Destination Wedding Gifts
According to The Knot’s 2014 Real Weddings Survey, nearly one-fourth of all weddings are considered “destination.” This shouldn’t come as a big surprise. More and more budget-savvy couples are forgoing the often-overwhelming expense of a local ceremony and reception in favor of exchanging vows in memorable locations. Why bother with decorations when a Caribbean sunset will do the trick? However, while destinations are often the ideal solution for brides and grooms, these getaway trips can raise financial concerns for guests.
Wedding Bells Abroad
In the mainland U.S., the top locations for destination weddings are Florida, California and Nevada, while couples looking for an even more exotic spot are most likely to choose the Caribbean, Mexico or Hawaii. Because these are popular vacation locations as well, attending a destination wedding as a guest takes some forethought.
If you’re invited to a destination wedding, there are many elements to consider. Can you afford the flight? Is there a minimum night stay at the resort? Many wedding-friendly hotels require that guests stay at least three to four nights, especially during the busy season. If the wedding is an adults-only affair and you have children, will you be able to find child care or bribe their grandparents? Do you have enough vacation time at work? Make a list of possible expenses and decide if it’s even feasible for you to go.
If you can’t, and there are no plans for an “at-home” reception, feel free to send a gift (in the standard amount) when you post your RSVP. If there are plans to celebrate with friends and family after the wedding abroad, you can wait until you receive the invitation before you start picking out the perfect present.
Presence as a Present
If you are able to attend, most experts agree that since you’re already spending money to travel to a destination wedding, it’s okay to spend less than you normally would on a wedding gift. Some couples even explicitly tell guests not to buy gifts if they’re spending money on travel and accommodations.
If a card simply won’t do, use your friend or family member’s destination wedding as an opportunity to get creative. DIY wedding presents can be deeply meaningful. Use your skills to stitch keepsake pillowcases or create a one-of-a-kind art print for their home. Pick up something locally made that serves as a special reminder of their big day – just make sure it’s an item that can be easily packed into a suitcase or that you’re willing to haul (or ship) home for them.