Invitation & Etiquette Tips for Destination Weddings
April 9, 2014
Hi loves! Lindsay here from Fleur de Sel stopping by as part of the Blogger Bride series to share more tips for you jet-setting brides-to-be planning destination weddings. This time I'm here to share some tips on your invitation suite - from when to send out save-the-dates and invitations, to ideas of how to get your guests excited for the adventure ahead. Ready fellow destination brides? Let's do this.
My fiancé and I were lucky enough to have discovered the Aerialist Press, an incredible, affordable letterpress studio across the bay from us in Emeryville. We were blown away by their work - they truly have something for everyone, from whimsical to modern to everything in between - and were a joy to work with. They were kind enough to invite me over to their gorgeous studio, complete with floor to ceiling windows, two antique letterpress machines and Blondie, their pet bunny, who has to be the most charming creature I have ever come across.
Q: What is the etiquette for when to send out Save the Dates and invitations for non-destination weddings?

A: For non-destination weddings, typically couples should send save the dates around five to six months in advance of their wedding. The invitation suite should be mailed six to eight weeks in advance of the wedding date, though we usually recommend eight, just to allow a little extra time to follow up with late RSVPs and to send an extra invite or two in case you or a wedding stakeholder (parents!) want to make a last minute addition!
Q: How does this timing change for destination weddings?

A: For destination weddings, all the usual timelines are extended! Since guests will be traveling, sending save the dates a year in advance is not unheard of. We usually recommend sending around nine months out, depending on where the wedding will be. Invitations should also be send anywhere from eight to twelve weeks in advance of the wedding, depending on where guests will be traveling from and if your invitations will be mailed to guests living abroad.

It is important for destination wedding couples to think about the needs of their guests when deciding when to send, like whether or not visas will need to be obtained in advance, if hotels in the area near the wedding location tend to book early and if flights are more reasonably priced when purchased during a specific time of year. You don’t have to plan for every little detail, but keeping some of these things in mind will make sure you allow your guests all the time they need to prepare so they can join you at your celebration.
Q: How can couples include destination elements into their invitation suite to get their guests excited for an adventure?

A: There are so many personal and special ways couples can tailor their invitation suite to set the tone for a destination wedding. My favorite is when couples include a map of the area surrounding the wedding venue. It is a great way to familiarize guests with a place they have never been before and is an opportunity to highlight some favorite places to dine, play and sightsee. Many guests will often stay an extra day or two before or after the wedding and this will help get them excited about the adventure. Maps are also a fun way to tie in a travel or destination vibe without being too theme-y because they can be designed to coordinate with any aesthetic, whether it's beachy, classic, modern or whimsical.

I also think adding details that connect with your wedding location are a great way to personalize the suite, think add-ons like wax seals with an icon representing where they will be traveling to, envelope liners in a map pattern of the destination location, or luggage tags with wedding website details. Destination wedding invitations don’t always have to include palm trees and anchors (though we love both!) to set the travel tone for guests, you can still keep these elements subtle while making sure guests feel excited to travel to attend your wedding.