To gift or not to gift at destination weddings? Experts are split
This undated photo provided by Robert Hamilton shows bride Sandra, right, and groom Sandy during their beach wedding on Friday, Nov. 28, 2008, at Lanikai Beach in Kailua, Hawaii. (AP / Robert Hamilton)
Christina Commisso, CTVNews.ca
Published Sunday, May 25, 2014 8:40AM EDT
The destination wedding of the year is upon us as Hollywood heavyweights descended on Europe this weekend to partake in the nuptials of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West.
While most couples don't consider the Palace of Versailles or Forte di Belvedere in Florence as potential wedding venues, many do opt for sunny destinations where they can combine the ceremony, honeymoon, and a group vacation for their closest friends and family.
According to the 2014 Weddingbells annual readers' survey, 15 per cent of Canadian brides are planning on having a destination wedding, and the total number of destination weddings has more than doubled since 2009.
The same survey also pegged the average cost of a wedding in Canada at $31,685, which includes a honeymoon.
Meanwhile, the average cost of a resort wedding package for a Caribbean wedding range from free to about $3,000.
Guests, however, often find themselves spending more than $1,500 per person to make the trip, making the issue of giving gifts a hot topic of debate.
Wedding planner Lynzie Kent said, when it comes to destination weddings, the guest's presence is the gift.
"A lot of people disagree on this subject," she told CTVNews.ca, suggesting that gift-giving should be at their discretion.
"When you're throwing a destination wedding, the presence of people is kind of their gift," she said. "They don't have to take vacation time for your wedding, they don't have to dip into their savings, but they choose to because they want to be there for you."
However, wedding planner Danielle Andrews Sunkel says regardless of the wedding location, guests are always expected to give a gift.
"Usually you still give the same amount," she said, adding that the typical cash wedding gift is $100 to $150 per person.
However, she does say that many attendees do bemoan gift-giving at destination wedding after having spent so much to attend the event.
"That was your choice to travel to the wedding," she said. "The couple is still getting married, so they still should be given a gift to express your joy for them."
Do you think a couple having a destination wedding should expect a gift from their guests? Leave your comments below.