October 2016 Weddings

Destination Wedding Etiquette?

I need advice please! A little background- my fiancé and I had already booked a local wedding venue, however it was never our plan to have a big wedding. Before we got engaged we talked about eloping and I was completely fine with that but after we announced our engagement, I got so many responses...people telling me that they are going to be one of my bridesmaids and aggressively telling me that I'm going to have a real traditional wedding. So that put a lot of pressure on me and I caved. I thought well this is what everyone expects so I'll do it-have a local traditional wedding at a gorgeous venue in Athens, Ga. We booked the venue and after a couple of months of planning my fiancé noticed how stressed I was and I decided to be completely done with all of the planning and we cancelled our venue reservation and decided we would have a small/private destination wedding at an all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. Now I feel so much better! But now I've come to a fork in the road and don't know the proper way to do invitations. The only people that are going to attend our small or private ceremony are our moms and dads and my maid of honor that was going to be my maid of honor at the local wedding. We want to have a reception or rather a celebration of our marriage when we return. We want to show everyone our wedding video highlight reel and have pictures around from our wedding day. I'm not sure if I should send out invitations to the ceremony to everyone that would have been invited had we stuck with the local plans or if it's alright to send out a wedding announcement right after our marriage to everyone and invite them all to celebrate with us on whatever date we decide to host the celebration. I just don't want anyone's feelings getting hurt but at the same time we want what we were wanting from the beginning-just a small/private ceremony. Anyone have any advice on this? 

Re: Destination Wedding Etiquette?

  • Only send invitations to those you want to come to the ceremony, parents and MOH. Make sure to thank your guests for attending by hosting them to a meal (or snacks if it is not a meal time) after your ceremony, this is your reception. If you are going to wait a while before having your party, you can send out a marriage announcement to friends and family. Invites to your party should go out as normal, 6-8 weeks before the event. Keep in mind that your wedding reception immediately follows your ceremony so your party at home may get side eyed if you try to make it too much like a wedding reception I.e. Spotlight dances, wearing your dress, speeches, etc. 
    I think playing your video in the background could be nice but I would avoid making people watch it, those who want to will and those who don't care won't be bored.

    Don't worry too much about people's feeling, they'll eventually understand and get over it. You are being smart and not allowing yourself be pressured into something that will make you miserable.

    other than that, read some of the older threads on Destination weddings and Etiquette. There are lots of threads like this and other posters have great advice.

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