You’ve picked a date, signed your contract, and now you need to let your guests know about your celebration in paradise. One of the most popular questions we get from our clients is about destination wedding invitations – when to send them, what to put in them, how to word things, where to buy them, and more!
One of the services we provide our clients is creating a bespoke booking landing page like this one that has some of the key information about their destination wedding. The question always comes up – what do I do with that link?
What we’ve found is that the answer varies from couple to couple.
Some couples keep it simple and email the link to their guests.
Other couples send digital save the dates or invitations and include the link.
And other couples go the paper route and mail save the dates or invitations with a QR code or the URL on the paper invitation.
There’s no right answer as it really depends on what you prefer as a couple and also how much time you have.
If you want or need a “save the date” largely depends on how much time you have between booking your destination wedding and the actual date of the events. You also want to strike a balance of not making your guests feel obligated to attend given there will be an associated cost with attending your destination wedding.
Our typical planning schedule (or at least the goal!) is you have everything secured about 16 months prior to your wedding date.
Some of our clients send a save the date as soon as the contract is signed so that friends and family can start planning accordingly and follow that up with the invitation about 2 months later.
Planning a destination wedding is quite different than planning a wedding at home and the same is true for your invitations. When getting married at home, you can probably send your invitations 3-4 months in advance and be totally fine.
When you should send your invitations to your destination wedding may be dictated by the terms of your contract with the resort. Each resort differs slightly in their dates for payments and penalties so you may – or may not – have flexibility on how soon you need to send our your invitations.
Let’s work backward with a hypothetical example with a wedding date of October 3 to illustrate a potential destination wedding timeline.
In this hypothetical example your guests would have from October (when you send invites) until March (the last date for deposits) to commit to attending your destination wedding.
All this is to say that we recommend sending your destination wedding invitations 9-12 months in advance once your booking site is live so your guests have enough time to plan and commit to attending and aren’t rushed in their decision.
The goal with the booking site we build for our clients is that you can limit how much information you need to include in your destination wedding invitations. Some key information you’ll want to include in your invitation:
Your invitations don’t need to include information about attire, additional events, what to pack, etc as that may be best suited on the website.
When writing your invitations one of the most important things to remember is that while your friends and family may love you and want to spend time with you, it’s also be a big commitment for them to travel thousands of miles away, take off work, and spend money.
You want to use your invitations to get your loved ones excited to celebrate and join you, but striking a balance between “no pressure” and “let’s celebrate” can be tough.
Our friends at Destination Wedding Details have some additional wording and etiquette tips for your invitations. Here are some more specific examples of what wording you should use to delicately hit all the right notes.
You don’t need a separate wedding website as we build a landing page that shares the essential information with your guests. Some of information includes:
Some of our clients prefer to create a more general wedding site with popular services like The Knot, Zola, or With Joy that includes things like their story, information on the bridal party, an even more thorough FAQ, etc. From that site, clients will like a “Travel” section to our booking site so guests know how to book.
Now that we’ve covered the basics of destination wedding invitations we wanted to share a few places you can order invitations from that we have a variety of beautiful options and on-brand invitations for your destination wedding in paradise!
Minted has a whole section dedicated to destination weddings, including palm trees and bright colors. Ordering from Minted is quite easy as you can customize your invitations and send directly from the site.
Zazzle is similar to Minted and has a section of destination wedding invitations. If you’re comparing Minted vz Zazzle, we find that Minted has more customization features and tends to be a bit more affordable. But if Zazzle has invitation designs that you want, it’s a great alternative.
If you’re looking for a bit more of a DIY project with your invitations, Etsy has a number of destination wedding invitations that hit all the travel and wanderlust vibes. Buying from Etsy tends to be a bit more expensive and require more work, but we love how creative their options are and you get to support a small business owner and creator.
One of the most popular – and on brand – invitations is from the husband wife team at Wedding Passports. Vanessa and Dave had their destination wedding at Dreams Jade, blogged about the process, and eventually built Wedding Passports as a way for couples hosting destination weddings to have a beautiful and fun wedding passport invitation.
Our goal with this article was to share a bit of knowledge about the typical timeline for a destination wedding, including when you’ll want to send “save the dates” and invitations for your event.
Knowing what to put on your invitation and how to word things appropriately will have your guests booking their flight and getting so excited to spend a few days in paradise celebrating you!