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Pre- and Post-Destination Wedding Events: Yay or Nay?

Destination weddings are often multi-day celebrations, giving couples the chance to spend more quality time with their loved ones as opposed to a traditional wedding that takes place over the course of a few hours. Because of this, couples often question whether or not they should plan pre- or post-wedding events, such as a shower, bach party, etc.

We're here to help you navigate the pros and cons of each wedding event beyond the ceremony and reception.

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Wedding/Bridal Shower

 Like traditional weddings, many couples celebrate their wedding with a bridal or wedding shower before they leave for their trip. Particularly, when couples choose to have a destination wedding, showers become a great way to celebrate with close family and friends who may not be able to attend the actual ceremony far away. As a rule of thumb, though, it's not considered polite to extend an invitation to any guests that are not invited to the actual wedding, as gifts are involved. If you'd like to get together with friends not invited to the wedding, consider a separate pre-wedding party and include a note about well-wishes only. Or, consider a post-wedding reception when you return home from your destination wedding.

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Bachelor/Bachelorette Party

There are no strict rules for destination wedding couples when it comes to planning a bachelor or bachelorette party. Some couples prefer to have their party at home so friends that are unable to attend the wedding can celebrate. Still, others tack on the party just prior to the destination wedding so that they can make full use of their gorgeous vacation spot. Another option is to have the stag shindig serve as a pre-site visit to your wedding resort (if you can't wait another minute to get there!) And still, some skip the festivities altogether. If you do have a bachelor/bachelorette party for your destination wedding, it's always nice to keep in mind the added costs when asking close friends and family to plan a party on your behalf.

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Rehearsal Dinner

When guests make a commitment to attend your destination wedding, it is courteous to include them in any pre-wedding festivities, especially rehearsal dinners. Even if they are not immediate family, the time and expense of attending a wedding away means they should expect to be included in group activities. This is oftentimes not an issue because destination wedding guest lists tend to be smaller and only include the couple's nearest and dearest. 

Welcome Party Dreams

Welcome Party

To start the wedding weekend with a bang, many destination wedding couples opt to host a welcome party upon everyone's arrival. This helps their guests get excited for the festivities ahead and form a bond right off the bat. Destination wedding welcome parties can be as creative as you like - popular ideas include beach bonfires, sunset sails, or private wine tastings.

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Post-Wedding Brunch

While many couples choose to order breakfast-in-bed the morning after their destination wedding ceremony, some opt for one last hoorah with their guests by planning a group brunch. This is a great way to show your appreciation and send them off with well wishes before you begin your honeymoon stay as newlyweds.

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At-Home Reception

When you return home from your destination wedding, should you plan a second reception with those who couldn't make the trip? This is ultimately up to you and depends on your relationship and preferences. An at-home reception can be as casual or formal as you'd like, but it's a wonderful way to share your experience with those who couldn't attend the big day. Some couples plan a laid-back barbecue, while others prefer a more elaborate, formal affair.

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