Destination weddings can be a lot of fun for both couples and their guests. Whether a couple chooses a soft sandy beach or an old church in a medieval city, destination weddings always have something spectacular to offer. However, there are many do’s and don’ts that couples and guests need to be aware of when it comes to destination wedding etiquette.
Do’s for Destination Wedding Etiquette
- DO invite fewer people to the wedding – Destination weddings are almost always intimate and small.
- DO alert guests of their financial obligations – Every guest must know what they need to pay for and what is covered for them.
- DO create a wedding website – A website can hold all pertinent information in one easy to find place.
- DO offer multiple options for accommodations – Not everyone can afford the same type of accommodations.
- DO hire a professional and local wedding planner – A local professional will have more knowledge when it comes to planning the perfect destination wedding.
- DO give guests a warm welcome – Guests travel a long way for destination weddings and a warm welcome can be helpful when they arrive.
Don’ts for Destination Wedding Etiquette
- DON’T plan a destination wedding at the last minute – Guests will need time to get things in order to attend.
- DON’T check wedding attire for a flight – Wedding attire can easily get lost with the rest of the luggage. Carry all wedding attire on the plane!
- DON’T invite children unless they are wanted in attendance – Children are not always invited to weddings and couples are able to choose if they want children to attend or stay home.
- DON’T allow guests to figure it out on their own – Guests should never be required to find accommodations, figure out the local transportation, and find things to do in between wedding activities.
- DON’T plan every minute – Spontaneity is key to a good time!
- DON’T forget to register – Guests may still purchase gifts, plus those who cannot attend will need an idea of what the couple wants.
These are only a few of the do’s and don’ts when it comes to destination weddings, but they are the most important. Couples and guests should keep these in mind, so the destination wedding is amazing as can be.
Destination weddings can be a wonderful option for couples, because they allow couples and their guests to experience a different part of the world for a special occasion. While everyone is required to travel for a destination wedding, this travel is often welcomed and needed by many people. Once you add in all the amazing things that normally occur during a destination wedding, it is easy for couples to see why this type of ceremony is a better option than simply celebrating back home.
10 Reasons Destination Weddings are the Perfect Option
1. Guest Lists are Often Smaller
One of the best things about destination weddings is the guest lists are often smaller than traditional weddings back home. These weddings allow couples to truly consider who they want at their wedding and enjoy a few days with them before and after the ceremony.
2. No Stress
Most couples will agree that wedding planning ranks up there with root canals and other major events in life. However, a destination wedding comes with very little stress since couples are working with professional wedding planners. These planners take care of all the little details, allowing couples to relax and focus on themselves and their guests.
3. Quality Time with Guests
As mentioned above, couples have the option to spend lots of quality time with their guests when they have a destination wedding. Depending on where the wedding is, couples and their guests can take guided tours, go sailing, do a little hiking, visit a few wineries, and even go bungee jumping. The best part is the wedding planners can help with all the little details when it comes to planning each activity.
4. Ability to Save Some Money
Surprisingly enough, couples can easily save some money when they choose a destination wedding. There are many resorts that have affordable wedding rates and they almost always have special packages that include rooms and much more in the price. Couples can even honeymoon in the same location as their wedding, saving them even more money since they won’t need to spend extra money for flights, accommodations, and other things somewhere else.
5. Plethora of Options for Photos
Photos are oftentimes the best part of a wedding day, because couples can look back at the pictures for years in the future. While couples may only have one or two options when it comes to photo locations back home, destination weddings always offer so many more. Couples can choose their favorite, or they can choose to go from one to the next, making every photograph more magical than the one before.
6. Unique Ceremonies
Regular wedding ceremonies can all feel the same, but a destination wedding allows couples to choose the ceremony that is best for them. Couples can choose short and sweet, long, or a completely unique ceremony that they created for their big day.
7. Couples Choose the Attire
When it comes to destination weddings, many couples will choose to do something a little different and change the dress attire. Some brides can be seen wearing sundresses, while grooms are in nice shorts and shirt at beach ceremonies. In other destination weddings, there may be a theme that has every guest dressed up to match the couple for both the ceremony and reception. The options are endless for couples with destination weddings!
8. Ability to Choose the Perfect Location
There are many times when couples simply settle for a location near where they live for their ceremony and reception, because that is all that is available for the day they have chosen. However, couples that choose destination weddings have the capability of choosing from thousands of different locations around the world. No couple will ever need to settle for second best when they decide on a destination wedding for their big day!
9. Enjoy the Day
It is so much easier to enjoy a destination wedding than a regular wedding, because couples have so much more time. Plus, since couples will not need to deal with any of the details for a destination wedding, they can focus on themselves and their guests instead of everything else.
10. Memories to Last a Lifetime
The memories that are made during a destination wedding can last a lifetime! Couples can also choose to return to that same location in the future, whether to renew their vows, rekindle their romance, or simply re-experience the same magical moments that they had during their wedding.
Destination weddings can be incredible, which is why more and more couples are choosing them for their special day. Any couple that has been wondering whether a destination wedding is best for them should carefully weigh all the pros and cons. Afterwards, couples can finally take the plunge and decide that a destination wedding is everything that they want and need for starting their new life together.
When office dwellers daydream about escaping to paradise, they often picture the South Pacific—a clear blue ocean, straw-roofed hut, undisturbed beach, and tropical drink. It all sounds so good.
You may be among these daydreamers, and you may even be quickly adding “South Pacific” to your travel bucket list.
But where should you go? Or, in the short term, to where should you allow your mind to wander?
Well, you can’t go wrong. It does depend on where your interests lie, though. Check out these nine South Pacific destinations, sorted by activity.
For scuba diving or snorkeling:
Namena Marine Reserve – Fiji
Find serenity and adventure at the edge of the world in Fiji. The Daku Resort specializes in providing all-encompassing experiences for travelers that include sea and beachside activities, including yoga, while the Namena Marine Reserve is one of the great aquatic wonders of the world. The stretch of ocean between the main Fijian islands of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu features remarkable biodiversity, thanks to environmental protection.
Rock Islands Southern Lagoon – Palau
The Rock Islands Southern Lagoon, with its hundreds of lush, emerald peaks and impossibly turquoise waters, was abandoned by civilization in the 18th century. Today, the UNESCO World Heritage Site is a popular scuba and snorkeling destination due to its stunning natural beauty and marine phenomena. Jellyfish Lake, one of about 70 within the lagoon, is home to the unique golden jellyfish, which has lost its stinging power over time as a result of the lack of natural predators in the area. Tourists can snorkel among the jellyfish, with tours offered from Koror.
Port Vila – Vanuatu
Vanuatu’s lively capital, Port Vila, is the perfect home base to launch your South Pacific adventure. Explore the culture of the country through the city’s many markets, restaurants, and museums. Then book trips to the surrounding waters, translucent and filled with spectacular marine life. For a romantic getaway, Iririki Island offers a wide range of activities to go along with your stay in paradise.
For relaxing on the beach:
Atata Island – Tonga
A pleasant, 20-minute boat ride from Tonga’s main island of Tongatapu, Atata Island is shaped like a gourd, with one long beach wrapping around the skinny portion. You’ll find the Royal Sunset Resort fit with typical amenities…just in an out-of-this-world setting. Unwind with a drink on the beach or admire the ocean from the outdoor pool.
Aitutaki – Cook Islands
Aitutaki has somehow earned an international reputation as home to the “Most Beautiful Lagoon in the World” while remaining understated. It’s a relaxed atmosphere—then again, how could it not be?—that welcomes travelers to its pristine beaches. There are plenty of resorts to choose from, ranging from the upscale, like the Aitutaki Private Island Resort, to the affordable, like the Kuru Club. Each is mere steps from the open ocean.
Norfolk Island – Australia
The 15-square-mile island, an Australian property north of New Zealand and south of New Caledonia, has an interesting history. It was home to a ruthless British penal settlement, and then essentially gifted to descendants of mutineers, who settled in the South Pacific. Their blend of Old English and Tahitian is still spoken to this day. Culture aside, Norfolk Island’s undisturbed beaches provide a serene getaway, with pine forests covering the cliffs above. Visitors can also hike, fish, or snorkel during their stay.
For discovering hidden gems:
This atoll at the edge of Oceania, and close, comparatively speaking, to Hawaii, has something for everyone. The quaint beachside lodges give visitors a taste of paradise, with aquatic adventures readily available—world-class fishing, snorkeling, and surfing, to mention three. History buffs might also be interested in Kiribati’s World War II legacy: It was an important battleground in the Pacific Theater. Kiribati, Kiritimati Island in particular, is also an important breeding ground and sanctuary for a number of seabirds. As a result, a bird-watching tour is a must here.
Lord Howe Island – Australia
Lord Howe Island is isolated by geography and policy. It sits in the Tasman Sea, some 700 kilometers northeast of Sydney, and only 400 visitors are allowed on the island at any one time. Because of this, an unspoiled natural environment remains, with sea and land adventures available. Ned’s Beach, on the north end of the island, is popular for its snorkeling and coral reef.
With lush green jungles covering a volcanic landscape, Samoa is as beautiful a country as there is in the world. Somehow, it remains a less popular destination than its South Pacific neighbors like Fiji and Bora Bora. That’s good for you! Stay at a typical open beach hut or a modern resort and enjoy a wide variety of activities: scuba-diving, snorkeling, jungle tours, hiking, and more. Head there for a romantic getaway, or bring the whole family!
The Southeast Asian nation delivers on the hype, with stunning natural scenery, delicious food, and awe-inspiring spiritual sites. Best of all, Thailand is inexpensive despite its popularity.
Below are several interesting facts about Thailand, along with Thai phrases to know, must-see destinations, and more:
- Thailand welcomed the ninth-most visitors worldwide in 2018.
- Thailand is home to the world’s smallest mammal, the bumblebee bat.
- Thailand is the only Southeast Asian nation to never be colonized by Europeans.
- King Bhumibol Adulyadej (1927-2016) was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and served as king of Thailand for 70 years and 126 days, the second-longest reign for a monarch in world history.
- All Thai males were once required to spend time as Buddhist monks before they turned 20.
Thai Phrases to Know
- “Hello” – Sawatdii
- “How are you?” – Sabaadii mai
- “Thank you” – Khop kun
- “Excuse me” – Koortoot
- “Cheers” – Chon gâew
- “Can you speak English?” Kun pood paasaa anggrit dai mai
With some 2,000 miles of coastline and more than 1,400 islands, Thailand is a paradise for the aquatically inclined. Railay Beach, for example, offers travelers relaxation on the sand and adventure in the form of rock-climbing, island-hopping, hiking, and more. Those interested in spelunking or kayaking should also prioritize Phra Nang. Solitude seekers will find the sands of Kantiang Beach welcoming. On the opposite side of the spectrum, there’s no better party than the Full Moon Party at Koh Phangan.
You’ll love the balance of history, natural beauty, and modernity that defines Thailand. That balance can be found in the country’s biggest cities. In Bangkok, for example, you can explore a metropolis by street, canal, or rail. And you’ll stand in awe at the reclining Buddha at Wat Pho, the ornate architecture of the Grand Palace, and the quaint energy of the floating market.
Head north to Chiang Mai, a city founded in the 13th century, where you can barter at the night bazaar, or escape to the neighboring mountains and jungles: Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, one of the most sacred sites in Thailand, overlooks the region, while the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary Chiang Mai grants visitors the chance to admire Thailand’s national animal up close in an ethical setting.
Those who splurge for Thai food in the United States will find a welcome truth in Thailand: The authentic stuff is cheap. Most meals will run you about 90-150 Baht ($3-$5), so you can go on your own culinary tour without breaking the bank. Start out with staples such as guay teow (noodle soup), som tam (spicy green papaya salad), and tom kha gai (chicken in coconut soup) before venturing to more exotic dishes like pad phuk tong (stir-fried pumpkin) and yam pla dook foo (fried catfish with mango salad). No matter what you try, you can’t go wrong.
Thailand has worked to preserve its jungles and wide range of wildlife that call them home. The country is filled with national parks championing conservation while still providing visual and physical thrills. Khao Sok National Park in the south features the oldest evergreen rainforest in the world. Visitors can go on a two-, three-, or four-day jungle tour. The Flight of the Gibbon—named for the smallish tree-swinging apes that call the Thailand jungles home—gives parkgoers a ziplined tour of the jungle canopy. (Note: There’s one near Chian Mai and another near Bangkok.)
There are more than 40,000 temples in Thailand. For tourists, temples are architectural or spiritual attractions. For Buddhists, the monks especially, they are sacred places that should be treated with the utmost respect. Before you visit a temple, keep these customs in mind:
- Dress modestly
- Avoid using your cell phone
- Remove your shoes
- Don’t point
- Never turn your back directly on Buddha; instead, take a few steps away from the effigy before turning
Okay, so now that you have the proper etiquette down, where will you go? How about the green-in-appearance-and-spirit Temple of a Million Bottles, which is made from recycled beer bottles and bottle caps? Or the centuries-old Wat Phrang That Lampang Luang? Maybe you’ll find peace at the famous White Temple. Wherever you choose, you’re sure to be awed. Each temple tells a different story and contributes to making your Thailand vacation simply unforgettable.