It used to mean a destination wedding meant only one thing: the happy couple was sneaking off to a remote island or Las Vegas to elope. Times have changed, and this is no longer the case. A destination wedding can mean anything from a romantic beach wedding to a California winery.
Spreading the Word
Yours is no ordinary wedding. Your guests won't be arriving locally to attend a church wedding and reception nearby. Instead, they'll have to make travel arrangements. Because of this, you can't let them know at the last minute. While proper etiquette dictates invitations aren't sent out too far in advance, you're going to have to allow enough time for your guests to plan. You can do this by sending a "save the date" as far in advance as possible. Six to 12 months before the wedding is perfect. Two months before the wedding, you can send out the proper destination wedding invitations.
What to Say on a Destination Wedding Invitation
Your guest should already know the details of your wedding, so a destination wedding invitation should come as no surprise. The wording for a destination wedding invitation should be no different than those from couples who are getting married locally. The only difference is the address - and you want to be sure to list the full address. This includes the city and the state or country.
If you've blocked out a number of hotel rooms or made special dinner reservations, you'll need to include this information with the invitation. If arrangements have been made for discount lodging or other special amenities, this too must be mentioned. Everything your guests should know should be printed on a separate piece of stationery and included in the same envelope as the wedding invitation.
Unless you're paying for all accommodations, you should include toll free numbers for all area hotels as well as restaurants and sightseeing information.
If the wedding will be informal or the bride will be wearing a beach wedding dress this information will have to be included as well. Your guests will want to dress appropriately. That includes not wearing a formal dress and satin pumps when they have the sand and surf to contend with.
You'll probably want to give your guests more time to respond than you would if your wedding was to be held locally. Once a destination wedding invitation is received, there are a lot of plans to make. For instance, your guests will need to be sure they can take the time off work, arrangements will need to made for children and pets, mail will have to be stopped, and more. Of course if your guests received a "save the date" card months earlier, this may not be the case. Still, you want to be considerate and allow your guests enough time to make a decision.