So you've found the perfect wedding location...in a different country! I think destination weddings are awesome - they are fun, exotic and a good excuse for your guests to plan a getaway! Planning a destination wedding is definitely more work than a local wedding but well worth the effort! Being organised is the key to a successful wedding.
Where do I start?
I have worked with different couples who were at various stages of planning their destination wedding. Some couples already had the venue, dates and general order of events locked in and others had just started the organising. No matter what stage you are at in your planning, it is crucial that you send out a save the date notice to your guests as soon as possible.
From my past experience working on destination weddings, this is my recommended strategy to approach the task.
1) DATE AND COUNTRY. Decide on the dates and the country. You may not have locked in a specific venue yet but having a date range and a general location should be priority.
2) NOTICE. Send out a save the date/notice at least 12 months ahead.
3) RSVP. Some venues require a rough head count prior to booking, so it's advisable to get a RSVP from your guests to see who can attend within 1-2 months of sending the save the date. This will also facilitate with organising the accommodation if necessary.
4) INVITATIONS. Send out formal invitations and information once you have all the details confirmed. You shouldn't need to get RSVPs from your invitees as they would've already confirmed attendance during the save the date stage. If you had any guests who were undecided, be sure to follow up with them as soon as you can.
What should I write in the save the date?
Depending on how much notice you require from your guests to continue planning your wedding, word your save the date in a way that creates urgency to respond but not in an aggressive manner. It is a huge commitment you are asking of your guests to RSVP so early in the process, however it is absolutely necessary. Explain your wedding plans so that your guests understand the process and know what to expect.
If you require assistance with the wording of the save the date, just get in touch with me :)
What other stationery will I need?
Once your invitations have been sent you may need other items such as 'order of events' cards (if you are planning activities around the wedding or having a multiple-day wedding fiesta!) Check with your venue or wedding planner about what on-the-day stationery they supply or what you need to supply.