In the past few years, we have attended a number of weddings abroad. We always get so excited when we hear that our friends are having a destination wedding!
There are plenty of resources for excited brides and grooms-to-be on how to prepare for a wedding abroad, but we wanted to share with you our tips from the guests’ perspective.
1) Decide Carefully
When you receive that all important wedding invite for a wedding abroad, you first have to decide whether you can realistically go. Can you take time off work? Can you afford it financially?
It may sound obvious but we can often be blinded by the excitement for travelling that we make unwise decisions.
If, for whatever reason, you cannot attend the wedding, let the couple know as soon as possible. Don’t say “maybe” when you know you can not make it. It is better for them to know not to expect you and be able to invite someone else in your place.
2) Make the most out of it
We have had the most amazing holidays from being abroad for friends weddings! China, Hong Kong, Philippines, New York and Las Vegas… Makes us very grateful for those friends who got married!
If you are going to be travelling for a wedding, you might as well make a holiday out of it. If you are going with friends and family, even better!
Plan how many days you need for the wedding itself and plan your holiday around it. It is probably easier to plan the holiday after the wedding just in case anything happened to you and you are unable to attending the wedding.
3) Look at where else you can explore
When planning your trip, think outside the box! You do not have to confine yourself to just one destination. For our friend’s wedding in the Philippines, we travelled to Hong Kong beforehand and to Borocay afterward. We also did Las Vegas after a wedding in New York.
Look to see if that are any interesting areas near where the wedding is taking place that you would like to explore.
4) What to pack
Dress code will depend on the couple but most likely you are expected to dress somewhat presentable! That means beach shorts and flip flops are likely out of bound.
Think about the climate and the time of year of your travel and pack accordingly. A tip for the ladies, pack a dress that you can also wear as a holiday dress! This way, you are not carrying extra clothes.
Don’t forget to pack shoes! Pretty sparkly sandals can look great with a dress as well as strolling around town.
If you are attending as part of the wedding party or a close friend/family, you may want to pack something more formal. For dresses like this one (JJsHouse), turn it inside out when packing to avoid the embroideries from getting caught in things inside your suitcase.
Don’t worry too much about wrinkles, most hotels will have an iron in the room. If they don’t, ask reception for one and make sure you press your outfit the night before the big day!
5) Wedding etiquette
Like we have already mentioned, RSVP helps the couple plan their big day. Having planned a wedding ourselves 2 years ago, we know how difficult it is when people don’t reply!
Check the invite to see if they have recommended a hotel you can stay at. Some generous couples offer to pay for the accommodation for their guests. If they are not, feel free to look for accommodations that fit your budget. Buddy up with a friend if you are travelling by yourself and split the accommodation cost.
Regarding gifts, there are no set rules. If the couple are paying for your flight/ accommodation, then you should consider giving them a gift/ money. If you are travelling from afar and you are paying a lot for your flight and accommodation, you may not be expected to give any gifts.
See if the couple have a registry so you won’t have to carry boxed gift abroad with you.
Lastly, don’t forget to have a good time wherever you go!!
How you been to a wedding abroad lately?