Inviting guests to join you at a far-flung location to celebrate your wedding? Then you already know your timeline and planning is a little (or a lot) different than for a traditional wedding. While a standard save-the-date may not include more than your wedding date, the venue, and the url of your wedding website, there are a few more things you'll want to tell guests in advance if they will be pulling out their passports, booking plane tickets, and reserving hotel rooms in order to join you and your soon-to-be spouse for a few days instead of just a night or two
Below, find out what we think you should include in your destination wedding save-the-dates along with tips for how to go about each one.
Send the Invites Sooner
The first thing to keep in mind is timing. While a regular wedding invitation goes out eight weeks before the wedding and save-the-dates go out around four to six months in advance, a destination wedding invitation should go out at least 12 weeks in advance. And those save-the-dates? Plan on sending them a minimum of six months in advance and up to eight months before the big day. This will give your guests plenty of time to compare flight options, arrange to take days off from work, and plan an extended trip before or after your wedding, if they so desire. If six to eight months sounds like too much of a time crunch, consider sending save-the-dates by email.
Include an Information Packet
Now come the details. Instead of a simple postcard, consider sending out a packet so you have room for additional information. This means treating your save-the-date as more of a pre-invitation than just a notice that you're having a wedding. You should have a general timeline for the weekend's events, from the welcome party and brunch to any group activities you've planned. And make sure you've already secured a room block at your hotel. That way guests can figure out which days to take off from work and reserve their hotel room.
Ask Guests What They Want to Do
Still figuring out what other activities you'd like to include? Ask your guests. Whether it's a response card with your save-the-date or a poll on your wedding website, provide a few options for everyone to choose from. Have everyone pick what they'd be interested in participating in, so you can plan accordingly.
Planning something particularly intimate or really remote? Ask guests to RSVP as part of your save-the-date, and use the invitation as more of a formality later on.
Put Everything on Your Wedding Website
And of course, be sure to provide all of the information on your wedding website, too. If you're pressed for space, keep your save-the-date basic, and let guests know to head to your site for all of the travel specifics and a schedule of the weekend.