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Being invited to be part of someone's wedding is a huge honor in itself. To be hand-picked to attend a destination wedding makes this honor far more exclusive. Planning and packing for this festive vacation may be exciting, but you’ll want to stick to a few ground rules to uphold your responsibilities as a good guest. From RSVPing on time to adhering to dress codes, there are plenty of ways to ensure you are a delightful guest at a destination wedding.

Destination Wedding Rule Book: How To Be a Great Guest!Photo Courtesy- Naman Verma Photography

1. Clarify expenses before committing
Be sure on what expenses the couple is taking care of and what you expected to pay for. The headcount is extremely important at destination weddings and only commit to attending if your budget permits.

2. RSVP on time
With a restrictive guest list, all the vendors need the final guest count in time to ensure the best arrangements. Be sure to respond within the time allotted by the couple to avoid last-minute logistical hiccups.

3. In case of cancellations, please inform in advance
If you can’t make it, it is not polite to just not show up. Inform the couple in advance so they could inform their vendors and hotel accordingly.

4. Plan ahead
Attending a destination wedding is no less than going on a vacation. Plan your office leaves, travel arrangements, and any other requirements, in advance.

5. Considering themes and destination weather conditions when picking your outfits
Plan your travel wardrobe carefully. Choose outfits appropriate for each event and formality of the occasion, keeping the weather conditions of the location in mind. In case you plan to explore the area, carry clothes for that as well. Choose accessories such as clutches and shoes, and makeup that is versatile and can be used in different ways with different outfits, to save on space.

6. Always have some backup outfits
Unlike local weddings, you cannot change your outfit if you change your mind at the last minute. Always carry backup outfits in case of any mishaps, or misjudgment of local weather conditions.

7. Invite a plus one only if specified in the invite
One of the main reasons for having a destination wedding is to spend your big day with just your loved ones. Don’t invite your guests to someone else’s wedding. A good practice is to adhere to the invitation strictly, and only invite someone if it says “and guest”.

8. Don’t assume your family/kids are invited
Again, don’t roll in with an entourage if they are not specifically invited. Only bring your family or kids if their names are written on the invite. Respect a couple’s decision of an “adults only” soiree if that’s what they want.

9. Gifting: What to keep in mind!
Considering the expenses incurred to travel to be a part of somebody’s big day, there is no obligation to give a gift on top of that. But if you choose to, send it to their house instead of carrying it to avoid logistical issues. You could also choose to give them cash, so they don’t have to worry about travelling with large gift boxes. Also, if they have provided a registry, always pick something from the list that is within your budget.

10. Inform about any dietary restrictions in advance
While most Indian weddings have buffet-style dinners, some functions may have formal seated dining. In case of any severe food restrictions or allergies, be sure to inform the couple in advance.

11. Don’t play paparazzi
Destinations weddings are an intimate affair with an exclusive guest list that gets fixed after careful deliberations. Ask the couple for permission before posting anything on social media as they might not want to advertise their private moments to people who did not make the cut for being invited.

12. Be considerate of the venue
Once the bar opens and the DJ hits the floor, it’s easy to forget you are on rented property. For most destination weddings, couples rent out the entire hotel/resort, and it’s your responsibility as their guest to treat the property with respect.

13. Always be prepared
Since destination weddings are all about creating the wedding experience around the beauty of the destination, they generally involve outdoor events. This creates the possibility of unpredictable incidents such as unexpected showers or other weather conditions which may cause last-minute changes in venue or arrangements. Prepare for such trips like you would for any other vacation.

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