Going away to a destination is like a gift to you and all of your guests. Instead of coming to you for your wedding, you can all get together at the location of your dreams. Make sure it will be easy and fun for all. Just a little homework on the front end will make sure you’re off to a great destination wedding.
One quick and important note: make sure you know the requirements and can get them all accomplished for your out-of-state or out-of-country wedding. You and your guests will be so disappointed if you travel all that way and the wedding isn’t legit.
Typically, your wedding invitation should be in the mail about six weeks prior to your wedding day. In this case, you’ll want to give even more time. While there is no rule of thumb as locations vary so greatly, just give your guests as much time as possible. Your guests will need to make travel arrangements, take time off from work, hotel accommodations, etc. so make sure you give everyone plenty of time. Also, at a typical wedding, guests may just come in for a long weekend but if you’re planning a destination wedding your guests may want to stay longer and might need lots of notice to make those arrangements.
Since many of your guests might not be familiar with the location you’ve chosen, you should do your homework and provide as much local information in your invitation as possible. You don’t need to play travel agent, but you should include address, website and phone number for the local airport, a few local hotel options, car rental agencies, etc. You should also map directions to and from the ceremony and reception and make a special note if you will be providing a shuttle. Since it is a destination, you might want to include some other local attractions and interests. Your guests will rave about the wedding and the destination for years to come.
I’ve said it many times, but a wedding website is the best way to make sure your guests have all kinds of local information. Many brides have had their destination wedding dreams dampened by a barrage of phone calls from wedding guests. Consider including links to not only local accommodations, but entertainment, shopping and any attractions that might be of interest. Don’t count on your guests being able to ‘take care of themselves.’ While it is your big day, many guests will see you as a ‘hostess’ and expect you to have answers for them. Keep updating your wedding website and you won’t disappoint. Another nice feature you might want to include is a discussion area on your website so one guest can share information they’ve found with other guests.
Not everyone is going to make it to your destination wedding. Sometimes travel and conflicting schedules will keep people away – no matter how much notice you give them. And it just might not be feasible to invite absolutely everyone on your list. This is the perfect chance to send a wedding announcement. Keep your announcement in the same theme as your destination and it will be the next best thing to being there. While it is typical that you would order invitation stationery at the same time your order wedding announcements, you might want to wait and include a photo from the actual wedding for your announcement.
With a little planning now, you’ll ensure a hassle-free day for you and your guests. Get the right destination wedding invitation in the mail now and you can cross ‘is everyone having a good time?’ off of your worry list.