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 with some initial inflation. It's far more practical to give your guests full details closer to the time.
Follow these simple steps to make sure your destination wedding save the dates are etiquette-appropriate:
The courteous thing to do for a destination wedding, is to send out save the dates as soon as you have a date and venue confirmed. Even if you're still working out the finer 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.
Don’t forget this is not an invitation so instead of including an invitation to "Join us in July 2018 in Cyprus," inform your guests your special day will be "On the 21st July 2018, in Paphos, Cyprus"
Don't overload them with information only include the details your guests need to know at this point such as a the resort, a suggested hotel, when the holidays / flights are released, group booking discounts etc.
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.
Normally formal invitations should be sent at least 10 weeks before date, however with a destination wedding invite it may be better to send these out once the holidays / flights are available to book.
The formal wedding invite should include all logistics and details for the big day, such as the time and departure location of any transport, accommodation, special event plans, dress code, menu choices, gift details and maybe even local attractions to visit, dont forget it’s your guests holiday too.
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.
You will know when you need to advise your venue of final guest numbers so keep this in mind. It's courteous to allow your guests a good amount of time to finalise their RSVP, as their budgets, airfares, work schedules, children's schooling may need to be accommodated. I normally suggest 3 months before the wedding date gives you time to arrange favours, tables plans, etc but of course this is your decision.
Don't forget the save the date etiquette, 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.