The digital wedding planning platform reveals some dos and don'ts for ensuring an enjoyable experience for all
Destination weddings have become an increasingly popular choice for couples looking to bring a vacation vibe to their nuptials.
According to the digital wedding planning platform Joy, the destination wedding industry surpassed more than $7 billion in 2023 as the trend continues to take off.
While inviting your friends and family to jet to a scenic locale to celebrate your love may seem like a dream scenario, destination weddings require careful planning to pull off — for both couples and their guests. Not only are you dealing with all the typical wedding details, but also the added logistics of travel.
To help make the experience as smooth and enjoyable as possible for everyone involved, Joy is sharing some key destination wedding dos and don'ts.
Offer Accommodation Options
Once your wedding invitations have gone out, provide your guests with a list of recommended hotels and other lodging options near the wedding venue with varying price ranges to offer flexibility for all budgets. "If possible, negotiate group rates during the booking process as well," Joy suggests.
Don't Assume Everyone Can Afford It
When drawing up your guest list and sending out your invites, understand that not all of your loved ones will be able to budget the time — and money — to attend your event. Between travel, hotel and food costs, destination weddings can be too large of an expense for some guests, as much as they'd like to be there on your big day.
"Due to this, don’t take offense to someone's RSVP decline in this situation," Joy notes.
Give Your Guests Plenty of Time to Plan
Just like any other trip or vacation, destination weddings require that guests do their research and pre-book flights, cars, hotels and more. So, Joy suggests sending out your invitations as soon as possible.
Don't Leave Out Important Location Details
To make sure your guests are fully prepared for their experience, consider creating a website or guide to pass along essential information about the destination they are headed to for your wedding.
"Treat your wedding website like a mini guidebook and provide extensive details about the destination's transportation options and cultural norms. Minimal and missing information can cause guest confusion and frustration, impacting their overall experience at your wedding," Joy tells PEOPLE.
Provide Transportation for Your Guests
If you can spring for it, organize transportation to take your guests between the airport and your wedding venue so they can enjoy a stress-free arrival and departure. "If unable to provide this, guests can use Joy’s Lyft/Uber integration features," Joy notes.
Book Accommodations Early
"Secure and plan your lodging well in advance to get the best rates and ensure there's availability," Joy advises. For any guests looking for some help with their travel plans, the platform offers a virtual booking assistant that can search out the best deals on hotels, Airbnb accommodations and more.
Don't Put Off or Ignore RSVPing
Keep in mind that the couple has put a lot of planning into their dream destination wedding and needs an accurate head count as early as possible to make sure their event runs smoothly. "Not responding or changing your plans last minute can cause unnecessary stress for the couple and affect their arrangements, so make sure to let them know early on," Joy tells PEOPLE.
Smaller Gifts Are Okay
Don't feel obligated to buy an extravagant gift for the wedding couple on top of your travel expenses. "While it’s still customary to get a gift for the couple, they will understand a smaller or less expensive gift in exchange for your time and money to fly out to their big day," Joy says.
Don't Expect the Couple to Cover All Costs
While the couple might organize and cover certain details like airport transportation and meals, guests shouldn't assume that they won't have to incur incidental expenses during their trip.
"Destination wedding expenses vary by how much out-of-pocket costs the couples will cover for their guests," the platform says, noting that couples can opt to share that information ahead of their wedding. "With Joy’s personalized RSVP tool, couples can be upfront with their guests on what’s being covered so you can budget accordingly."
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Read the original article on People.