WOO HOO! You’re ready to tie the knot and celebrate this exciting new chapter in your life. But, you’re wondering, is it rude to have a destination wedding? In this article, I’ll answer that question and share other helpful information about having a destination wedding.
Destination weddings can be the most memorable way to say “I do.” But is it selfish? What’s proper etiquette? And how should you go about having a destination wedding? As a destination elopement and wedding photographer, I’ll give you some insight into these questions and more. Learn everything you need to know below!
You might also be interested in reading: Alternatives to a Big Wedding
Absolutely not! After all, your big day is all about you and your love. If a destination wedding is what you’re dreaming of, do it!
As a wedding photographer, I’ve worked with many couples in your shoes. I also married the love of my life 6 years ago, before I realized what a great option destination weddings and elopements are. As someone who packed 150 people into a barn for her wedding day and would do things differently today, trust me when I say traditional weddings aren’t for everyone – and that’s okay!
A destination wedding is NOT rude. Your wedding day should be a day that celebrates the love you and your partner share and the commitment you’re making to each other. So, why should your wedding not be everything you dream of and more?
If you want to exchange your vows in the mountains of a bucket list destination or at a beach in your favorite vacation spot, you should do it.
Many couples wonder is it rude to have a destination wedding. But, the truth is, planning an at-home wedding that’s all about what people may expect of you or traditional wedding stuff can quickly turn into a day that doesn’t represent you and your love.
You may also wonder if your friends and family will feel upset because they have to travel or spend extra money. However, the people who care about you want your special day to be your idea of perfection. And who doesn’t love a reason to take a vacation?
While having a destination wedding isn’t rude at all, there are certainly ways you can show consideration while you plan your wedding and on the day of. If you want loved ones to join you for this celebration that means so much to you, there are ways you can show them how important they are to you too.
Here’s a quick list of things to consider for your destination wedding. Below, I’ll share helpful tips for each!
One of the biggest concerns when asking is it rude to have a destination wedding is who pays for what. You probably know that with a traditional wedding, the bride’s parents pay for the wedding day while the groom’s parents pay for the rehearsal. However, a destination wedding isn’t traditional, and you’ll want to do what works best for you with your loved ones.
Most couples don’t pay for their loved ones’ travel expenses or accommodations but will pay for the rehearsal dinner, wedding ceremony, and transportation to and from (with or without their parents’ help).
You may also wonder if you should pay for the bridal party’s travel expenses, accommodations, and/or attire. Again, this depends on your financial situation and what you’re comfortable with. However, you certainly don’t have to. Just give plenty of notice, which I’ll discuss more below!
As with any wedding, you want to carefully create your guest list. Consider your loved ones’ budgets, how far from home you want to get married, and what a reasonable guest count would be.
Depending on how far people need to travel to attend your wedding, you might keep your guest list short and sweet. Your guest list could be more expansive if you’re having your wedding within driving distance or if most people you want to invite are happy to spend money on travel expenses.
An excellent idea for keeping your guest list short is having an intimate wedding getaway and a larger celebration afterwards once you’re back home.
When considering who to invite, you’ll also want to choose your location thoughtfully. Think about what means the most to you for your special day, where you’d like it to take place, and what the setting looks and feels like.
If you’re dreaming of having all your friends and family by your side, pick a place that’s not too far away. If location is most important to you (and it’s totally okay if it is!), go with that perfect wedding destination you dream of when you envision the best day ever.
For inspiration, check out these articles about a few of my favorite destination wedding locations:
This one might be the most important piece of the puzzle. If being considerate of your guest is important to you, give ample notice.
You want to make sure they have enough time to plan accordingly for your destination wedding.
Here are a few ways you can thoughtfully give your guests reasonable notice:
As I mentioned above, a wedding website is essential for a destination wedding. Even if you’re only planning to invite a few guests, this is a simple way to offer detailed information and ensure your loved ones are in the loop for planning purposes.
You want to ensure they know where the venue is, information about dates and celebrations, and what to expect regarding weather, activities, necessary attire, etc.
Because you’re inviting guests to a new-to-them location, it’s best to provide transportation, especially to the ceremony. Most places have shuttle options, so you can arrange something like this. You can even consult your venue or guests’ accommodation to see if they offer this.
When asking is it rude to have a destination wedding, a significant part of this is to be understanding. This can be difficult because you want your special day to be perfect and everything you could ask for. However, it’s important to be understanding of your loved ones and remember that all that truly matters on this day is you and your partner celebrating in a way that’s authentic to you and your relationship.
A few helpful tips for being understanding:
You might want to offer various options depending on how many people you invite to your destination wedding. This is mostly regarding accommodations that fit multiple budgets and family-size.
If you’re sharing activity ideas with your guests, include mixed options depending on what your guests will enjoy.
While you want to make sure you’re focusing on your partner and your experience with them, you also want to make your guests feel welcome, especially because they traveled to celebrate with you.
The great thing about destination weddings is that you can skip all the traditional stuff that takes away from being in the moment and enjoying the experience.
Here are a few ways you can spend time with your guest and make sure they feel welcome:
When planning your destination wedding, I always say that what you and your partner want should be #1! But, to also ensure you’re considerate of your guests, you want to plan mindfully.
Keep your guest list in mind when choosing your location, accommodation options, and activities.
Planning can be a lot of work, especially for a destination wedding. For help, you can always work with an intimate wedding photographer who also helps with planning – like Wild Aisle Photography (that’s me!)
I hope this article answered your question and reinforces that destination weddings are far from rude. In fact, destination weddings can offer an unforgettable experience for you and your guests.
To ensure your loved ones feel considered, plan with them in mind and give plenty of notice. But remember that your and your partner’s visions are most important!
Would you like help planning, executing, and capturing your special day? I’m a photographer who loves working with couples planning a destination wedding. From selecting the perfect destination and offering recommendations to fixing your hair and taking photos, I’d love to help you on this big adventure.
January 18, 2023