Caribbean destination weddings enjoy recent growing popularity with many couples, and as with any new trend, etiquette must adapt accordingly. When couples decide on a Caribbean wedding traditional rules sometimes cease to make as much sense, and new and unexpected situations may throw you curve balls the last thing you need to be added to already-stressful wedding planning.
Use these guidelines for navigating potentially touchy issues such as guests, costs, invitations, and more, all far away from home. However, at the end of the day, remember to use no amount of rules to replace your own good sense. After all, at the end of the day, everyone wants to feel comfortable, have fun, and celebrate the most important day of your life by your side!
Etiquette for the Couple
How soon will people need to know about our destination wedding?
In any situation with travel involved, the sooner the better! It may take some people time to set aside the budget or plan around work and home to attend, and advance notice goes a long way towards increasing the number of friends and family able to join you!
Who should I invite?
The majority of destination weddings remain small affairs, ranging from a few close friends and family members to up to 30 or so people. Because of the nature of the wedding the travel, the accommodations, and the intimate setting many couples find it easier to manage a smaller crowd, rather than hundreds of travelers.
Keep in mind, however, that destination weddings present challenges for potential attendees, as well. When sending out your invitations, stay prepared for a smaller group of guests than you might receive under other circumstances. Some of your friends and family may try and plan with the best of intentions, but the travel, the time commitment, or the cost may simply be outside of their means.
Alternatively, some people may surprise you and decide to commit, even if they initially show reservations. Therefore, it’s a bad idea to invite everyone you know or someone you feel obligated to invite, on the premise that “most of them probably won’t come.” You might find yourself surprised. To avoid potential issues, invite those you would definitely like to see at the wedding, regardless of whether or not you think they can make it.
How can I help make the trip and costs easier for guests?
Never hesitate to enjoy your special day and make it everything you always dreamed of. If you want to splurge on that hotel or choose this bridesmaid dress over that one, forget hesitation and go for it! You only get this day once, and who wants to look back and regret a part of their wedding? With that said, although it never hurts to indulge, taking time to make things a little easier for the guests pays off for everyone at the end of the day.
Help them save money by looking into reduced rates for hotel blocks and large group activities, or think about choosing a hotel you know fits into everyone’s budget. Provide all of the information needed for your guests ahead of time, such as flight info, addresses, lists of activities, names of hotels and any transportation, and so on. Once at the hotel, ensure that they remain comfortable and stay informed of any planned activities breakfasts, snorkeling trips, or whatever else the couple decides!
Make sure to consider the location for your ceremony and reception, and the comfort level of your guests in that particular setting. Are you marrying on a boat, or on top of a dramatic cliff poised over a beach? Do you have family members with limited mobility or a close friend who’s deathly afraid of water? With the unique settings of many destination weddings, it helps to take potentially hairy situations into account. A little research for your guests goes a long way toward making everyone feel comfortable!