What to do if invited to a Destination Wedding.
The invitation has just arrived! My dearest friend is having her Destination Wedding in Mexico. Wow! Can you imagine? The sun, the ocean, the caribbean…but wait. That date looks familiar. Oh no! I have a prior commitment. Now what? Sound familiar?
Now you’re overwhelmed by that feeling of guilt and how do I break the news. So you begin putting it off. Still familiar?
Many of us think we are being disrespectful by answering right away with a “no, we cannot make it”. It’s the classic internal conflict one faces when HAVING to say no. We’ve been raised to be respectful and so a “yes” is always preferable to a “no, thank you”.
But when it comes to Destination Weddings… Are you ready to hear this? …the SOONER, the BETTER. That’s right, I said it. You may think you are doing the couple a favour by not responding quickly but YOU’RE NOT. You are making it harder for them to commit to services and to making financial commitments.
So proper etichette suggests that you answer quickly “yes” or “no”.
You see, TIME is of the essence. There are many commitments that need to be made. And knowing the exact number of guests is ESSENTIAL. Such as the caterer, hotels and transfers, to name a few. Many of which must all be booked in super-advance with little room for last minute adjustments. So proper etichette would be to respond immediately.
Just imagine, they’ve blocked a room for you and you’ve decided to tell them last minute that you will not be attending. Did you know that most locations will charge for late cancellations?
So I’ve explained the urgency to comunicate you won’t be attending. But how do you do it gracefully?
Well, begin by thanking the couple for inviting you. Then apologetically comunicate you can’t attend and the reason why. Then give them a heartfelt congratulations or best wishes.
“Thank you for inviting us to be part of your special day! It saddens us to not be there but … (an explanation as to why is always greatly appreciated). We wish you a beautiful and enchanting wedding day!!”
Do not worry. Most couples understand the difficulty involved in having to pick-up and move to another country. Even if its only for a weekend. In some cases, a reception is arranged for those who couldn’t make it. Giving them an opportunity to partake in the festivities…and bring along a wonderful gift.
That’s right! Just because you can’t attend DOES NOT MEAN that you are not obliged to give a gift. So, if a second reception has not been organized you’ll have to find a way to get the gift to them. I had one guest pay for the wedding cake which was much appreciated!
As to my dearest friend I followed proper etichette and immediately informed her that I couldn’t attend due to a prior engagement. She understood and we made a promise to meet in Italy in the near future.
Wishing them all the best on their Wedding Day!
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