Gift Registry and Bridal Showers
Traveling Gift Registries and Beach-Worthy Bridal Showers
Out-of-country weddings naturally involve some transport, and you're pretty limited when it comes to packing. It's no surprise that gift registries and bridal showers can't come along, which means you'll need to rethink the customs and traditions surrounding these elements of your wedding well before you take off.
From the logistics of gift-giving to bridal shower etiquette, destination wedding planning takes some creativity and compromise. However, new approaches to the registry and some clever tips for bridal showers make it much easier to honor these traditions in an unconventional setting.
Gift Registry Challenges
Gift-giving in a destination wedding tends to lack the convenience of a traditional registry, and it can be difficult to balance etiquette and practicality. Fortunately, there are several ways to avoid confusion and complication when you take your wedding on the road:
- Have everything sent to your home address. It's conventional for guests to bring their gift to the wedding, but that would obviously pose problems for the couple in transit. Transporting big items overseas is a nightmare, and in this case, completely unnecessary. Have your family and friends remind your guests to send the gifts to your house, leave them at the store for you to pick them up, or wait until after the honeymoon to give them to you.
- Register for non-material items. An online honeymoon fund, gift certificates, or gift cards are great alternatives to traditional gifts for the household. If you're hoping for cash, chances are good your guests will be more willing to forego material gifts at a destination wedding, but be tactful in your request: have your parents, siblings and wedding party gently spread the word to avoid offending anyone, and make no mention of your preference on your wedding invitations.
- Keep the prices down. Your guests will be spending a good chunk of change to get to your wedding, so don't fish for big-ticket items on your registry. Include things like small kitchen appliances, reasonably priced linens and other practical and affordable things for the home.
You may decide you don't want to bother with a gift registry, which is perfectly fine. After all, a destination wedding wraps up the ceremony, reception, and honeymoon in one clean package, and you can keep things simple by eliminating any elements that fall outside the main event.
Tips for the Bridal Shower
Since you'll probably be traveling in the days leading up to the wedding, your bridal shower will be held at home – should you choose to have one. Like the gift registry, a bridal shower for a destination wedding can pose a few challenges, especially when it comes to the guest list.
Although you might be itching for a big party, be careful when it comes to inviting people who will not be attending your wedding. If your wedding guest list is limited to immediate family and your closest friends, it's alright to branch out and invite more people to your shower, as long as your choices don't seem arbitrary. Instead, be inclusive: invite whole groups of friends, co-workers and extended family, and consider making it a purely social event rather than a gift-giving affair. Advertising your gift registry to shower guests who aren't invited to the wedding can come off as greedy.
After Parties are Apropos
There's nothing wrong with celebrating your wedding in different ways, on multiple occasions. You have your own reasons for choosing a destination wedding, and your friends and family will understand if they can't be a part of the ceremony itself. Don't beat yourself up about leaving people out; find a way to include them in the festivities.
When you're planning your budget, you might want to put some money aside to throw a big bash after you return from the honeymoon. You don't need to go all out (that's what the wedding is for), but a reception will show your appreciation for all the friends and family that weren't at the wedding. Set up a backyard barbecue, throw a holiday party, or rent a room in a restaurant to have a post-wedding celebration. It will be easier to leave paradise if there's a party waiting for you at home!