Destination Wedding Etiquette Gifts and Invitation Advice

I get a lot of questions that involve destination wedding gifts etiquette and invitation advice. Yes, at one glance, a destination wedding can be something ideal for those couples who want to tie the knot in a faraway castle or get married on a tropical beach in Mexico. Some guests also find destination weddings a good chance to enjoy a vacation at the same time.

The question of whether there is still the need to bring gifts or not, is one of the things that guests may be wondering about, especially if they think they have already spent a lot on airfare or hotel accommodation.
Brides-to-be may be thinking about the invitations – Who do I invite? How should I word my invitation? Do I ask for a gift? Read on for some advice…

Gifts at a Destination Wedding?

Of course, even if you have spent quite a lot just to follow the bride and groom to the location where they are going to tie the knot, it is just proper to bring a gift with you. It does not mean that having to shoulder the airfare gives you an excuse not to give a gift to the couple. There are some practical ways to help you with this. Try not to think about how much you have already spent on travel.

Invitation Wording Etiquette – Inform Guests Early

One thing that you can do when it comes to destination weddings is to inform your guests about the destination as early as possible so they can prepare for the trip and arrange their travel budget. If possible allow at least 6 months in advance, preferably 8 to 10 months.

Destination Wedding Gift Etiquette
& Invitation Etiquette

  • Guests bring a Gift
  • Inform guests Early
  • Think about Who to Invite
  • Guests should Reply Early
  • Cheaper gift OK

Destination Wedding Invitation Etiquette – Consider Who to Invite

For a usual wedding, this would be a lot easier, especially because you have the people near your hometown. For destination weddings, you have to think about your guests who have to pay for travel. You should always consider if your guests can afford to travel to the wedding location and also keep in mind the costs that your guests will incur during the wedding. If you are thinking about costs then inexpensive destination wedding locations could be something to consider. Your destination wedding invitation wording should clearly state the location, the date and how much it will cost.

Usually you have family and friends to invite but when you are planning a destination wedding, you only have to invite your parents, immediate family and friends who are close to you. I told a bride to forget the friends she hasn’t seen in years nor bother about relatives of relatives. I wanted her to have a small guest list as it would also be impractical if many guests couldn’t attend because of location or budget.

First priority on your list – immediate family and close friends and find out if they are willing and able to shoulder the cost of travel.

Sam at - Wedding Planner


“When it comes to destination wedding gift etiquette, gift giving doesn’t have to be expensive.”

Guests Should Reply to Their Invitations Early

Destination weddings can be expensive indeed, and if you find it too costly to travel to the wedding location and buy a gift for the bride and groom, then you have a choice of not attending. One reality that couples face when it comes to destination weddings is the fact that invited guests may not show up or may choose not to attend the wedding because of the location and the finances involved. If you choose not to go then send your reply early and they will understand.

It’s estimated that guests can spend $700 to $1500 on attending a destination wedding but gift giving doesn’t have to be expensive, if that is one thing you are thinking. Opt for gifts that won’t cost you so much. For example, get a 50-dollar wine glass, rather than getting that 100 dollar dinnerware set.

Are destination weddings a good idea? What do you think about giving gifts and destination weddings? Comment, tweet, let us know what you think…

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10 Responses to Destination Wedding Etiquette Gifts and Invitation Advice

  1. Ashton_gurl says:

    I am my best-friend’s bridesmaid and she’s having a destination wedding. I just threw the shower earlier this week. Am I expected to give her a wedding gift too?

  2. Sam says:

    You are not expected to give another gift during the wedding. The bridal shower can be your gift to her, considering that you have shouldered the cost of the wedding shower. But of course, if you are extra thoughtful and you still want to give something that the newlyweds can take hold of, then you can do so though.

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