Ground rules for destination weddings

| June 8, 2011

Destination wedding.With two destination weddings now under my belt, I’m beginning to realize the importance a guest plays in the success of the occasion. Sure, months of planning went into the décor, the menu, the location, and those frozen moments will be captured forever on film. But the bride and groom will also measure the fulfillment of the event by the participation and satisfaction of the attendees.

With that in mind, there are some ground rules every guest should uphold:

Manage Your Time

More often than not, destination weddings are held in picturesque locals and it’s tempting to view the trip as a personal vacation.

But you must be mindful of the wedding itinerary. Receiving an invitation to someone’s wedding (even if you’re only a date) means the bride and groom deemed you as someone important in their lives to bear witness to their commitment.

Be on time. If you don’t know the schedule, ask someone. There’s nothing more distracting than people funneling in during the nuptials.

If you plan to spend time poolside, avoid overindulging in pina coladas and be sure to pack sunscreen.  Arriving drunk, hungover or miserably sunburnt is just plain rude.

If you’re hankering for some extended leisure time, take a couple extra days off after the wedding to enjoy the locale and all it has to offer – on your own time.

It’s Not Your Day

Every wedding is different and no one wants to hear your two cents about the execution. We are all afforded the opportunity to get married in some right, and when you have your big day, you can do whatever you please.

Don’t fuss over the details. If the hors d’oeuvres are not to your liking, yellow makes your complexion ruddy or you’re allergic to calla lilies, make a mental note for your own benefit. This is not information that should be verbalized.

Everyone in attendance is either a friend or family to the couple. Your ungrateful criticisms are very likely to fall upon listening ears and get back to the hosts.

Respect Other Guests

It seems like it would go without saying that manners should be present at a wedding, but hear me out.

Weddings are one of the few social events where multiple generations of relatives are present. What you would wear to a club or a night on the town is probably not appropriate for this type of event.

Your grandparents may not be present at the wedding, but someone else’s very well could be. Make sure what you wear would be suitable for a date with grandma.

Moreover, clothing that is too miniature or excessively flamboyant is off-putting not only to other guests, but it diverts attention from the bride, who should be the focus at all times. And hopefully we all know only the bride should be wearing white!

Weddings are expensive productions and every head adds to that count. Show your gratitude for the invitation and be in your best form.

In the words of noted etiquette aficionado, Emily Post, “The good guest is almost invisible, enjoying him or herself, communing with fellow guests, and most of all, enjoying the generous hospitality of the hosts.”


Category: Dating and Relating

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