Koh Samui Wedding FAQ’s

Sadly, Emily Post never advised the world on the dos and don’ts of destination weddings. A small slice of etiquette has been established on the matter but a lot of couples become anxious about the entire thing. Naturally, marrying abroad takes the hassle out of planning and hosting a huge soiree but certainly some bumps in the road will come when it’s time to address what is or isn’t in poor taste. Here are a few frequently asked questions and our best advice on the matter, based on experience:

Can we register for gifts if we’re getting married outside of the country?
A couple is always entitled to gift registry. While most of the gifts will likely be acquired during the wedding shower held prior to the event, a registry is expected. However, it is in thoroughly poor taste to put the registry information on the invitation to the event, as it may pressure your guests to feel as though they’re required to provide you with a gift, even after flying and booking a hotel to witness the “I do’s”.

If I won’t be asking some to join me abroad for my wedding, can I still invite them to my bridal shower?
Outside of surprise bridal showers, no one should be invited to a wedding-related affair that involves the expectation of gift giving if they will not be included in the big day.

The big question: Who pays for the costs involved in being married abroad?
This may be a rather tricky question for some but the etiquette for this is crystal clear. Guests pay for their own travel and accommodations while the hosts are responsible for financing the ceremony, reception, rehearsal dinner and other activities. A generous act upon the hosts’ part would be to arrange for group discounts and make guests aware of their option to take advantage of the savings. Additionally, hosts should give their guests a thank you and small token of gratitude for traveling a long way – this can be worked out with the hotel to present guests with fresh fruit baskets, a bottle of wine, and so on upon their arrival; it is a minor effort truly appreciated by those in attendance. Guests are expected to pay for any outside activities they choose to embark on that are not part of the wedding plans itself. It is customary to bring a gift; however, this is a case-by-case basis depending on the flight costs, hotel costs, and so on.

I’m opting to marry in Koh Samui but will be having a reception at home shortly after. Is it acceptable to invite everyone to both events?
There are no designated rules when it comes to marrying abroad. This should be a personal decision but as a legitimate piece of advice: there should be two separate guest lists and two invitations. For those not being invited to the nuptials, an invitation stating the whereabouts and time of the reception – void of destination wedding details – should be issued to those you would most like in attendance. If you decide to invite everyone to both, you may be surprised to find a lot more people than you can accommodate abroad will be willing to take part in the event, putting yourself and your partner into a situation that will not be easy to remedy without a few headaches here and there.

If you have any questions or comments to add on this exceptionally touchy subject to calm down a rather concerned bride, do so below.

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