Destination weddings are almost always tons of fun. After all, you usually have to take time off work to attend, which gives you the perfect excuse for a mini- or full vacation too!
However, it can be tough to determine what, if anything, to get the engaged couple as a wedding present.
If you do decide to get them a gift, when do you give it to them? Should you ship it to their home or bring it with you to the wedding? Should you just give them money? What is the wedding gift etiquette around far-flung wedding gifts?
We’ve got a guide below for destination wedding guests who are wondering about the wedding gift etiquette for faraway nuptials. Plus we suggest some destination wedding gift ideas! We hope it’s helpful – read on…
Do I Have to Buy a Gift for a Destination Wedding?
You never have to buy anyone a gift, it’s just a polite and kind reminder that they’re important to you. So, yes, we would encourage buying a gift if you’re a destination wedding guest.
Because people tend to spread out nowadays, most weddings take place in locations that are not the location of your home. If you’d pay to stay in a hotel for a wedding and would still bring or send a gift, then it’s worth considering bringing one for a destination wedding as well.
Remember, that a destination wedding is still a wedding, and if you’d normally buy a wedding present for the bride and groom, it’s probably best to stick to convention.
Of course, there are exceptions- a flight across the world for example. These tickets tend to be incredibly expensive, not to mention the time-traveling tends to be extensive
So, we recommend you look carefully at your budget and consider your relationship with the couple if getting to and/or staying at the wedding location is expensive in time or money.
Often, couples having destination weddings request no presents anyway (usually on their wedding invitation or wedding website), which means in that case you’d be off the hook!
Should I Take My Gift with Me to a Destination Wedding or Ship it Directly to the Couple?
This can be a tricky question to answer. Some people love the feeling of walking into a wedding with a gift and don’t like to walk in empty-handed.
However, for the sake of the couple, their luggage, and your peace of mind, it’s better to ship the gift directly to their home.
Think about it: you don’t want to be lugging a possibly bulky gift through an airport, or having it add weight to your luggage. The bride and groom will likely feel the same!
Shipping the gift to their house also means that it will most likely arrive in the place where it will be used, making this a more affordable and massively more convenient option for both you and the happy couple!
Should I Send a Gift Even If I’m Not Attending the Wedding?
This depends on how close your relationship with the couple is, and if your budget allows it. Ask yourself: would you buy them a gift if it was a non-destination wedding?
In general, yes, you should buy and send a wedding gift even if you’re not attending the wedding. This is mainly because you will be saving a lot of money on travel expenses by not going to the event!
A gift is a wonderful way to show someone that you care about them, so it’s best to send one to a couple with whom you’re close, related by blood, and/or whose wedding you wish you could attend but cannot for logistical or financial reasons.
Can I Just Give Money as a Gift?
Yes, you can! Money is an awesome gift, especially for a younger couple who may just be starting out in their adult life together.
A gift card is one way to accomplish this, but cash and checks are generally welcome as well.
The pair can use the money, whether it’s in a gift card or some other form, toward a nice bottle of wine, a fancy dinner, or toward saving for a house – you name it!
Plus, it’s so easy to travel with a gift of money. Simply place it in a lovely card with a sweet message written by hand, and the bride and groom will be immensely grateful for both the card and the gift!
Destination Wedding Gift Ideas
So, if you’re attending a destination wedding and have decided to give a gift to the bride and groom, the best thing to do is to purchase an item from their wedding registry and ship it to their home.
However, some couples don’t make a wedding registry, and some guests would rather give a thoughtful present.
We’ve got a few suggestions below – check them out!
Three-in-One Travel Pillow
Whether the reason for choosing a destination wedding is close ties to a certain place or just a love for travel, couples who have destination weddings tend to be travelers.
This travel pillow, with three different methods for use, is a fantastic destination wedding gift for the adventurers getting married. They can use it as a neck support pillow, a leg pillow, or a regular head pillow.
The travel pillow in this listing can condense into a smaller size in its head pillow shape, making it ideal for traveling with. Get two – they’re a pair now, after all!
Still on the travel theme, why not buy the newlyweds the gift of beautiful honeymoon luggage with this four-piece hard shell luggage set.
It comes with a two-year warranty, but we’re sure they’ll use it for years and years to come.
This lightweight luggage set comes with TSA locks and spinner wheels, so it’s easy to maneuver. And with 17 different colors to choose from, they’ll never get their luggage mixed up with anyone else’s again!
Custom Cutting Board
Almost too pretty to be used, this cutting board can be made in ten different shapes, and customized with the couple’s name(s) and/or initial(s).
With four different wood types and three sizes to choose from, this custom wood cutting board is sure to be a hit, whether the couple uses it as a cheese board, cutting board, or as decoration!
Personalized Whiskey Decanter Set
This cut-glass whiskey decanter set is both practical for whiskey drinkers and a gorgeous piece to add to a couple’s bar cart.
The set can even be customized with the couple’s last name and initials, making this a personal gift that celebrates their union.
With this gift, be sure to send it directly to their home so it remains intact!
Custom Cake-Cutting Set
This cake-cutting set is a wonderful pre-wedding gift that the bride and groom can use to cut the cake on their wedding day!
Though this seems like a regular wedding gift, the set can be personalized with the couple’s names, wedding date, and location, making it a beautiful and meaningful keepsake for a married couple.
Our favorite thing about it is the “recipe for a sweet marriage” included in the box! It’s the cutest part of this wedding present – and provides good guidelines for a happy and lasting marriage.
Bose Portable Bluetooth Waterproof Speaker
If you’re friends with a bride who loves to play guitar, or a groom who loves going to karaoke with his buddies every month, this portable Bluetooth waterproof speaker may be the ideal wedding gift for them!
This Bose speaker is portable, making it easy to travel with, and the Bluetooth ability means they won’t have to carry tons of wires and converters everywhere they go.
Oversized Microfiber Beach Towel
For the couple having a beach destination wedding, an oversized beach towel can be the perfect gift, especially if they frequent the coasts often.
This towel measures 74-inches by 74-inches, so it’s spacious enough for two to four people to sit on comfortably – perfect for a tropical destination wedding and honeymoon! It’s also made from microfiber, so despite its size, it will dry quickly.
Eight-Piece Pyrex Mixing Bowls with Lids
This eight-piece Pyrex mixing bowl set is pretty enough to place on the dinner table, but the lids make them perfect for easy storage of any leftovers.
We love the ribbed design on the glass which adds visually interesting detail without being garish or distracting.
This set is also microwave, freezer, fridge, and dishwasher-safe, making it even more convenient for busy newlyweds to use in day-to-day life.
Custom Large Doormat
It’s exciting to get married – to begin a new life together as a newly-formed family.
They can let everyone who comes to their door know that they’re a pair of newlyweds with this lovely large custom doormat.
There are five different designs to choose from; all of them stylish and modern.
Three-Heart Map Print
If the newlyweds are constantly on the move, consider a wedding gift like this three-heart map print.
This wood art piece shows the map of their love story through the months and years! Each heart map is 3D-printed on wood and features the place they met, where they got engaged, and the place they’ll get married.
This lovely piece also features their names, making it a wonderful gift to display in their home together.
Custom Song Plaque
Couples often have a first dance together at their wedding reception, and the process of choosing the song they’ll dance to can be a long one.
A gift like this custom song plaque will help them to remember that first dance together as husband and wife.
This plaque also features “album art” with a photo of the couple. Choose a picture from their engagement or wedding photos and customize away!
Have Yourself a Married Little Christmas Ornament
This beautiful ornament helps commemorate the newlyweds’ wedding date, so they’ll remember one of the happiest days of their lives every Christmas.
An especially amazing gift for a Christmas wedding, this ornament features a clever little pun on beautiful clear premium acrylic.
They’ll hang it on the tree with a velvet ribbon in red, green, or white, and remember the loved one(s) who gave it to them every year.