When you travel to a destination wedding chances are you are going to a lovely tropical paradise. So I’m pretty sure that bringing a suit or formal gown isn’t on your packing list. Often times, your guests may not be aware of what type of “dress code” you want for your wedding. If you are the bride, you should ask yourself if you are ok if the men coming to your wedding could wear shorts. If you are not, then you should state that to your guests prior to arriving at your destination. If you have a vision of formality or a color scheme, like I did, in which all of my guests were requested to wear white (yes, I was very specific and the photos are gorgeous), which I specified in their invitation. It said something like, “guests are kindly requested to wear white”. Everyone followed the guidelines and many of my clients have requested the same thing too.
There are many times during the course of planning a destination wedding that a guest who is planning on attending a destination wedding, will ask one of the VIP team members what they should wear to the wedding. Though I work with the bride and go over many aspects of the wedding, that detail is something we don’t always discuss; therefore we encourage the guests to ask the bride. What I often suspect is that many of my brides feel sheepish in asking guests to do anything else (including wearing something they might not be comfortable in – let’s face it, pants in the tropics may be uncomfortable for a guy). A bride also may feel that guests have spent money and gotten passports and may have to pay for checking in their luggage, and so requesting anything else may seem “pushy” or cost a guest additional money. However, looking through photos after the wedding, a bride often laments that a particular guest showed up in cut off Jean shorts or a female attendee wore a sarong over her bikini. Sadly no amount of photo shopping can fix those fashion disasters. The best advice I can give is for the wedding couple to prepare a “Need To Know” sheet and send it to all your guests about 2 weeks prior. Include in that sheet any info you may require about a dress code or your expectations for the wedding day (something like “country club casual requested”) as well as a potential itinerary for wedding events. Don’t list too many things as I have found people don’t read long lists. If you do have a specific requirement; like guests dressing in white, it may also be a good idea to detail that to the agent you are working with as you are planning the wedding just in case guests ask about attire. Remember, photos tend to be one of the biggest priorities for wedding couples, so detailing what people look like in those photos is a must!
I never miss the opportunity to show others my wedding photos and talk about how even the resort I got married at (Beaches Turks and Caicos) uses my photos in their photo shops and in their brochures. Incidentally, after I show guests my photos, they almost instantly understand how what guests wear can effect the overall look of the wedding.