Wedding Etiquette Forum

Destination Wedding Etiquette

What is the etiquette for a destination event? Do all guests need to be invited to the rehersal dinner?  The guest list is around 100, with the actual wedding being at a 5 star hotel.  I have tried to explain to my daughter that my thought is that all should be included.  She suggested a "lunch" (a way to keep costs down)  or cocktail reception.  We have given her a budget for the actual wedding and reception.   Anything over that, the bride and groom are paying for, and we are not quite sure what the grooms family is contributing.  Any thoughts?

Re: Destination Wedding Etiquette

  • AdeleDazeemAdeleDazeem member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited November 2012
    Can you define your "destination wedding?"  Are you all flying to the Bahamas or is half the guest list flying to Pittsburgh?  Because the first one is a destination wedding and the second one is just a wedding.  I ask because it slightly changes my answer.

    If everyone is truly flying to some resort destination, then I think inviting everyone to the rehearsal dinner is quite nice.  Everyone is out a lot of money to go to a tourist-y, far flung place and hosting an additional meal for them is a very nice idea.  However, it's not mandatory and does not go against etiquette if you can't afford it.  It's definitely not necessary for a regular wedding.

    The choice is really up to those paying for it.  If your daughter and future son in law would rather do a lunch to help keep costs down, then that is fine!  Have the rehearsal immediately preceding the lunch and invite everyone who might be in town. 

    According to etiquette, these are the musts of a rehearsal dinner: include everyone and their date who is involved in the ceremony and need to be present at the rehearsal, provide them food/drink as a thank you for taking the time to rehearse with you.  There are no limits beyond that - lunch is fine, pizza and soda is fine, a backyard bbq is fine, inviting everyone is fine, inviting just those involved in the ceremony is also fine.
  • We recently had a true DW with 140 guests. While we felt it necessary to include everyone on Friday evening, we did not want the RD to be a recreation of the wedding reception. It would have cost the IL's a fortune and it would have seemed like it was taking away from the actual reception. So we had a small RD for immediate family and wedding party only which was about 40 people. Then immediately following the dinner ILs hosted a Welcome Party dessert and cocktail reception for all of the guests. It was wonderful and worked out perfectly. It actually served its purpose of getting to see everyone in a more relaxed atmosphere than a sit down RD. This type of event also allowed our guests more flexibility to do their own thing that evening without the RD dominating their entire evening. I should note that our DW was to New Orleans, so guests appreciated the opportunity to eat dinner where they wanted, come to the Welcome Party, then continue the evening as they chose.
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  • saric83saric83 member
    Ninth Anniversary 500 Comments 100 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited November 2012
    I think your daughter and her FI need to just determine based on their crowd....I've been to DWs where I was invited to the rehearsal, and it felt forced and kind of awkward with SO many people.  It just felt like a mini-reception.  When the wedding group was smaller (25-50 versus 100), it was more casual and fun.

    We had a DW and decided to re-purpose the rehearsal dinner into a welcome cocktail hour instead, and it was perfect.  We wanted to be incredibly mindful of that the fact that a lot of our guests were making a vacation out of the trip as well, and we didn't want to monopolize their time.  
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_destination-wedding-etiquette-3?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:23d92e94-b4f9-4756-83b2-42b208cefa05Post:8e7a6150-1e7b-4b4b-bcc2-cf411477c61a">Re:Destination Wedding Etiquette</a>:
    [QUOTE]We recently had a true DW with 140 guests. While we felt it necessary to include everyone on Friday evening, we did not want the RD to be a recreation of the wedding reception. It would have cost the IL's a fortune and it would have seemed like it was taking away from the actual reception. So we had a small RD for immediate family and wedding party only which was about 40 people. Then immediately following the dinner ILs hosted a Welcome Party dessert and cocktail reception for all of the guests. It was wonderful and worked out perfectly. It actually served its purpose of getting to see everyone in a more relaxed atmosphere than a sit down RD. This type of event also allowed our guests more flexibility to do their own thing that evening without the RD dominating their entire evening. I should note that our DW was to New Orleans, so guests appreciated the opportunity to eat dinner where they wanted, come to the Welcome Party, then continue the evening as they chose.
    Posted by NO2012[/QUOTE]

    We did something like this. We only had 50 people come to our DW on the beach in California. We had the same problem as not wanting to recreate the wedding reception. So we had the RD for just WP only. Afterwards, we invited whoever was in town to come to the beach. We hung out and had a bonfire and smores. Everyone enjoyed it and it was a way that we could interact with all our guests who had traveled out.
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