The Best Tahiti Destination Wedding
Guest Post by Terri T. Invites Ink! Owner.
Terri has been in the custom invitation business for 19 years crafting personalized messages for celebrations such as weddings, baby showers, bar and bat mitzvah parties, holiday events, and more. Local customers can find her boutique storefront in downtown Franklin, Michigan.
When you think of a destination wedding, what comes to mind are exotic locations and sandy beaches, like the white sand shores of Tahiti lined with villas hovering above turquoise waters. So grab your passport, pack your bags, and let’s plan your Tahitian wedding.
Photo Credit: Helene Havard
When it comes to the wedding itself, it is generally held at a location that has personal meaning to the couple and is usually quite intimate. Even with destination weddings, most traditional wedding etiquette stands. However, a bit more attention will have to be given to the size and composition of the guest list, travel information that must be shared, as well as travel budgets.
The hallmark of a Tahiti destination wedding, after travel, is definitely size. The economic reality of having to request that love ones cover the cost of travelling to a faraway location on the map is reflected on smaller guest lists. At the top of your list should be those who you could not get married without. The best way to celebrate with distant relatives, friends and neighbors is a second reception when you get back home.
Even if your guest list is small, the one downside that is inevitable is that there will be some guests who may, due to the costs, decline your invitation. Offering to pay their air fare is not rude. It should, however, be planned ahead. Consider how many people you can offer to help and who you would prefer to help, if not your offer could quickly backfire on you.
There are couples who are able to handle the issue together. Many times they budget to pay for all of the accommodations for the invited guests, at times even for all of the airfare too. This however is not an option for a lot of couples. So if you are not able to deal with tying the knot without your two hundred and fifty nearest and dearest, then regardless of how appealing it may sound, a destination wedding may not be the best option for you.
Once the core guest list has been prepared, getting the word out is what follows. Save the Date invitations are an absolute must if you are having a Tahiti destination wedding. The moment that your date and venue are decided, invitations should immediately go out. This allows the guests sufficient information to begin arranging time off of work, as well as plan their travel. This does not mean that the invitations should be sent a year in advance. To help build anticipation, send them out no later than eight to twelve weeks before the wedding date.
Photo Credit: Stephen Govel
Your wedding website is the best place to share travel information, of course do not forget word of mouth and a traditional invitation insert. This should be done as soon as you know the key logistical pieces. Guests should be informed about the local airports, the ground transportation as well as all information on accommodations. Also, let them know the attire that is expected as well as any local customs that may be important. If you share a loose event schedule, guests are able to easily plan how to spend their downtime.
When friends and family are invited to attend a destination wedding in Tahiti, the couple must make it clear to them ahead of time what will be covered and what should be budgeted by those attending. Your invitations can say, “We are having our wedding in Tahiti! If you can pay for your way there, we will absorb the cost of renting the villas where the guests will be staying. We hope you will be there on Wednesday and stay all the way till Sunday. This way you will be able to enjoy a little vacation as well.”
Although traditionally the tab for accommodations for the bridesmaids and/or groomsmen is picked up by the couple’s families. To increase the potential for a certain attendant to say YES to what is being requested, you can also offer to pay for airfare. Just be sure you have budgeted for these extra expenses.
Once you have arrived, there is not a set pattern in which additional events at a Tahiti destination wedding are hosted. That being said, flying your nearest and dearest halfway around the world only for them to witness your intimate ceremony, hear you say “I Do”, and eat some cake would be a bit odd.
The first thing on your list should be either a welcome party or a casual happy hour at a local tiki bar to get everyone on island time. The intimacy that a destination wedding offers also makes this a great occasion to include all of your guests in a rehearsal dinner. It is also important to offer your guests unscheduled time. Be sure to provide detailed information so they can explore Tahiti on their own. There will probably be an on-site wedding planner hired by the couple who can not only lend a hand with this, but also with a variety of other aspects of planning. As a matter of fact this, among many other reasons, is why there has been a surge in the popularity of destination weddings – a built-in vacation!
If the couple’s plan is to honeymoon at their wedding venue, it may be an awkward question as to whether or not they must continue hosting any guests that remain after the ceremony. There is never any way in which you can tell guests what to do, if they may be planning to make the most of the expense from attending and take a vacation themselves you can not make them pack their things and head back home right after the ceremony.
Although after your big day, you are not expected to entertain any remaining guests. Do not be surprised to run into some of them as you take a dip in the pool or sip some wine as you enjoy the sunset. If you are a private couple, planning a new venue to head off to may be a better idea.
Thanks Terri for your advices!
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