Post # 1
Reading previous threads about this issue it seems most people were in agreement that save the dates for a Destination Wedding could be sent out about a year before, and invitations about 4-6 months before. My confusion comes from talking with the wedding planner who thought it was fine to have the “standard” 6-8 weeks prior for invitations with RSVP being 3 weeks before.
We are getting married in the Florida panhandle and it is not during the high tourist season (October) so I don’t think accomodations or flights will book up far in advance. Obviously everyone who receives a save the date will receive an invitation, so do you think people who are planning to come would make travel arrangements prior to the formal invite or after? All the information regarding travel and recommended accomodations will be on the website which will be included on the save the dates.
Thanks for any insight!
Post # 3
I think as long as your Save-The-Date Cards are sent out well in advance, the regular invitations can be sent out at regular time. You’re not getting married in another country (I’m assuming) and the point of the save the date is to alert them that they need to book airfare and a hotel. You’re giving them a year’s notice (or more) to do so. If they haven’t done it by the time you send out your invitations that’s their problem.
Post # 4
I would send out invites 8-12 weeks instead of 6-8 weeks, but that’s just me!
Post # 5
@pixiecat: many people wait until the invitation actually arrives before making travel arrangements unless told otherwise.
IE, Fiance and I were invited to a wedding. We received STD but didn’t receive the invitation until 6-7 weeks before the wedding. I was wondering when it would arrive.
About the 9-10 week out mark, Fiance received an email from the groom saying we needed to book our rooms by X date to guarentee the room block rate and availability.
So if a Destination Wedding, definately send out 3-4 months in advance.
Post # 6
My recomendation is to send out the STD with the website as soon as you have the details confirmed, giving people max time to plan and make arrangements. At that point, the formal invite is a formality, so send it out in alignment with when you need official RSVP’s returned. I would suggest 2-3 months in advance.
For my Destination Wedding, people did NOT wait for the formal invite to make their arrangements. The invite was honestly just a formality, it didn’t really give people any additional information as we had a comprehensive website that gave them all the info they needed.
Post # 7
Ours is a domestic dw and we’re sending our invites at 6 months and save the dates about 1 year out. Most of our guests have asked to get invites at least 4-6 months before the wedding. It sounds strange, but having info on website only goes so far- nearly every guest has been confirming the info with me or asking me and not looking on website before booking anything Even tho we sent emails with most info that linked directly to our site. so we’ll probably send hotel and travel info with save the dates too, just to give more ppl the printed info they seem to want faster.
It sounds like your planner might not have done a dw before. If you haven’t signed with her, I’d double-check that she can actually provide what you’ll need.
Post # 8
We sent out STD’s about 11 months out (as soon as we had booked the venue) and invitations about 10 weeks out. None of our guests waited for the official invite to make a travel arrangements
Post # 9
Save the dates are typically about 9-10 months prior to the wedding. My clients do their e-sessions and reqest their photos by then to do their STD’s. Invites about 3 months prior to the wedding.
Post # 10
Not many people are in the know, but an STD ensures that you’re getting an invitation and that you should book your flights/hotels as soon as you feel comfortable. That menas you don’t wait for your actual invitation to arrive.
Since not everyone understands this, I would make a wedding website that includes travel info like flights, airports, car rentals, hotels to rent, things to do in the area. Also mention that they should book hotels no later than X to ensure a room. You may also mention when the invitations are going out with all the fine details (time, place, reception).
with that said, that’s why it’s OK to send invitations out the standard 6-8 weeks like the wedding planner said. The Save-The-Date Cards are supposed to initiate travel planning.
Post # 11
For a DW–more notice is better. I’ve been to three DWs, and you DO really need to send the Save-The-Date Cards out a year early so that people can make plans. For the invitations, I’d err on the earlier side for anyone you REALLY want to be there.
As a guest, I’d MUCH prefer 4-6 months notice on the invitation itself.
Post # 12
@CelticBeachBride: +1 and most of our guests have said they’d want the invites then too (A few have said 6-9 mos before wedding even). I’m not sure why so many on the bee really want to push destination wedding invitation timing to be the same as local invite timing when that doesn’t seem to be guests’ preference at all.
I have had quite a few ppl tell me that getting a dw invite at only 2 months out or less is not enough time even with an earlier save the date.
Post # 13
@Shkragoldfish: I’ve heard the same thing–and I’d totally agree. People have to save up for big trips, ask for time off, and then make the travel plans–all of which are easiler (and less expensive) the more notice you have.
From what I’ve seen, more notice equals a better turn out. That’s even true of the out-of-town guest ratio for in-town weddings too! If it’s important that certain people be there–I’d send the invitations earlier.
Post # 14
I know my Mother-In-Law was starting to get antsy at the 3 month mark for my FI’s cousin’s wedding, so I’d get them out sooner rather than later. I think I’ll send mine at the 4-6 month point.
Post # 15
we have a limited number of rooms in blocks at 3 differently priced hotels. It’s important to us that our close family & close friends who need/want rooms in certain price ranges/quality have a good chance of getting them.
Something I’ve noticed so far- while 10-15 of our 35 yrs old & younger friends/couples made hotel reservations after getting a courtesy early-bird email with hotel info & link to website, not a single person over 35 made reservations based on that email or the website or asking/getting the same info from us over the phone even though they really want to make the reservations early.
Ppl 40 & up tend to wait to see it on paper. So, even though I already had basic hotel info & website on our save the dates and there is very detailed info on our website, I added 2 enclosures to our save the date mailing (just sent out today- YAY!) – one for hotels (with phone #s, distance from venue, and pricing) & one for travel (listing nearest airports, drive time from closest major cities, and suggestions on rentals/shuttles, etc.).
I’m going to check with our hotels now to see how many rooms have been reserved, just so I have a comparison to see how many more are reserved quickly after ppl receive the hard copy of the detailed hotel info.
(don’t worry, I am not worried about hotels needing to be reserved asap or anything- we have a year. and I won’t be contacting ppl to remind them to book hotels- at most, I’ll keep tabs on when each of the hotels or each price range is almost unavailable, just so I can remind ppl who said they wanted that option before it’s gone.)
Post # 16
@pixiecat: We’re not having a Destination Wedding but we are getting married in peak season, during the school holidays. We know a couple of people who vacation at that time of year, and who book up to a year in advance, so we have just sent our save the dates. Our invites will go out 6 months in advance as a) we’re offering food and drink choices, and want to allow plenty of time to get the numbers to our venue b) we want to allow time for chasing people and c) we have a B list and will bump people on that up to the day if we get any declines.
Personally I think that sending the proper invites out 6-8 weeks in advance is cutting it very find regardless, but even more so with a Destination Wedding, as guests will probably want to know where they are/what the details are ebfore then. As a guest, I would like to receive my save the date at least 1 year in advance as we have to book our holidays at work very far in advance, plus OH and I book our annual holiday a year in advance; if I didn’t receive it a year out, it is likely I would be unable to attend as I’d either a) not have booked those days off and b) would have booked our annual vacation meaning we wouldn’t have the vacation time, or the money, to attend. I would then probably like to receive the official invite around 6 months in advance. But, that’s just me.