure you inform your guests on the same to avoid misunderstandings. 

6. Give Your Guests Crucial Information

Attending a destination wedding includes a lot of planning and logistics. Ensure you give your treating guests all the crucial information they need as early as possible.

Have a wedding website that you can share all the details they need to make their travel arrangements. You can also share the wedding weekend schedule, emergency contacts, transport information, etc. This saves you the trouble of having to keep answering questions from individual guests.

7. Allow Your Guests to Bring A Guest

Your guests may not all know each other, so you can make a concession on the guest list and allow each guest to bring a plus one. However, ensure they let you know in advance of the plus one for your planning purposes. This will enable people who are uncomfortable with strangers to have a familiar person to talk to.

In addition, since the weekend might be a weekend or a week-long, your guests will each have someone to hang out with during the group activities like sports, sightseeing, or boat cruises.

8. Don’t Bring a Plus One Without Permission.

As a guest, you have no right to invite a plus one unless the wedding couple says it is okay. The extra person will not have factored into the wedding plans and may throw the couple’s plans into disarray.

Imagine if a couple invited only ten people and catered for food for ten, and the ten each brought an uninvited plus one. That would be a disaster, so check with the couple first before extending an invite.

9. Don’t Spend Money You Do Not Have on a Gift.

As a guest, remember you have spent quite an amount on travel expenses. Don’t bend over backward buying an extravagant gift for the couple. However, this is your prerogative. If you can afford it, by all means, you can go all out. 

If you feel it is a tight squeeze, buy a moderate and thoughtful gift they can use. For example, it makes no sense to buy them a bed, and they already have one. To avoid carrying baggage to the wedding, mail the gift to the couple before the event.

10. Couple Privacy

As a couple, you might feel overwhelmed and want some alone time.

After the reception, you can have a private suite away from the rest of the guests. If need be, put a “Do not disturb” on your door, or even book a suite at a separate hotel from the guests. Your guests will understand and let you be.


The lack of etiquette at weddings, whether they are destination weddings or local weddings, is frustrating.

To keep the peace and co-exist with everyone involved, learn some basic things to do and avoid.