Invite wording/Destination Wedding. HELP

imhisblondeFebruary 22, 2007

We are flying to Jamaica to get married 03/01/08. The few couples that we have told are excited and are going, paying for there own way though.

I plan on sending out announments but there are people we want to invite that may come. How do I send out an informal invitation with resort information and wording that they may join us in Jamaica if they like?

I want to include all the options with them. Please help me on what to do! I just dont want to be rude but I also want to send out invites earlier then normal to give enough time for people to save money for a vacation.

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Your wedding isn't any different from anybody else's. In every wedding scenario, there are guests for whom it is a destination wedding (some more than others, of course, but everybody's got an aunt who lives 3 states away, or something). So you really don't need to do anything different from anybody else.

Send a formal invitation to anyone that you would want to invite. Give NO regard to whether they WILL come or not. Focus only on whether YOU WISH they would be there.

Perhaps you focus as well on the NUMBERS--if your venue in Jamaica will hold only 25 people then you don't want to send invites to 200. Since your wedding will be a distance for every guest, you may have a much higher rate of regrets.

The invitation wording itself will include the information on where as well as when, as ALL formal invitations do--venue (church, reception hall, private home, whatever), city, and state. That will tell people it's out of the country.

Whether they come or not is their decision--they are grownups, and they do not need anyone to make that decision for them. They should receive the courtesy of knowing that you would really want them there if it were possible.

You can include, as many brides do, a separate slip of paper with info about hotels or airlines from whom you've gotten specific rates (or with whom perhaps you have reserved a block of rooms at a slightly reduced rate). You could include a website address for a site on which you've put that info.

You could have your reply card include a box to check beside words that say, "please send me hotel information."

You can send "save the date" cards, or even better, a letter, to them as well, w/ info about the date and place, and perhaps a rough idea of costs for them, and maybe even specific hotel information. These are sent far earlier than the formal invitation.

In fact, perhaps right now is the time to start phoning or writing to your relatives, etc., to tell them of your engagement, and that your plans are now set, and that the wedding will be in Jamaica and you hope they'll find that they can attend. Then, at least they'll know to save up, even if specific hotel information isn't available or needed just yet. That can come later, as long as they get notice of when and where now.

Announcements are not sent until after the event, when there is some actual fact to announce. Often they're mailed the day after the wedding (pepared beforehand, of course).

    Bookmark   February 22, 2007 at 12:06PM
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Your advice was wonderful! I think it would be great to send out Save the Dates and then an extra letter with all the additional information! Then afterwards Ill send out the announcments just to remind those who didn't join us that the event happend.
Since its not a "formal" wedding persay I guess I dont have to be original with the way the invitations are sent out.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2007 at 1:46PM
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Talley Sue has it exactly right, as always.

Send invitations, not announcements, to those whom you want to invite. Don't send some "casual" invitations and some "formal" -- all the same, whether or not you think they will attend. Don't overdo it in an attempt to be helpful; it very quickly becomes pushy.

I understand that you want to give people plenty of time to plan (and save up). But unless you run with a very wealthy crowd, please understand that very few people will be able to accept your invitation, and don't feel hurt that most cannot. (If they don't, it won't be because you didn't send them enough brochures and stuff early.)

I think you can even pretty much figure on only your closest family and friends, and probably relatively few of them. That being the case, it should be easy just to let them know (if they don't already) that the wedding will be in Jamaica and what the date is. I would do this by phone call, a handwritten note, or e-mail, not a printed "pre-invitation" (you save a little money that way, too). You can either ask them if they'd like you to send the info about the resort, or just included it with a letter or as an e-mail attachment.

I'm happy for you that some of your friends or relatives (you just said "couples") say they are planning to attend. Expect some drop-off, though. My cousin had his wedding in Kenya (where his fiance's family lived, not just because it was cool), and they sent us all info that did make it seem like the trip of a lifetime. Although several of us said we'd try to come, and we meant it (at least before learning the cost!), in the none of us did. Yes, it would have been amazing. But if I am going to save up that kind of dough, I want it to be for MY trip of a lifetime, not someone else's.

Jamaica would be a lot less than Kenya, but it is still an expensive trip for just a weekend (except maybe for Floridians) so you may be contemplating everyone making it a whole week or something. But please understand that few people will be able to arrange their vacation schedules around your wedding plans, and even those who could might prefer to choose their own destinations and arrangements for what will be rather an expensive trip and possibly their only vacation of the year.

There is another string going on about destination weddings right now; you might want to check it out. Is there some reason that the ceremony itself, not just the honeymoon, has to be in Jamaica?

    Bookmark   February 22, 2007 at 2:17PM
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I guess our posts crossed.

You wrote that you plan to "send out the announcments just to remind those who didn't join us that the event happend" after the wedding. Please don't do that -- announcements are sent only to people who wouldn't otherwise know you got married (that's the point of the announcement), not to people who were invited but who couldn't come, just to "remind" them that the wedding did happen. People will see that as a prod for gifts.

That's something to avoid in any case, but especially, I should think, with a destination wedding, lest people think, "They didn't care enough about our presence to have the wedding where we could attend, but they still want our presents!"

I'm not sure why you feel that a "formal" wedding would require you "to be original with the way the invitations are sent out." But whatever you meant, it doesn't seem to be an issue for you.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2007 at 11:09PM
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After reading the second post, I was going to make the same comment as gellchom about not sending an announcement if you sent an invitation, but she covered it well.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 12:43AM
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First I wanted to say thank you to all who responded!

I guess I am just not traditional in the way weddings should be done now adays. My fiance and I have purchased our own house and stocked it with everything from sheets to towels to furniture and appliances. So we are not asking for any gifts period. We considered a nice wedding and small vacation but then both agreed WHY?! This is our day, do it how we want it. Why spend 15k to feed our friends and have a small vacation for ourselves. And when the family members said they were joining us where ever we went. That helped our choice.
Both sets of parents are attending and after explaining the packages to friends who can get away for 4 days (we are staying 8) that its as cheap as $918.00 and all inclusive. Most said they could afford to have a nice vacation and are just waiting on us to make our reservations.
I do understand people that cant go, new parents ect. That can not drop life just for us. We are planning a type of BBQ at our home when we get back and showing the video of the wedding there.
Ok I kind of rambled but thats really the point of having a destination wedding is just because. =)

    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 9:14AM
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Your plans sound nice. You have covered all of the bases without spending a huge sum, or expecting your guests to spend one. Congratulations.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2007 at 6:20PM
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Maybe your invitations could include both events? That way, those that cannot go to Jamica will not feel excluded from the wedding and be able respond that they will join you for the BBQ.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2007 at 12:24PM
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I wouldn't make one invite to double duty. If you have details enough to send the BBQ invite at the same time you send the wedding invite, that would be really nice. Otherwise, send them as soon after as you can, I'd strongly suggest before the wedding, to help heighten the "casual wedding reception" idea.

also, owning your own home, already being equipped for your married life, etc., has NOTHING to do w/ "not traditional in the way weddings should be done now adays." There's' no disconnect between those two.

Weddings have always been relatively formal events, in terms of the rite itself having a formality about it. The reception has always been whatever the bride or her family wanted or could afford, at the place they most wanted to have it.

And the way weddings "should be done nowadays" hasn't really changed at all, even though so-called "destination weddings" are much more common than ever before. The traditional rules are still being followed.

And in fact, you are following them, whether you think you are or not.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2007 at 6:02PM
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Well said, Talley Sue. All this talk of "how weddings are done nowadays" and what is "formal," "traditional," or "creative" sounds a bit to me like unease about decisions. This always seems to happen when people try to have things both ways. They want it the way they want it, and they want to be above criticism, too. That's certainly understandable, but it's not always realistic.

"We considered a nice wedding and small vacation but then both agreed WHY?! This is our day, do it how we want it. Why spend 15k to feed our friends and have a small vacation for ourselves."

Why, indeed? If you ask that question, you wouldn't understand the answer.

It's no crime to have a destination wedding, and there are lots of good reason to do it, in fact. But don't expect others not to feel disappointed or devalued, and please don't let your friends and family hear you asking why you should spend money on them when you could spend it all on yourselves.

I also would not have a showing a video of the wedding at the BBQ. Anyone who truly wants to see it will ask, or you could have it running on a loop in a side room, or something. I would prefer a photo album people could leaf through as much or as little as they liked. I don't want any of your guests to be thinking, "If they needed to have an audience looking at them in their wedding finery, then they should have had the wedding where we could attend in the first place -- they didn't care enough to plan so we could attend, but they still feel entitled to demand our attention at a rerun."

And whatever you do, don't send announcements to people who didn't attend to "remind them that the even happened." That surely will be seen as prompting them to give you a gift.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2007 at 2:18PM
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My nephew & niece just had a destination wedding, They sent us the invite in Sept/06 & got married 2/13/07.

They worded theirs like this: It's finally happening. G&D are getting married in PV Mex and would love to have you there at " Samba Vallarta" on such & such a date.

If Mexico isn't for you we are also having a BBQ in (hometown) on June 30th/07.

Reservations for Mexico can be made at "" or your favorite travel agent or website.

Please join us for one or both. RSVP by 10/15/06 & No gifts please your presence is all we desire.

BBQ location yet to be determined a map will be sent to those attending.

I agree on the announcements for the non attendees it's just prompting for a gift.


    Bookmark   March 28, 2007 at 6:16PM
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