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You’re excited to tie the knot, and you have a ton of little details to take care of like your invitations. The timing matters on this important step of etiquette, especially when you are planning on a destination wedding. It doesn’t matter how big or small your guest attendance may be. The invitations should be sent out at the proper time so that guests can clear their schedules and make travel arrangements.
A destination wedding is unique, exciting and something different, so your invitations are the perfect way to set the tone for your dream nuptials.
Below, we have listed a Wedding Invitation Timetable to help guide you through the process.
Step 1. Save-The-Date Cards
Send save-the-date cards 6-8 months from your wedding date.
Here’s a general rule to consider. Wedding etiquette traditionally suggests that couples send out their save-the-date cards ahead by six to eight months. That allows your guests to have plenty of time for reserving that date and clearing their calendar.
Destination weddings need that extra bit of time to announce the big day because people will need to make accommodations in advance to attend and/or request vacation time, and some of your guests may be arriving from overseas.
All that’s needed is the location and date. You don’t need to get ultra specific about addresses or times at this stage.
Also, you want to ensure that there is ample time between your save-the-dates and your wedding invitation stationary.
Step 2. Wedding Invitations
Send wedding invitations 3 months from your wedding date.
Generally speaking, invitations for a non-destination wedding are popped into the mail at six to eight weeks.
For a destination wedding, etiquette experts recommend that invitations be sent out three months ahead of time. You may have international guests on your wedding list, too, so wedding professionals advise sending those destination wedding invitations out four months ahead to avoid any postal delays. That way, those guests still have time to get organized.
For your wedding with Cactus Collective Weddings, it’s not necessary to put in the address for your ceremony. Our locations are scenic spots that are generally in national or state parks so there isn’t a physical address. What you will want to write is something like “Wedding Ceremony to be held in Red Rock Canyon” or “Wedding Ceremony to be held at Valley of Fire”.
Remember, we highly recommend you hire transportation for your guests, so needing a physical address is not necessary. You can leave that up to your transportation company.
You can be more specific about your plans on your wedding website. Here is an example of a wedding website (It’s actually mine!). http://mattandmac.com/
Step 3. RSVP Deadline
Set RSVP dates 2 months from your wedding date.
Of course, you want your guests to respond, so an RSVP deadline is important. It doesn’t matter if you have your guests RSVP online to a wedding website you have created or with an RSVP card and pre-addressed envelope as part of your invitation set. You don’t want to be left hanging, so an accurate headcount is key.
That is why an RSVP deadline is an excellent way to keep wedding preparations moving ahead for vendors, gathering supplies, etc.
Wedding tradition says that a one-month deadline gives a proper window into the time your guests receive the invitation and consider their decision.
For a destination wedding, you can stretch that out a bit further, and ask your guests to RSVP four to six weeks before your wedding.
At Cactus Collective, we generally request that you have your final guest count about 2 months prior to your date. Obviously if your wedding date is less than 2 months out when you book, that’s not going to matter.
Step 4. Wedding Registry
Place registry link on your wedding invitation.
When it comes to your wedding registry, you don’t want that item to blemish the focus on your guests. Good manners show that registry information should never be included with your save-the-date card.
Instead, wedding experts recommend the modern, subtle approach of including a link to your website and placing that on a wedding invitation insert. The website will have an area where guests can shop at your registry.