More often than not, many couples will leave this task in the “we will get to it when we have time” bin.
That, however, is a mistake.
Planning the stationary for a destination wedding is very different from a traditional wedding. Because of the travel involved, you have to start sending out information at least eight to twelve months ahead of the actual wedding.
But before you start, finalize these things
While you can certainly design, and play around with different kinds of stationary, you can’t order anything till you finalize the following:
- Date of the destination wedding
- Location of the destination wedding
- Name of hotel or resort where rooms are being blocked
- Theme and colors of your wedding
Once you have finalized the four things above, you can comfortably order all your wedding stationary at the same time.
Stationary you will need for a destination wedding
The list below includes every piece of stationary you may need for a destination wedding. You can pick and choose what you will need depending on your budget, and wedding theme/style.
Just make sure that you order everything together from one vendor. Doing so is cheaper than ordering everything individually as you need it.
- Save the date cards – Should include the when and where of the wedding
- Wedding invitation
- RSVP card
- Travel information card – Should include directions, hotel room block information, group rates, airfare information etc.
- Welcome letter – This is the letter you will place in your welcome gift bags usually given to guests when they check into their hotel rooms.
- Destination wedding agenda – Information about the activities, ceremony, reception etc. Times, dates, and directions too.
- Menu cards for the reception tables
- Place Cards for reception
- Thank you cards
Destination wedding stationary should have colorful and playful themes that reflect the personalities of the couple and the destination where they are getting married.
Since a destination wedding is not traditional, your stationary does not have to follow all the rules of etiquette. You don’t have to use words like “In the year two thousand and twelve”, etc. Use a more informal tone, almost as if you were speaking to the guest yourself. Trust us, your recipients will thank you for it.
Now that you have a list of what kind of stationary is needed, let’s talk about something even more crucial, the timeline.
What is a good timeline to follow when sending out your stationary?
Sending your stationary too late will ensure that very few people show up to your destination wedding (and if that’s your intent, then go for it). If, however, you want your invitations to lead to attendance, then make sure to follow the timeline below.
|1 year ahead||Create guest list, set date, and location|
|10-11 months ahead||Get group rates, and block hotel rooms for wedding guests|
|8 to 10 months ahead||Send save the date cards|
|4-8 months ahead||Finalize guest list, mail invitations|
|4-8 months ahead||Send destination wedding information packet|
|2weeks ahead||Draw reception seating chart|
|1 day ahead||Drop-off welcome gift bags (with welcome letter), menu cards, and place cards|
|2-4 weeks after wedding||Thank you letter/card|
The timeline was created with the assumption that you have at least a year before your actual wedding.
If you have less than six months, then skip the save the dates, and mail the invites instead. In addition, make a lot of personal phone calls instead of waiting for the RSVP to see who is coming.
Tips regarding destination wedding stationary
Order 10-15% more stationary than you think you will need, because you will need it.
Always proof read and double check the spelling in your stationary.
Never email save the date cards or invitations. You can use email as an additional tool, but never stand alone. Guests expect actual invitations and you should start working on getting addresses as soon as you have a guest list.
Don’t clutter any of your invitations with too much design or wording. Put the most essential information on the piece itself and add the wedding website URL so they can look up more information.
Use themed stationary that matches your colors and your destination. Take a look at some of these sample save the date cards for a destination wedding.
Properly done, the right stationary will entice guests into attending your destination wedding. Are there any additional pieces of stationary that you are including in your destination wedding? Let us know.
What should you read next?
Research some popular destination wedding locations.