Photo: Chloe Moore Photography
Can you really register for a mortgage? Send digital wedding invites? Say no to a bridal shower? Many of the old wedding rules have gone the way of the dowry. No longer is Emily Post dictating every step of your journey to the altar. In fact, engaged gals around the country are re-writing the rule book when it comes to nuptial protocol, so we're here to give you the low-down on the wedding world's new etiquette guide on every aspect of your big day. You'll be the new and approved soon-to-be Mrs. Manners in no time. Read, adjust accordingly, and if Grandma gives you grief, tell her BRIDES said so! Next on our list, we're answering every one of your dire destination wedding questions...
Should we expect gifts from people who have to travel to the wedding?
It's generally expected — but not required — for them to get you something, though it doesn't have to be pricey. Keep in mind that between flights and several days of hotel and restaurant bills, your nearest and dearest may already be spending the GDP of a small country to celebrate with you.
Is it OK to hold our destination wedding over a holiday weekend?
Depends on which holiday and whether your VIPs have annual plans you'd be asking them to forgo. "Memorial and Labor Day weekend weddings work because it's easier for guests to travel with Monday off, and it's great for Jewish couples who need to get married on a Sunday," says Todd Fiscus of Todd Events in Dallas. That said, avoid asking guests to travel around Christmas, as flights are pricey and people want to be with their families. Ditto for New Year's Eve.
How early can we ask guests to RSVP for a destination wedding?
It's fine to ask for responses eight or nine weeks before the event (as opposed to six weeks for local weddings), says Michelle Rago of Michelle Rago Destinations. This helps guests too, giving them time to request days off and book their flights. Just be sure save-the-dates go out six to eight months before the wedding and that invites land in people's mailboxes no later than 10 weeks before the big day.
Are plus-one rules different for a destination wedding?
If you're asking people to travel for you, be more generous with plus-ones. "Extend them to single friends, since many attendees will use it like a vacation," says Misty Damico of Portland's Luxe Event Productions, and most people aren't accustomed to traveling solo.
How many events should I plan?
"Although it depends on the particular destination, we suggest two to four," Rago says. Guests should have ample free time but feel like you're taking care of them. "After all, these people just flew across the globe for you!"