Q&A: Invitations: Destination Wedding Etiquette?


My fiance and I are getting married in Maui and know that not all the 200 guests we would like to invite will make it. When we come back home, we are going to have a reception for everyone not able to make the trip. I’ve read that when getting married away and returning home to a reception, you should only send out wedding invitations to those you know can and will attend the wedding, then send out separate invitations for the reception. We both feel very strongly about sending invitations to everyone and then including (at the bottom) that a reception will be held in our honor when we return. We are afraid that if we follow etiquette, we will hurt people’s feelings. Do we follow the rules or do what we feel is right?


Do what you feel is right. This is a perfect example of etiquette just not working for a couple, so there’s no reason to follow it. As far as only sending invites to people you know can make it: How do you really know who will be able to make it? People may surprise you: A trip to Hawaii is a pretty nice vacation, so it may make attending your wedding that much more attractive. (Of course, just being at your wedding will be reason enough!) Send the invites out early — say, three months before instead of eight weeks — so that people can make travel arrangements. Letting people know on the invites that you’ll have a reception when you get home is also a great plan, so they’ll know that they will have the chance to celebrate with you if they can’t come. But they will definitely appreciate being invited to Hawaii, whether they can make it or not. Go with your gut on this one and break the rules.

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