Considering a Cape May Wedding? Destination Wedding Etiquette

Planning a destination wedding is a bit different from planning one close to home. It’s a good idea to brush up on destination wedding etiquette when planning a Cape May wedding.

Start Planning Earlier

When planning a destination wedding, your guests will need more advance notice. “Save-the-dates” will need to be sent out much earlier. They should be sent out at least 8 to 12 months ahead of time. Many of your guests will need to take vacation time from work and those who have children may need to make childcare arrangements. Travel arrangements will have to be made and fares are often more reasonable when reservations are made early.

Include Everyone

When making your guest list, complete it with the size of the wedding you have in mind, not based on who you think may or may not attend. It goes without saying that a destination wedding may cause some people to decline your invitation because of the travel and the expense. Invite them anyway or feelings could be hurt.

Don’t pass on inviting family or friends because you think they might decline. If you want them at your wedding, invite them and let them decide if they’re up for making the trip.The same goes for the people you ask to be in the wedding party. Ask those you truly want by your side as you prepare to take your vows and be gracious if they feel they have to decline.

Provide Complete Travel Information

Destination wedding invitations need to include more than just menu options. They should provide lodging information, any discounts available and how to get them. For example: “When making your reservations, mention you’re attending the Smith/Jones wedding.”

Destination weddings often encompass a whole weekend and guests sometimes stay beyond the wedding. Your invitation should also include any other events you have planned along with local attractions they may want to visit if they decide to hang around after the festivities are over.

Accommodation Responsibilities

It is not the bride and groom’s responsibility to pick up the tab for the wedding parties accommodations. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go the extra mile to try to get them the best deal possible. Most destination wedding venues offer accommodation discounts for members of the wedding party and sometimes even for wedding guests.

You might consider picking up the tab for some meals beyond the rehearsal dinner and the reception. Maybe sponsor a breakfast buffet on the big day or the day after. Everyone will have a chance to relax and enjoy a nice meal together. Or instead of individual gifts, treat your bridesmaids and groomsmen to a spa day.

Welcome Bags for Your Guests

Do everything you can to make your guest feel welcome when arriving at your destination. Putting together welcome bags with maps, local publications, menus, coupons and whatever other items that you think will help make their stay more enjoyable. Include a welcome letter with tips how to get around, general safety, emergency phone numbers and a final schedule of events. You should also provide them with contact information for your wedding planner in case they encounter any issues during their stay.

Planning Your Cape May Wedding

If your destination of choice is Cape May, the Grand Hotel is the perfect place! We were recently featured as WeddingWire Couples' Choice award for the 5th year in a row! Along with The Knots Best of Weddings!

When planning your Cape May wedding, our onsite certified wedding professional Katlyn, can attend to every aspect of your wedding. We specialize in destination weddings and offer a ballroom, cocktail lounge, a beautiful sundeck perfect for outdoor weddings. Our premier restaurant, Hemingway’s is a great place to hold a rehearsal dinner.

Let us create the wedding of your dreams with our breathtaking views, a sophisticated venue and our professional and friendly staff. Contact us today, then sit back, relax and let us design your wedding in Grand style!