Singaporebrides | Weddings 101

April 2024

8 Frequently Asked Questions You Might Encounter During Your Destination Wedding Planning

Have some questions about planning a destination wedding? We’ve got the answers to the frequently asked questions here.

It is undeniable that destination weddings are utterly charming and beautiful, and can be logistically challenging and stressful. On top of the usual challenges that come from planning a wedding locally, hosting a wedding in a different country comes with a new set of challenges for couples to navigate around.

From questions on “Who do I invite” to “Do I need to pay for my guests’ travel and accommodation?”, we’ve rounded up eight frequently asked questions couples might encounter during their destination wedding planning journey to make your wedding planning journey a smooth-sailing one.

1. Can we have an intimate destination wedding then celebrate when we get back?

Definitely! If a more private and personal ceremony far away from home is what you have envisioned for your wedding, go ahead and plan an intimate destination wedding with just a handful of guests, or even a destination elopement with just the two of you. You can always plan a bigger celebration for the rest of your family and friends when you return home, so everyone can celebrate your happy union.

2. Do we need to invite everyone we know to our destination wedding?

Christine and Mun Yeong’s Garden Wedding in Johor Bahru with Beautiful Traditional Chinese Outfits and Dreamy Elements by The Once Production

Like the number of guests you should invite to your wedding, there is no right or wrong answer to this question. Who you want to invite to your destination wedding is entirely up to you, and of course, your guests’ availability. Since destination weddings are often smaller and more intimate than traditional ones, you should keep your guest list to those who are most important to you. You should also consider if your guest is able to make the travel due to health, work or financial reasons before you send an invitation to them.

While planning your guest list, you should also consider if you want your wedding to be an adults-only affair or not, and clearly communicate this to your invited guests with children so they can make arrangements. Or, if you are able to make appropriate childcare arrangements at the venue so they can still make the travel with their family and celebrate with you, do inform them so they can plan ahead of time.

3. Should we inform guests that we are planning a destination wedding before we formally send out invites?

Absolutely! While your family and friends will be thrilled to celebrate this major milestone with you, they may not be able to make the travel due to several reasons. To help you better plan your wedding, you should send out save-the-dates at least 6-9 months or more to the list of people whom you’d like to invite for your destination wedding to gauge their interest and availability.

In your save-the-dates, you should include as much information about the event as possible, such as dates, venue and location, whether children are allowed or not, and estimate costs of travel and accommodation, if any, to help your guests decide if they can make it or not. Then, follow up with formal invitations at least 2-3 months before the actual day to those who are available to attend your destination wedding.

4. What details do I need to include on the invitation?

Khye Theng and Tony’s Romantic and Timeless Wedding with Pops of Blue at Villa Plenilunio Bali by MomentsbyJeremy

For destination weddings, you have to provide your guests with a lot more information as compared to a traditional wedding. Besides the date, time, venue and location, you should also include other important details such as the itinerary for the event, the name of the destination airport and its address, where to get transportation to the venue if they are travelling there on their own, or if you’d arranged for transportation to pick them up, where they should head to to get on it.

These additional details can go on a separate information card, along with a list of activities and sights that are within easy reach of the venue or are well-known for in the destination for your guests to consider during their time there. You may also want to include further details such as price of the activities and if there are any discounts they can make use of for those activities.

5. Do I have to pay for my wedding party’s travel and accommodation?

It is not mandatory to pay for your wedding party’s travel and accommodation, but it is a nice gesture if you can afford to do so. If your budget allows you to, you can choose to cover some or all of these costs as a way to show appreciation for their help and support.

However, if you are not able to do so, do let them know right from the start that they are expected to cover their own travel and accommodation costs so they can start saving up for your wedding. If possible, do try to work out a discounted rate for their accommodation or offer to pay for their bridesmaids’ outfits to show your appreciation and help lessen the strain on their budget.

6. Likewise, am I expected to pay for my guests’ travel and accommodation?

Joy and Josh’s Summer Coral Wedding in The Surga Villa Estate, Bali by Jiwa Photography

Again, no one is going to expect you to pay for their travel and you are also not obligated to do so, unless you want and can afford to do so. If your budget allows, you should offer to cover your parents’ travel and accommodation as a gesture of goodwill.

Help your guests save money by asking for a group discount for rooms at the resort or hotel you are getting married at, or bulk buying flight tickets as a group for more savings, so they can get better deals and stretch their dollar for more.

Similar to the situation with your wedding party, instead of paying for your guests’ travel and accommodation, you can offer to cover part of their costs, such as offering to cover an additional meal expenses to show your appreciation for their presence.

7. Am I expected to pay for the expenses of my guests incurred during their stay that is outside of the celebration?

Once again, no one should expect you to pay for any expenses except for the one directly related to the wedding, such as food and drinks for the cocktail reception, solemnisation ceremony, wedding lunch or dinner, and other miscellaneous activities such as a welcome meal or post wedding brunch.

You can, however, offer to pick up the tab if your guests require a meal or drink outside of these wedding related activities as a gesture of goodwill, especially if they are staying or more than three days.

8. What can I do to make sure my guests are comfortable and well-taken care of at the wedding?

Patricia and Martijn’s Island Luxe Wedding in Khayangan Estate, Bali by Putra Bali Photography

Show your appreciation for your guests by making sure they are well taken care of and comfortable at your destination wedding. Give them a hand with their travel arrangements by providing them with adequate details they need to know about the trip, and welcome them with pre-arranged transportation to bring them to and fro the venue, and a welcome meal if they arrive before the actual wedding celebration.

If you re tying the knot in a tropical, destination by the beach or in a forested area, do provide your guests with a goodie bag equipped with items that’ll help them weather the elements, such as USB powered fans, insect or mosquito repellent or patches, water, an umbrella, and so on. These items can be personalised with your initials and double up as wedding favours for your guests too!

You might also want to consider planning one or two group activities to keep your guests entertained if your wedding celebration is spread out over a few days. But take note not to over book them for too many group activities, and leave them some time to explore on their own. During the wedding, you should also plan some entertainment such as music and games to keep your guests occupied during quieter moments.

Credits: Feature image from Elvina and Lucas’ Breathtakingly Chic and Intimate Destination Wedding in Santorini by Days Made of Love

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8 Frequently Asked Questions You Might Encounter During Your Destination Wedding Planning