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6 Essential Hacks for Attending a Destination Wedding

Newlyweds and rose petals in the air
Written by Lauren Saccone

This blog post was updated on March 25, 2020.

Destination weddings have become increasingly popular over the years, and it’s not hard to see why. They combine the romance of a traditional experience with an exotic locale, adding up to an unforgettable moment to share with friends and family. Destination weddings can be a ton of fun — provided you’re prepared. You may have been to lots of weddings in the past, but if this is your first destination wedding, there are a few tricks and tips you’ll need to know. Luckily, we’ve got all the information you need to have a stress-free experience, no matter where your next destination wedding may take you.

Mail Your Wedding Gift

man holding a gift at wedding

You don’t want to be lugging an oversized present through Customs, do you? For destination weddings, showing up empty-handed is not the dealbreaker it would normally be. Oftentimes you can send them along separately, or mail them directly to the couple from their registry. It’s one less thing to worry about come crunch time, and one less item to risk losing on your adventure.

Looking for a cheap flight to attend a destination wedding? Check out these flights that can get you there for less!

Make It a Vacation

If your budget or job doesn’t allow for a lot of time off, turn your destination wedding experience into a vacation! Add on an extra day or two and call the wedding your big trip for the year. You’ll get all the fun and excitement of celebrating the wedding of a friend or loved one, plus a few extra days in a great place to just relax and chill out. This is an especially good move when the lucky couple opts for an exotic locale you’d never normally visit. Take the opportunity and use it to explore a whole new world — you might be surprised by what you find!

Remember to Do Your Research

african american couple on laptop

All destination weddings are not created equal; traveling to Hawaii for a beach wedding is a totally different experience to a traditional church wedding in Rome. Get as much information about the destination as possible, from appropriate attire to safety concerns. Find out from the couple if there are any considerations you’ll need to take into account regarding travel, clothes, or necessities. Make sure your wardrobe is comfortable but appropriate, and honor local customs and be respectful of the culture. Use the trip as an excuse to learn about a new place and absorb some of the culture and history at your disposal.

Take Advantage of the Wedding Activities

With a destination wedding, the bride and groom often go all out providing entertainment for the guests. This can include cocktail hours and fancy dinners, but the best destination weddings can also include unexpected outings an adventures. Find out what the bride and groom are planning, and see what sort of activities they have in store. The packages can include everything from rafting to massages, so whatever your relaxation style there’s probably something you’ll love to try! Plus, all those activities will give you a chance to get to know the other guests, which will make the actual wedding far more fun.

Go Mobile

guests at wedding using phones to snap bride and groom

Social media is an amazing way to stay connected during a destination wedding. Many couples use apps like WhatsApp to coordinate and keep everyone up to date. Special hashtags on social media can also let you know where everyone is at and when the next activity is planned. In some cases, special group chats are set up to keep everyone informed about the schedule (so make sure your data is geared up for traveling). Plus a ride-share is far less expensive when you split it with a group, so try and coordinate your schedules with other guests to get the most bang for your buck.

Make a Budget & Stick to It

Attending a destination wedding can be a serious money drain if you don’t plan ahead. Find out if there are any deals being offered by the hotel or airline the wedding party is using for the trip. Some hosts will encourage you to forgo gifts in exchange for your presence at their special day. If you can, double up on rooms and travel with other guests so you can enjoy some discounts. Ultimately, you need to be realistic about whether you can afford to attend. If you can’t, be sure to send your regrets promptly (along with a very nice gift option).

Got any other tips for attending a destination wedding? Share them with us in the comments.

About the author

Lauren Saccone