Post # 1
Hello bees, I’d love to hear your thoughts! We are having Destination Wedding in Mexico in March 2015. Our Travel Agent will coordinate all travel bookings, questions, etc for our guests. I have built a wedding website with the TA’s contact info and travel details. I understand the traditional purpose and timing of Save-The-Date Cards, formal invites, and RSVPs. Here are my thoughts/questions:
1. A Destination Wedding STD is useless if there is no info about travel details. People will not “mark their calendars” w/o knowing the cost of the trip. So that means it should include the wedding website (will print details for non-computer savvy guests) so people can begin to understand the cost, wedding ceremony/reception details, etc.
2. If the STD is already delivering the info listed above, what exactly is the purpose of sending a formal invite? If they’ve visited the website, they know all details including travel info, ceremony/reception info, etc. Seems that it may make more sense to scrap the STD, send a formal invite early….
3. RSVPs — isn’t a true RSVP for a Destination Wedding when you’ve booked your room/flights via the TA? Why would I ask the guests to book through the TA and then also send me a RSVP? What am I missing here? 🙂
4. If I forego Save-The-Date Cards and send invites early, I would send a newsletter/update/care package via mail 2-3 months prior to all who have RSVP’d (can get a list through my TA). Thoughts?
Thank you in advance for any feedback!!
Post # 2
- Wedding: May 2014 - Smithfield Center
1. People don’t need to know the exact cost of the trip, they just need to know where it is so they can estimate for themselves.
2. The purpose is because they’re two different things. A save the date is simply letting people know when and where the wedding is – nothing else.
3. No, it’s not. Who says everyone has to book their room and flights via your specific TA? You can’t require people to do that. There should still be a formal RSVP because I guarantee you there will be people who will try and find the best deal to get to your Destination Wedding and it might not be through your TA.
This is all IMO, of course.
Post # 3
cwedding14: +1 – I agree with everything she said.
OP, a STD is helpful for a Destination Wedding so people can budget and plan. Sending RSVPs early is only going to cause trouble for you. Perhaps you could create a wedding website and put that on the STD – “For updates, including travel arrangements and suggested sites to see, please visit…”
Post # 4
jesbar5858: I agree that including your website with the STD would be helpful. I still think that invitations are required, however. The STD is merely a heads-up that your wedding is happening and that an invitation will be forthcoming.
It is highly likely that not everyone will make their travel arrangements through your TA. People will research other ways of getting there depending on their lifestyle nd budget. Some may have reward points or mileage that they will use to attend the wedding. Some may also not want to stay in your hotel for reasons of their own.
Post # 5
I actually like a lot of your ideas – we also had a Destination Wedding wedding in Cozumel and chose to forgo the STD and sent just the invitation (and RSVP). We planned the wedding in 7 months though so the timeline was a little different. I think a Destination Wedding makes it even easier to be flexible with typical etiquette rules and bend them to what works best for you. <br /><br />I like sending the invites early, and I think the follow up newsletter is a great idea! I agree with some of the pp for keeping the RSVP – people may have frequent flyer miles, contacts, their own TA, etc. that they would prefer to use. Our wedding was in Cozumel, but the plan was for everyone to cruise together there. About 1/2 of DH’s family decided to fly directly to Cozumel and meet us there instead – totally fine, but everything I set up through the cruise line didn’t apply to them!
Also for the RSVP – people may know that they are going to come and can let you know for planning purposes, but may not be ready to book yet. I know it’s not a guarantee, but getting a formal RSVP would help give you a better idea of numbers sooner.
Also – perhaps send the newsletter/update/care package 1-2 months prior rather than 2-3 months? It might be the most accurate at that point.
Post # 6
We’re doing a domestic destination wedding.
- About 11 months out, we emailed and snail-mailed out save the dates that included venue, hotel costs, travel recommendations, website, and also let ppl rsvp.
- 3-5 months before the wedding, we sent out formal invitations by snail-mail and email (most ppl waited on that to book things and rsvp) that included all that info again. This also included the exact time of the wedding.
- About 2-3 months before, we’re emailing out wedding info packets to all yes rsvps (this includes the same info plus more specific info that’ll also be in welcome packets- like the weekend itinerary, what meals ppl need to plan in advance, restaurant suggestions, what to do while visiting the area).
Our guests have loved this approach. It also gives the much-needed excuse to keep getting in touch with them with more detailed info as they want it and w/reminders at appropriate times. It probably isn’t necessary or smart to decide the exact time of the ceremony or exactly what events will and won’t happen during the wedding weekend at a full year in advance. For us, the save the date, then formal invitation, then wedding info packet gave us time to roll out more specific information as we had it, without locking us in to hosting a welcome party at a set time a year in advance when we weren’t sure how budgeting would go, etc.
1. & 2. I found that sending all the information in print was very very helpful. The info was always up on our website, but ppl just kept asking us. Once we gave ppl all the details in printed form, ppl actually started reading it, making reservations and plans, and rsvping.
3. RSVPs — isn’t a true RSVP for a Destination Wedding when you’ve booked your room/flights via the TA? Why would I ask the guests to book through the TA and then also send me a RSVP? What am I missing here? You’ll want your own rsvps usually because ppl will rsvp yes or no well in advance of booking flights often, which can help you with your budgeting and planning. Also, most travel agents aren’t asking ppl what meals they want, etc., if that’s something you need to know.
4. If I forego Save-The-Date Cards and send invites early, I would send a newsletter/update/care package via mail 2-3 months prior to all who have RSVP’d (can get a list through my TA). Thoughts? Based on our experience, I suggest sending (even just by email) some type of info packet 2-3 months prior to the wedding even if you do send both save the dates and invites.
Post # 7
Thank you, this was all very helpful information!
Post # 8
We sent out invitations way in advance like over a year for our cruise wedding. I decided against the std because they really aren’t helpful for our type of wedding.
We included ports of call, name of our ship, our travel agent contact info and group id number. (We used a travel agent so that we didn’t have to keep explaining the difference between interior, outside, balcony, and suites & their price points. )
We also ordered and included magnets from oriental trading with the same info. With so much time between invited and the wedding we figured if someone misplaced their invite at least the fridge magnet would have most of the info they needed to book.
When we get back I’m thinking about a collage card from zazzle with a few of our best photo shots. Formally announcing our marriage took place and our new address.