Well, it’s official (sort of). Studies suggest that Millennials (born in the 80s and 90s) are more likely than their parents to go #YOLO on their wedding day and opt for a destination wedding. Locations like the Caribbean, Europe, or Hawaii are popular choices, but many couples keep it continental as well. Either way, what do all destination weddings have in common? Beautiful scenery and a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
But there’s a catch. While travelling is great, it can also be expensive. And this can be a problem for your friends in their 20s or 30s. Many young professionals will find it difficult to fly across the globe at a moment’s notice. While there are plenty of lists out there for proper etiquette for destination weddings, let’s take a look at a few Dos and Don’ts tailored specifically to 20- and 30-somethings.
DO give your guests a very big heads up.
Whether it’s a save-the-date or actual invitations, most wedding experts suggest that you let your guests know your plans at least 3-6 months ahead of time for a domestic wedding. However, if you’re going to be asking your friends to purchase a plane ticket and block off travel time from their busy schedules, good form would be to alert folks at least 9-12 months beforehand. College graduates aren’t getting jobs at the same rate as generations before them, and even though you might be financially secure, don’t forget: it’s still a tough economy; your friends might not.
DON’T worry about gifts.
Asking your friends to purchase a plane ticket and block off time from their busy schedules is one thing. After all, they’ll get some vacation time out of it too (plus the big bonus of more time with you, you wonderful couple you.) But asking for an expensive gift too? That might be too much. Since your friends may still want to show their love by giving you a wedding present, make it easier on them to do so without breaking the bank: register for some less expensive and/or unconventional gifts, or write on the invitation that you’d rather have their presence than their presents!
DO offer to help with travel.
This does not necessarily mean shelling out money. Many airlines and hotels offer discounts for large parties – look into that for your guests’ benefit. And you might suggest a way for guests to contact each other to travel together or stay together when at the wedding. In fact, simply mentioning these potential solutions can reassure guests that you’re not a groom/bridezilla, and letting others know you care about their concerns is sometimes all it takes.
DON’T forget your demographic.
This seems unlikely since all of your friends who are into paleo, gluten-free, veganism, or Atkins have been reminding you of those facts on Facebook and Instagram every day since the beginning of time. But just in case, remember that some of your friends might observe strict diets, which can be hard to satisfy if your wedding is in a foreign country. Either offer plenty of choices, including a meat, fish, and vegan dinner option, or ask people to note any dietary issues on their response cards.
DO plan group activities.
You didn’t invite your closest relatives to a beautiful destination just to have them sit in their hotel rooms, did you?! If there is downtime before or after your big day, give people something fun and relaxing to do. This could be as simple as a bonfire on the beach with a few bottles of wine, or some outdoor yard games like bocce ball. Don’t overschedule, but remember, you only live once!