Help..I'm about to send out the save the date letters

jadiesmomSeptember 6, 2007

I know..this has probably been asked before but I am going to ask anyway...

Before I jump in head first I need some help...

I have the Save the Date letters ready. The top of the letter says save the date with our names, date and location. (this is a destination wedding in Puerto Vallarta)

The body of the letter explains our decision to have a "familymoon" and gives some hotel information, estimated costs, travel agent and passport information. The end of the letter says thank you, we hope you can make it, etc. I am also going to include some information on the hotel.

My question is...Do we need to send this much information to EVERY SINGLE person? We will have a reception here when we come back to include those that can't make it.

The thing is, I feel kind of weird sending all that information to all of these people who I know can't come to the wedding. I know we have co-workers we would invite to the wedding and reception if it were here, but I know they wouldn't come to Puerto Vallarta with us.

Should I just send this initial information to our closest friends and family now and just send the regular invites to everyone 6 weeks prior?

I am totally overwhelmed with this decision. It seems like a lot of information to send when it may not be necessary.

Thanks for your help.

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It seems to me that you need to decide who you really want to share the wedding day with you and who are most likely to make the trip to Puerta Vallarta. That may mean just close family and friends. The others on your list can be invited to the reception that you will have when you return.

I wouldn't send wedding invitations to everyone on your list, but only to the ones to whom you send the save the date information. Everyone else can be invited to the reception only. At the reception you can share photos, video, or other mementos from the actual wedding. To invite work associates and casual acquaintances to Mexico could seem a bit awkward for them and some may feel that you are assuming that they are closer friends than they are, that they have plenty of money and time for travel, or other things.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2007 at 2:01PM
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Well, if you are inviting people to the reception, it seems to me you should invite them to the wedding, even though most will not attend. You can certainly just have a website on the save the dates with more hotel and wedding information on that site.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2007 at 5:08PM
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I think that what is creating your problem is that you are sending out way too much information with a "save the date." You seem to be suspecting that yourself.

I would for sure omit your "explanation" for your decision to have a destination wedding and "familymoon" (cute word). Everyone has reasons for doing things; you don't need to make sure everyone gets them in writing. Perhaps you were thinking that you would prevent any hurt feelings for those who won't be able to attend by giving them irrefutable logic? I don't think it will work; people will or won't be disappointed, even if they understand your reasoning. Let them deal with it. Attempts to control this kind of thing with explanations always seem to backfire; in reality, the less said, the better.

I don't really like save the date cards much anyway. I think that it is important to let people who will have to arrange travel (and in your case, that's everyone) what the date will be well in advance, but really only those close enough to you (emotionally, not geographically) that you can reasonably expect that they will come. That should be a short enough list that you could do it informally, by e-mail, a few phone calls, and/or a few letters.

But if you do want to send save the date letters or cards, I would not include a whole bunch of travel information. It will make your announcement of your forthcoming wedding seem like a sales pitch (I know you're not the ones profiting, but it's still a bunch of commercial info.) I would just put the date and the location and then a line saying something like "we will all be staying at the XYZ Hotel, 123 Main Street, Puerto Vallerta." Then give the hotel's phone number and/or website. Do not include estimated costs, travel agent and passport information, or any brochures. They can make their own travel arrangements, and if they want to know something, like what dates you will be there, or a referral to a travel agent, they will ask you.

The fact that this is in Mexico may be making you think you need to include all that stuff. But if your wedding was in Denver and you were inviting someone in Boston, would you think you needed to send her the name of a travel agent and estimated costs? Same thing here; they can figure it out or ask you if they can't.

What I am trying to avoid here is anyone thinking that you have a deal with this particular travel agent and have some kind of financial interest in their plans, or that they shouldn't use their own travel agent if they have one they like.

Obviously, if someone has asked you for this stuff, or you know your sister or someone wants it, go ahead and give it to them.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2007 at 5:50PM
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I don't love save-the-dates in general. They always feel like mass marketing, which is not appropriate for a family event.

But they're a part of the wedding landscape now.

You only send save-the-dates to people you will invite to the wedding.

If you were marrying in Boston and had friends in Montana that you were pretty sure wouldn't come, or weren't that close of friends (i.e., you'd invite them if they lived across town, but you think you're not close enough to invite them to buy plane tickets), then don't send it.

Basically, w/ a destination wedding, you need a very conservative guest list. Close family gets invited no matter where they lives; distant family may or may not get invited; casual friends do not get invited unless they live pretty close.

And I would not invite everyone to the ceremony just because you're going to invite them to a reception later. The reception later carries no gift obligation; the events in Mexico do.

I'm torn. I understand and partly agree w/ all of gellchom's points. But I also don't agree with her at all. (how's THAT for torn!)

I think a short statement that you're having a "familymoon" is nice--an acknowledgement that you realize it's unusual, and expressing your desire that this become a sort of family reunion. But I wouldn't make a big long argument of it.

I think some of the general travel info (estimated costs, esp.) is OK since you're marrying out of the country. If I live in Boston, I'd have an idea of how hard it is, and how expensive, to fly to Denver. But out of the country flummoxes me.

I think your wording (and I like that you're going this in a LETTER instead of a an advertising flyer) can say something like, "if you'd like to speak with the travel agent who is handling our plans for her, he/she is......" That leaves it optional. I might use my own, do it myself, or call your person figuring that his/her familiarity w/ your plans might be useful.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2007 at 3:30PM
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I am sitting here giggling. I usually dont agree with Tally Sue, but I am glad we agree on this one.

I posted a similar post on this forum a couple of months ago. At the time, my dad wasn't going and my sister and I were arguing. Since then, my dad has had a change of heart and my sister and I patched the rift in our relationship and now they are both coming (YAY!) (They are my only immediate family)

We are including a lot of the information for my dads family (he has 2 brothers and 4 sisters and all of them have two or more adult kids who are my age who we would like to invite as well) and my fiance's family. This group of family hasn't done much traveling outside the states and the consensus among them all is that while they would prefer for us to have something here, the trip to Mexico is a refreshing change for them all. It's sort of a reason for them to have a vacation. They just needed a reason to go somewhere, so the wedding is their reason.

I think I have it all figured out now. The bulk of the info is going to go to our family and closest friends. The others can wait until next year. The burden has been lifted!

Thanks for your help!

    Bookmark   September 8, 2007 at 12:19PM
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I hate destination weddings! I think they say....we're getting married but really don't want a lot of people we understand if you can't come and will have a reception later so you can give us your gift there.
Get married in the town where you will have the "reception" and have a reception. Then invite those you want to have and those who have a chance of attending on a "familymoon". If you really want friends and family to see you get married and to be part of the festivities, make it possible for them to attend....and if you must, have a re-enactment on the beach.
Linda C

    Bookmark   September 8, 2007 at 3:09PM
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A problem with trying to send info about travel expenses is that it is different for everyone, depending on departure city, dates of travel, length of stay at hotel, etc. I would just say that they can contact you if they would like travel information.

You might remind them that passports are now required for US citizens traveling to Mexico and to allow plenty of time for passport processing if necessary, because the passport offices are way backlogged right now.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2007 at 11:01PM
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Linda C - Geez ... no need to mince words here!

Anyhow - we did send the letters out. Eveyone (except Linda C)is excited for us. We live in a state where there is no beach, so re-enacting a beach seen would be VERY CHEESY!

Everyone has applauded our choice to send the information out so early and were very happy that they had such an advance notice. As far as us having our wedding at a location that is out of the country, forgive me for being selfish, but isn't this our day? My fiance and I give SO much throughout the year and acommodate our friends, family, employers and our kids' schools, that one day out of our lives to have a celebration that is just about us isn't too much to ask for. Based on our friends and families response to the wedding, it isn't too much to ask for and it doesn't bother them at all and they are totally supportive!

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 11:03AM
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Kudos to you for doing what is most important to you and what best fits your personalities and budget. I personally like destination weddings if that is what the couple wants to do. As a wedding planner, I have the brides who are shy or for some other reason are just overwhelmed with the idea of planning a local wedding and who prefer to go somewhere special where everything is taken care of for them and where they can combine the honeymoon and wedding.

Once they are married and the stress and pressure are off, we have a casual reception to celebrate with a larger group of family and friends. In most cases families are supportive of the couple's decision and those that attended the wedding usually talk about the great time they had with a small group of family in a special place they might not have visited otherwise.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 12:27PM
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jadiesmom, don't be mad at lindac. She isn't trying to make you feel bad.

I have to say that destination weddings, followed by a reception at home, do confuse me a bit. I understand sweet pea's points, and she is a pro. But to me it still seems sort of like trying to do the same wedding two different ways. Or perhaps having the ceremony with the honeymoon instead of the reception. If a couple wants to have a private wedding, whether in some exotic locale or at city hall, I can understand that, although I can also understand family being hurt (especially for a first marriage; after that, I think most families would understand a couple's not wanting to have another big wedding). But when a destination wedding is followed by a local reception, that is what confuses me. I don't understand why they don't then simply have the wedding when and where they have the reception, and then go on a honeymoon to the "destination." If there is going to be a big reception anyway, then having the ceremony in the vacation destination instead just seems to me to be saying, "we care more about an exotic setting for our vows than we do about your presence." That may not be the couple's intention, but I think you can understand how some people might get that message.

I certainly agree that it is the bride and groom's choice to do what they want (and I am sure lindac would agree -- she never said no one has a RIGHT to a destination wedding or anything like that). At the same time, I think brides and grooms need to understand that their friends and family have the right to their feelings, too. You call it "Our day" -- well, it is, and you can either share it or not. That's your choice -- but that doesn't mean you can control how everyone is going to feel about it.

It is also not true that brides and grooms always know what "everyone" is excited about and fine with. People may be disappointed but mature and gracious. Look through some of these strings on destination weddings, cash bars, buffet lines, pot-luck receptions, "open" seating, registry cards in invitations, etc. You will find both posters who say, "We did that and everyone was fine with it," "no one complained," and even "everyone loved it." On the same string, you will see posters -- many, not just a few -- who dislike or are even offended by those same things. That doesn't mean that they would dream of criticizing someone who did them. I, for example, think that cash bars at private parties are really unacceptable. The few times I have seen them, I certainly didn't say a word of criticism to anyone about it, and I wouldn't have even if asked. A polite guest doesn't criticize hosts' hospitality, and a friend is supportive about friends' plans.

It sounds like your family and friends are not upset about your plans, even if they might actually feel like lindac -- well, good! Then you don't have a problem. Congratulations, and have fun!

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 6:27PM
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gellchom makes an excellent point. Just because nobody says anything negative, that does not mean that they are okay with it.

I received an invitation with three registry cards in it, including one offering me the opportunity to help pay their wedding photographer(!). It was too tacky for words, IMHO, but I said nothing, of course.

I received an invitation to a destination wedding where the resort hotel was $300 per night with a three night minimum. Presumptuous much? Yeah, I want to pay for a plane ticket, $900 + tax for a hotel, my meals, and buy you a gift. Sure thing. But I didn't say anything, just politely declined.

Silence does not mean that people are okay with being told what to buy, being told to give cash, being asked to spend four figures to attend a wedding etc.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2007 at 1:21PM
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By the way, I think everyone has a right to have a destination wedding if they want. They just shouldn't be disappointed if their relatives and friends aren't willing to spend the money.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2007 at 1:24PM
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