START WITH A SAVE THE DATE!
When planning a destination wedding, you may find that your excitedly confirming details long before you've even thought about inviting your guests. While it's tempting to pass on every little detail and send out your wedding invitations right away, the more courteous thing to do is to get those save the dates in the mail. It's far more practical to give your guests full details once they have a confirmed date and location in mind.
Follow these simple steps to make sure your destination wedding save the dates are etiquette-appropriate:
Send save the dates 6-8 months before the wedding. The courteous thing to do is to send out save the dates as soon as you have a date and general location confirmed. Even if you're still working out venue details, it's helpful to give your guests as much warning as possible so they can request time of work, arrange for childcare & to start saving for the special trip.
Include all important information. This may be a given, but it's crucial to include as much information as possible on a destination wedding save the date. Instead of including an invitation to "Join us in July 2017 in Cyprus," inform your guests your special day will be "On the 21st July 2017, in Paphos, Cyprus"
Be as detailed as possible. If you have information such as a suggested hotel, when the holidays are released, group booking discounts etc. then include it on your save the date!
DESTINATION WEDDING INVITES:
As plans are confirmed and the date draws nearer, you’ll find you’ll be flooded with questions from traveling guests. A destination wedding invite differs from some of the more formal wedding invites as you’ll need to convey more information to your guests. Remember:
Formal invitations should be sent at least 10 weeks before date. The formal wedding invite should include all logistics and details for the big day, such as the wedding location, time, information on transportation, accommodation, special event plans, dress code, gift registries and maybe even local attractions.
Be clear about RSVP's. Chances are you already have a vague idea of who'll be attending your wedding, but in any case the invitation is the place to request formal RSVP's. have a clear reply date. It's courteous to allow your guests a few weeks to finalize their RSVP, as times, budgets, airfares and work schedules need to be accommodated.
The save the date rule still applies. Even if you've heard that certain guests can't attend, the same rule applies: everyone who received a save the date must receive a formal invitation.