Destination I Do
Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Your Wedding Guest List Decoded

Words by Sandy Hammer, AllSeated

A destination wedding means you’re not only inviting your friends and family to watch you get married, but taking them on a vacation with you. Many couples ask if the destination wedding guest list is different from the guest list of a traditional, local wedding. Here to answer is Sandy Hammer, the cofounder of the free wedding planning marketplace AllSeated, which is used by thousands of planners and brides.

More Photos

Regardless of where your wedding takes place, be it internationally or closer by, establishing your guest list and budget at the start of the planning process is critical. While it may change slightly as you go through the process, it's important to know in advance how much money you have to spend and a general idea of how many guests will be attending in order to narrow down the venues based upon price and accommodations.

While it's important to invite the people closest to you like immediate family and close friends, a destination wedding guest list is usually much shorter and more personal than the guest list of a local wedding for several reasons.

The Cost

Asking people to travel to your wedding location will involve fees that would not necessarily be present if you had a local wedding. Are your guests fully responsible for their own travel and hotel accommodation expenses? Will you be working with a travel agent that can assist your guests? Are you able to secure discounted hotel and transportation rates? The answers to these questions may assist you in narrowing down your destination wedding guest list.

The Travel Time

How many hours are you asking your guests to travel? It's possible that some guests may only have the weekend available to devote to your destination wedding, so if lengthy travel plans are necessary, they may not be able to attend.

The Time of Year

Be mindful of the holiday seasons, as well as the climate because both can affect getting to your celebration. A destination wedding in the winter may see travel delays or cancellations due to snow storms, while certain times of the year may see hurricane season interfere at your wedding destination venue.

The Commitment

There's a certain level of commitment that comes with attending a destination wedding. Between the costs, traveling and time needed to attend, it's unrealistic to expect many extended family members, work colleagues and acquaintances to attend.

The Expectation

Never invite people just for the sake of inviting under the assumption they won't attend. People will shock you and decide to say yes – so be sure you have room in your budget for every person on your guest list, just in case!

Photos courtesy of (in order of appearance): Sylvie Gil Photography (1st) and Yonder Design (2nd & 3rd)

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