We live in a world of bite-sized information, and with good reason! Hectic schedules, demanding careers and social lives leave little time for anything else. So if you're looking for the inside scoop on etiquette for your upcoming destination wedding without thumbing through a novel's worth of information, here are some fast and easy etiquette tips that we swear by.
Send invites early: Send save-the-dates 8-12 months out to give guests ample time to save and plan. If you don't have that long, three to four months is okay. Invitations go out 6-8 weeks in advance.
Include guests that can't attend: It's easy to make everyone feel included! If you have close friends and family that can't attend, consider a reception once you return home. There are hi-tech options for the actual ceremony too, like video cams so guests can watch the wedding live. Or, go the social route and create a #hashtag for your wedding so family and friends can follow along.
Be kind to the kiddos: Ask about camps, water parks, day and night activities for all ages and if babysitting is offered on the property. Plan fun activities for the kids during your rehearsal dinner, like scavenger hunts or leave out a basket of board games to win extra brownie points.
Make time for your spouse: It's important to remember why you're at this amazing resort celebrating -- because you're starting a life as a couple! Take a sunrise walk on the beach, get a spa treatment, and enjoy a leisurely breakfast in bed. Trust us, your guests will understand.
Thank your parents generously: They've been there for you through thick and thin, so don't gift them with anything cheesy or impersonal. Take your time to find something timeless that suits their personality and taste. And of course, don't forget the handwritten note.
Don't combat the opposition: And better yet, don't think about it as combat. You're trying to plan the best wedding possible for you and your guests, so why waste your energy on the naysayers? As long as you are thoughtful and communicate well with your guests, there's no reason you should have to explain or justify your choices.
Don't mix guests and non-guests at pre-wedding parties: If they didn't make the cut for the actual wedding, they shouldn't be invited to pre-wedding events with guests who did. It's just a recipe for awkward conversations and introductions, even if you have the best of intentions.
Find out if your resort is handicap accessible: If it's important for your grandparents to make the wedding, then they shouldn't also risk life and limb at your resort. Make sure they have a comfortable seat at all times and that your resort has accessible walkways and attendants to lend a hand.
Budget: Know what yours is and be reasonable about what you can accomplish with that number. It's that plain and simple.
Add an opt-out clause: It's nice to let your guests know that their presence is a gift, not a requirement. We like the idea of an opt-out clause on the save-the-dates. Keep it upbeat and maybe mention a home reception or party if you're having one so they can still celebrate with you.
Be sensible with gifts: Try a honeymoon fund instead of asking your guests to lug bulky, expensive gifts. Or, opt out of gifts altogether if it feels right and try a charity fund instead.
Create enthusiasm for your wedding: Your guests might not yet have been to a destination wedding before yours. Get them amped up with a wedding website that includes excursions, details about your resorts and any group activities you have planned. A little weather forecast never hurts either.
Get everyone together on night one: Some of your guests might not have met each other before. Let everyone mingle and break the ice with a laid back party or event pre-ceremony. There might be some surprise friendships in the works!
Give the gift of an all-inclusive: Your guests will love you if they don't have to tote around their wallet the entire time. It also tends to be a much more affordable (and fun!) option for everyone.