With the growing trend for weddings abroad, a new set of ‘etiquette rules’ have developed. Knowing basic wedding abroad etiquette will help you and your guests have a memorable celebration and holiday all in one. When planning your big day, keep the following in mind…

Save the Date – Give Your Guests Notice

For a wedding abroad you should send out your wedding invitations earlier than you would if your ceremony were closer to home. This will give your guests plenty of time to determine whether they can get time off work or other commitments and, of course, budget accordingly. If you need help or ideas for your stationery read this guide to weddings abroad and beach wedding stationery.

Luggage Tag Save the Date for Wedding Abroad

Engaging – Should You Have an Engagement Party?

Engagement party attendees expect to give a gift. For this reason it’s considered bad wedding abroad etiquette to invite anyone to an engagement party who isn’t also invited to the wedding or reception.

Details – Research Travel and Hotel Options

Generally guests cover their own travel and hotel expenses for a wedding abroad. You can make this easier for them by looking into travel and hotel deals yourself. Make calls and search the web for the most suitable and cost-effective travel and hotel choices, then pass the information on. Your guests will appreciate this.

Wed on the Web – Set Up Your Own Wedding Website

A wedding website is the perfect way to keep your guests informed of travel and accommodation options. You can also include information such as expected weather and links to amenities and attractions in the area. Just remember to keep information current and email your guests each time you make significant changes.

Meet and Greet – Greet Your Guests

Your guests may arrive at different times or on different flights. If possible, meet them at the airport, especially if you’re familiar with the area and they aren’t. If you’re too busy, ask your best man and/or chief bridesmaid to help, or get the hotel to send a car.

Also, make sure you include a clear map of the area in each wedding invitation, and include your mobile phone number so wayward attendees can call you for clarification on the drive from the airport.

Bride and Groom Touching Heads on Beach

Party Plans – Include an Itinerary

Write a wedding itinerary and hand it to guests as they arrive. Make sure you include times that you and your new spouse have set aside for just the two of you (e.g. a special dinner) so your guests can plan their own activities. Use local themes and images to spice up the itinerary and to make it a keepsake for your wedding scrapbook.

Return Reception – Have a Local Reception Too

It’s likely that your wedding abroad will be much smaller than a local wedding. If you are unable to invite everyone you’d like to attend you could have a reception back at home too. Give yourselves about two weeks between getting home from the wedding and holding your local reception; you’ll need the break.

Make sure you send the party invitations at the same time you send your wedding invitations. This will prevent anyone from feeling left out. Also, don’t forget your local reception is another chance to wear your wedding dress!

Announce It! – Send Wedding Announcements

It’s good wedding abroad etiquette for couples to send wedding announcements to anyone they were unable to invite. If you sent a wedding invitation to someone who then informed you they were unable to attend, you don’t need to send them an announcement. However, if you didn’t invite someone because you knew they couldn’t make the trip, you should definitely send that person an announcement.

Wedding announcements are often seen as appropriate because they don’t carry the expectation of gifts. Announcements are also a great way of letting people know you had a wedding abroad, so they don’t feel left out.

Using basic etiquette, courtesy and common sense, you can ensure that a good time is had by all, whether at home or abroad.

Guest post by Karen Thornton-Brown of WeddingsAbroad.com

Images from…

Save the Date: Ananya

Couple: Captured by Aimee

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