In recent years, destination weddings have gained in popularity. However, as they are a relatively new trend, the etiquette has been a little foggy. Allow me to clear things up a bit for you. 🙂
For starters, it is unreasonable to expect the same people who would attend a local wedding to be able to attend your destination wedding. Essentially, you are choosing location over attendees, which is completely acceptable. Just know this going into it. However, if you want to make it known the same people are welcome to attend your destination wedding, the same protocol applies: they are sent an invitation 4-6 weeks ahead. This is where save-the-dates are vital. They may, in this case, be sent significantly ahead of time, up to one year in advance, to allow guests who choose to attend to secure their travel and lodging arrangements.
A common etiquette faux pas: having a second “wedding” when you come back home. Simply put: you do not have two weddings at the same time to the same person, no matter what TLC allows. It screams asking for gifts. Again, by participating in a destination wedding, you are choosing location over attendees. Again, completely fine. But having another ceremony when you return is redundant. You may, at your choice, have a smaller “reception” is ok. However, unless the ceremony was very limited due to religious reasons, the same guests are invited for the destination as the reception, though they all weren’t able to attend the wedding. In this instance, two invitations are issued, as the events take place on two different dates. Same guest list, though.
Please remember: the old (and still current) rule about inviting guests to showers: you should not invite a guest to a shower who is not invited to the wedding.
Also, please keep in mind that you shouldn’t have an “A” list and a “B” list. Some lower-end wedding sites promote this to help you “not lose money.” However, guests talk. They will know if others received their invitation 4 weeks ago, when theirs came two days before the wedding. It’s just in bad taste.
Per etiquette, you would arrange and pay for the travel and lodging accommodations of anyone you request to be there – for example, the wedding party, the person performing the ceremony, etc. Guests would provide for their own accommodations, as they would with any wedding.
If you have questions, I would LOVE to hear them. 🙂 Thank you for reading!