destination wedding invitations

Destination Wedding Invitations: Timing and Wording

In Planning, Planning & Tips by Ande Tongco

You and your fiancé have finally worked out most of the details of your destination wedding, and now it’s time to invite your family and friends to be with you on the big day. It probably feels a little overwhelming, but in all honesty, there are only a few extra details that need to be considered for destination wedding invitations versus hometown wedding invitations. The biggest of those details are the extended timing and the extra information that everyone will need to know about the locale.

Figured out the invites? Why not check out some invitation inspiration for destination weddings.

destination timing invitations


Traditionally, invitations are sent out six to eight weeks before for a local wedding. For a destination wedding, the travel required is going to be an important consideration for the guests. You need to give your guests enough time to plan time off work, to book the best deals and  maybe to save money for the trip, too.

You have two good options. You can send out a save-the-date card as early as 12 months beforehand, and then you can send the invitations three to six months before the date. Alternatively, you can send out invitations themselves at the twelve month mark and RSVP reminders at three to six months out. Make sure to give yourselves enough time to lock in group discounts with your vendors and venue and to finalise the catering order. You don’t want to exclude any important guests by giving notice too late, nor do you want to complicate things for yourselves by being in a rush.

destination wedding invitations


Destination weddings are fun and generally less formal, so feel free to incorporate that into your invitations as long as you cover all the necessary details, too. You can use the traditional wording if you want to, but your goal is to convey the romance, excitement and adventure of your destination wedding, so make your invitations so compelling that your guests feel like they absolutely must be there. Just make sure that the important details are very clearly stated somewhere visible.

The details

The obvious details — date, time, specific locations and attire — need to be included on the main invitation itself, but there is much more that you should include to help your guests out even further.

To avoid overwhelming your guests, other important destination information should be kept to card or envelope inserts, or your guests should be directed to your wedding website, if you have one. The expanded information should include maps, specific directions, accommodation and travel information, local attractions, any pre-wedding events and so on.

Set clear expectations

Make sure your expectations of your guests are clear without being rude. Often, a couple requiring their guests to travel will not expect gifts and if that’s so, include a card insert saying something like, ‘May your presence and good wishes be the only gift we receive’. If that’s not the case, make sure your guests have an address to send gifts to so they don’t go through the trouble and expense of bringing them to the destination.

Dress Code

Lastly, attire should only be mentioned if it’s ‘formal attire requested’. If you want your guests to dress appropriately for your venue, use word of mouth to let people know and perhaps include wording that gets the point across, like ‘casual beach-side reception to follow’. If children are an issue, don’t address it on the invitation itself, put a ‘number of adults attending’ line on your RSVP cards.

With these tips and a personal touch, you will be well on your way to creating your perfect destination wedding invitations!


Related Articles:

Tips for Planning Your Guest List

How to Start Planning your Destination Wedding: First Steps

Keep Your Guests Comfortable and Entertained