Creating the Perfect Destination Wedding Invitation
Paperia | June 2014
While couples choose to have a destination wedding for a variety of reasons, one of the main enticements is the lower guest count, which means lower costs and less stress. However, one detail of your destination wedding that shouldn’t be overlooked or skimped on is your invitation.
Not only will the invitation serve as an enticement to your guests, but the information provided will also ensure that their attendance will be as stress-free as possible. Here are some steps to take and tips to follow to make your destination wedding invitation timely, helpful, and memorable.
Due to the travel required for a destination wedding, it is imperative that planning is done during the earliest part of your engagement. Most of your guests will need to set aside vacation time and possibly put funds aside to make the trip, so the more notice you give them the more likely they will be able to celebrate with you.
Decide Whom to Invite
Just because you are hosting a destination wedding doesn’t mean it has to be a small affair. Some couples invite everyone they would like to be with them on their wedding day and leave it up to the invitee to choose whether he or she wants to make the trip. Others only invite those with whom they are closest and use the distance to explain the size of their guest list.
What is most important is deciding quickly what size wedding you would like to have, how many people you can afford to host, and who will receive an invitation. Until you have a number in mind you cannot reserve a venue, plan for catering, or order your save-the-dates or wedding invitations.
Send a Save-the-Date
Not all couples send out save-the-date, but for a destination wedding it’s a necessary step to give your guests the opportunity to plan ahead. Experts recommend sending save-the-dates for a destination wedding at least nine months in advance, if not more.
The announcement at the very least should include your names, the wedding date, and the destination. You may consider including the address of your wedding website so that you can relay information to your guests before the formal invitations are sent. Even if you know some guests will be unable to attend, you should send your wedding invitation to everyone on your list even if you know they will be unable to attend.
Include Essential Information
The invitation for a destination wedding is usually more extensive than the traditional wedding invitation due to the extra information that needs to be included. It should be created as a resource for your guests and should include an itinerary that outlines location names, dates, and times for all wedding activities. In addition, it should make suggestions for accommodations and transportation.
It can also be helpful to provide the name and contact information for your wedding coordinator to ensure your guests have a person they can contact if they need additional assistance. Essentially, the more details you can provide to your guests, the less likely they will be late or stressed while attending your destination wedding.
Forgo the Gifts
Due to the additional expense of attending a destination wedding, many couples express to their guests that attendance is “gift enough.” This point is often included with the invitation to ensure that guests have been formally notified of the bride and grooms expectations regarding gifts.
Create a Keepsake
Not only will the invitation to your destination wedding assist your guests, it will also introduce them to your location and can be used as a memento from their vacation. Consider designing your invitation to reflect the landscape of your destination, the element of travel, the idea of adventure, or the culture you will encounter. Paper choice, font style, texture, graphics and more can be used to demonstrate aspects of your destination wedding and set the tone for your celebration. A portfolio, booklet or folder style is often chosen in order to efficiently organize the information and create an aesthetically pleasing invitation.
Order and Send Early
Experts recommend sending invitations for destination weddings three months before the wedding date (we recommend sending traditional invitations two months ahead). This will give your guests ample time to review their savings, make their final arrangements, and respond to you.
If your destination wedding includes multiple events over the course of a weekend you should tailor your response card so that guests may indicate that they will join you for all, some, or none of the provided activities. However, there may be additional aspects of your invitation that you may want to customize. Due to the complexity of destination wedding invitations, it is beneficial to work with our experts so that we can help you design, review, and order your invitations with enough lead time—and have fun in the process!