With the summer wedding season in full swing, you've no doubt received invitations to attend weddings near and far. But, when you receive an invite to a destination wedding, you may have additional concerns. The added cost and commitment of being a destination wedding guest can be daunting. So, how can you make the trip work for you as well as for the bride and groom?
Here are 5 top tips for any destination wedding guest.
Getting an invitation to a distant or exotic location for someone's big day is usually exciting. But, don't commit solely based on that first spark of excitement and emotion. Between transportation, hotels, food, attire, and gifts, destination weddings can drain your wallet. Instead, sit down and calculate out the realistic costs before you RSVP. If you're close enough to a bride or groom to be on their short list for a destination wedding, you're close enough to be open about any financial (or other) concerns. If you can't make it, be honest about the reasons and make sure they understand that you'll be supportive in other ways.
If you do decide to travel to a wedding, there may be some ways to reduce your costs. If you'll be driving, can you carpool or share a rented vehicle with other guests? Will you be able to make some meals in your hotel, a place like Georgios Banquets, Quality Inn & Suites Conference Centre? Even if the wedding couple has planned rooms in their hotel, you may find that renting a nearby house with another couple or two saves everyone lots of money with only a little inconvenience.
Know What's Expected
As you budget for attending the wedding, communicate with the wedding planner or bridal couple about what additional costs or events you'll be involved with. Will the bride and groom expect additional gifts? Have they planned welcome parties, group activities, or pre-wedding rehearsals? What is your portion of expenses such as these? What meals will be provided by the hosts and what will you need to pay for? And what kind of clothing will be appropriate? Understanding the miscellaneous expenses in advance helps you avoid surprises.
Add Your Own Time
If you'll be paying for a flight or a long-distance drive, why not extend your trip to include your own vacation? Adding a few days on either end gives you time to explore the area, do some sightseeing, or stop in an intermediate location for a family mini-vacation. This will help turn an added expense into part of your normal vacation budget and make it more fun for your own family.
Invest in Yourself
Although the wedding weekend will usually include many different wedding activities, don't feel obligated to attend them all. Schedule some time alone or with your significant other enjoying yourselves or relaxing. Let your friend or family member know what wedding events you want to participate in and which ones you'd like to skip. Chances are that all they really want is for you to have a good time too!
By planning ahead with a realistic budget and finding ways to reduce costs or relax, you can make your trip as a guest into a special weekend both for you as well as for the bride and groom.
When was the last time your entire family was together. If your family is anything like mine, you have siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles spread across the United States. Having so many people scattered across such a distance can make family gatherings nearly impossible. Have you considered having an extended family vacation? This is one way to get everyone together and and you can actually save money on some of your travel needs. My site is loaded with information about how to get group rate discounts at hotels, restaurants and events in different areas. These discounts may make what seems impossible, a possibility.