There’s no better way to get guests excited about your destination wedding than with your invitations, which always set the tone for the big day.
Your wedding locale is a bevy of inspiration when it comes to designing destination wedding invitations. Include a hand-painted watercolor illustration of your chateau venue, a blind-embossed map of the campgrounds of your woodsy wedding, bold colors and palm leaves depicting your tropical destination, or a drawing of the mountains portraying your cliffside ceremony.
You can also make a less explicit, more subtle nod with your destination wedding invitations. Focus on one color from your destination—like an emerald green for a mountain wedding or bold teal for a beach wedding—and color block it with white for a minimalist invitation. Or create a color palette infusing several hues from the locale, like muted beiges and greens for a wedding in the desert. If you’d rather focus on prints than color, consider incorporating a design that portrays the local floral or fauna.
Here’s a bit of destination wedding invitation inspiration from real couples who said “I do” all over the world.
Paint With Watercolors
One of our favorite ways to evoke a destination wedding on an invite is with a watercolor illustration of the venue. That’s exactly what this bride did for her wedding at Sound View Greenport on Long Island. The artist incorporated the site’s architecture and coastline with clusters of bougainvillea.
Draw Mountain Silhouettes
If you’re getting married in the mountains, have the outlines of the mountain ranges drawn onto your invites—the rural version of a skyline. Silhouettes of Mt. Crested Butte and Gothic Mountain in Colorado are layered onto this minimalist invitation suite, featuring blue-and-white color blocking. It also comes with a blind-embossed map of the venue area.
Include a Fun Message
Sometimes, you don’t need to bother with prints, designs, and colors to get guests excited for your destination wedding. A modern block font and a bold script combine to say all that needs to be said: “Pack your suitcases and join us in Italy.” Simple, fun, and to the point!
Emphasize Gilded Details
For an elegant château wedding in Europe, a classic invitation suite featuring gilded line drawings and a weekend itinerary schedule in gilded thematic icons will do. The look evokes a vibe of old world romance.
Hand-painted invitations boasting colorful florals in coral and light blue set the tone for a late summer garden party, perfect for a wedding down South.
Instead of going for the standard palm trees and tropical feel for Hawaiian-themed destination wedding invitations, play up the state’s mountainous beauty. This invitation suite features a stunning watercolor of Hawaii’s volcanoes.
Mimic the Ocean
Beach weddings tend to trend laid-back, while others are more elegant. This bride’s Mexico wedding was a bit of both, and her invitation suite mirrored that perfectly. The paper reinterpreted the classic style of chinoiserie in the form of a contemporary watercolor design in blues as a nod to the ocean.
Portray Woodsy Scenery
Evoke your mountain wedding with an illustration of scenic views in varying shades of green, which will undoubtedly get guests excited for the woodsy magic awaiting them. This couple also included a program featuring cartoons of them in their wedding outfits, accompanied by explanations of Indian wedding customs—a creative idea if you’re having a cultural wedding.
Accentuate One Element
Destinations provide a ton of inspiration, but you don’t need to pack it all into your invitations. Pick one element and focus on it. This minimalist invitation suite kept a simple teal and white palette with a subtle palm leaf imprint to accentuate Tulum vibes. Bonus: It comes with a packing list!
Employ a Seaside Palette
If you’re throwing a seaside wedding, consider a soft nautical palette of blue, seafoam green, yellow, and cream. Such a color scheme mimics the peacefulness and serenity of the beach.
Make Custom Clutches
A wedding out West requires some serious western vibes. This bride was inspired by a wool Ralph Lauren pattern, which was used to make custom clutches for her save the dates. The invitation itself boasted a rendering of a landscape at Brush Creek Ranch, which was printed on wood and included a stand so guests could display it at home.
Play With Cacti
Cacti illustrations allude to a desert wedding locale, providing a pop of lime green and coral on white paper. Matching typography accents the vivid palette.
Include a Taste of Home
The invitation suite for this Montana wedding stuck to a color scheme of blue and yellow, while a vintage postcard gave a nod to the old Western days. The bride and groom also elevated their envelopes with an interior illustration of the landscape, and they included a packet of wildflower seeds for an extra taste of home.
Evoke Southern Charm
Bring out some serious Southern charm with a classic invitation suite that features scrawling elegant calligraphy on the invitation itself and a watercolor pattern of magnolia flowers for the envelope lining. The bride carried the pattern throughout all the other elements in the wedding, from gift tags to the draped fabric of the reception tent.
Feature the Locale’s Colors
A stunning wedding in colorful Santa Barbara called for an equally vivid invitation suite. A watercolor monogram featuring palm trees and the couple’s dog makes both a bold and personal statement in hot pinks and blues. Pair your invitations with a matching illustrated map of the locale like this couple did.
Get Bold and Bright
This couple took it back to summer camp with a weekend camp wedding in Boulder Creek, Colorado. A bold invitation suite calls to mind starry nights by the campfire, lit up by white lettering with a neon glow for an eclectic punch of fun.
Look to Architecture
Let your destination wedding’s stunning architecture inspire your invitation suite. That’s what these grooms did for their New Orleans vows. Their blue-and-gold invitation suite infused the scrollwork of their venue’s iron fences and natural motifs that recalled the city’s lush gardens.
Create a Custom Suite
This bride worked with her stationer to create a super-custom design with handmade paper and lots of detail, including different colors and sizes for each piece as well as handmade, hand-folded envelopes. The blue-green color scheme perfectly replicated the night skies of her lodge wedding, accented with vintage stamps and a map of the grounds. Consider taking note for a woodland-inspired wedding of your own.
Incorporate Travel-Based Texts
A safari camp wedding in Kenya may sound wild, but this one was completely chic. Look no further than these bespoke invitations for evidence. The design and text was inspired by the Lewis and Clark journals and a vintage copy of Karen Blixen’s ‘Out of Africa,’ while a map drawn in gold leaf foil completed the suite.
Play Up the Season
Not all destination weddings are held in the summer months. If yours is in fall or winter, infuse the season into your invitations as well. This suite takes on the rich fall tones by bringing the wildflowers of the surrounding Montana scenery to life for a rustic-meets-elegant autumn vibe.
Blind-Emboss the City
Blind-emboss your invitation with an elevation drawing of your destination. This timeless invitation does just that with a drawing of San Francisco’s coastline, including the area where the couple got engaged. The envelope featured a custom wax seal of the Golden Gate Bridge in emerald green to add a dash of color that would become the wedding’s signature hue.
Yellow flowers and vines of greenery dance around the edges of these botanical invites, setting the tone for a wedding in the English countryside. Scripted calligraphy and a bold typeface combine for a traditional look.
Who said only one location can inspire your destination wedding invitations? This couple has lived in different cities over the years together, so they incorporated that into their stationery. The simple, modern invitations feature small icons depicting their home—San Francisco—and their wedding location—Big Sur.
Focus on Color
Playing up the scenery in your invitations is a classic choice for a destination wedding in the mountains, but emphasizing the colors gives a more subtle nod to the location and is just as beautiful. Here, rich emerald green takes over this invitation suite, from the envelope lining to the custom logo, setting the tone for a chic mountain wedding.
This couple had a destination wedding in Cabo, but instead of incorporating Mexico’s festive side into the invites, they took inspiration from the venue instead. The Cape featured a chic and edgy design, which carried over into the envelope’s black-and-white palm print and the invite’s abstract design.
Include a Map
Marrying in a tropical locale? Be inspired by the local foliage. This invitation from a Costa Rica wedding is a perfect example as it includes a map of the Nosara coastline and an itinerary of the activities alongside custom stamps and calligraphy in white ink.
Set the Tone
For a sophisticated look that's both minimal and elegant, consider looking to this Palms Springs invitation suite by Lehr & Black for inspiration. Here, the green-and-white color scheme alludes to a sophisticated evening, while the envelope design mimics the facade of the wedding venue, the Parker Palm Springs.
Look to the Landscape
If you have a wedding theme, make it a focal point of your invitation suite. This couple did just that, customizing their suite to reflect their "magical" theme in the details and design. Each invitation was designed to honor the wedding location, with embossed topography and images of the canyons at Amangiri, and the couple's relationship, including a quote from the book that the bride was reading when they first met.
Don't Forget About Postage
For a subtle hint at your wedding destination, look to creative postage stamps, as this couple did by including postage stamps with images of past presidents for their neighborhood-inspired wedding in Washington, D.C. P.S. The bride's sister painted the watercolor background!
Create a Custom Font
While classic scripts and fonts are favorites for a reason, there's no reason to include a traditional note if that's not your look. For instance, this bride worked with Emily Snyder to hand-calligraph the design for their invitation suite, which she calls both classic and wild. "It reminded me of the Spanish moss, the vines of ancient oaks dripping, and wrapping around the historic architecture of The Cloister," she says. "t was that juxtaposition of natural wildness and polished elegance that I hoped to capture in our design."
Seeking unexpected inspiration? Look to the art displayed on the walls of your venue for design and color ideas, as this couple did at the Shinola Hotel in Detroit. “The spaces were modern and gorgeous, with a classic-vintage twist, and filled with an impressive art collection with works by some of our favorite artists," says the bride of the venue. Their invitation suite can be described as the same.
Make It Your Own
When creating a custom invitation suite, emphasize the word "custom." Any design can illustrate the vibe of you want, whether it's something obvious like your color palette or wedding location or an element that's more subtle like nods to your relationship or cultural heritage. For her own wedding, Ashling Loh-Doyle, founder of creative studio Lotus & Ash, did both with paper elements that reflected both her heritage (Chinese-Malaysian and Irish) and her groom's Southern roots, as well as their shared graphic sensibilities and wedding theme, which she describes as “Black Tie and Mai Tai"—in other words, classic with colorful nods to Kentucky and Southeast Asia.
Now for the details: Check out the below link for the 101 on what to say w your beautiful design.