Destination Wedding

rene4205October 5, 2007

Hi My name is Rene and I just found this forum trying to find examples on save the date letters.

I too am having a destination wedding on a Caribbean Cruise. I am from Idaho and my Fiance is from New Jersey. I have a small poor family and Dan has a large fairly well to do family. We are living in Washington St. We have been engaged since last November and for the life of us couldn't come up with any idea for where to have the wedding. We couldn't have it here because my Fiancee's parents wont fly. Along with a lot of his other family. So we started to plan it in New Jersey. and then found out that there was over 200 hundred guests from my Fiancee's fam on the list to be invited. 4 people in my family would have been able to attend. Then we came up with the Cruise wedding. This way we are having it in nuetral territory. In the middle of the sea. Problem now is I have to invite a lot of people. Which does not bother me at all, the more the merrier. But how do I get all this info out? The wedding isn't until over a year away. I have already booked the wedding and my cruise along with my parents and my Fiancee's parents. Should I send out a save the date letter containing all the info, prices, location, dates, etc. ? And then about 6 months down the road send out a Formal Invitation to everyone. I know a lot of people will not be able to attend of course but I still think it would be nice if everyone was invited. People who I never thought in a million years are saying they want to go!!! We are also having an informal reception in Idaho and in NJ in the following months of the Cruise. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Rene

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Hello from Idaho!! Since you are having receptions in both of your home towns after the wedding, have you considered limiting the guests invited on the cruise to only close family and friends? That way, you have a greater possibility of people attending without the situation being hard to manage.

Whatever you do, it is a good idea to send out save the date letters 9 to 12 months before the wedding. You don't need to send them out earlier or guests will set them aside and forget about them. The letter should include the information necessary for guests to make a reservation, or at least an inquiry, about the trip.

You don't need to send out the actual invitations until 6 to 8 weeks before the wedding and then to only the guests who have received the save the date info.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2007 at 10:06PM
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Are all the New Jersey people who refuse to fly going to drive all the way to Florida for the cruise? Then why not drive or take the train to Idaho?

    Bookmark   October 6, 2007 at 3:25PM
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Yes all the New Jersey people are going to drive to FL. I know it is kind of weird. We are already booked on this cruise so it is too late to start changing our minds. I am going to send out the save the date letters about 11 months before the wedding. I don't think I am going to include price in the letter. Just and explanation of why we are getting married on the cruise and if you are interested to contact my travel agent or me for more info. How does that sound.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2007 at 2:19PM
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There was a similar question recently.

I wouldn't put any explanations. You don't owe any, and it's not like there's really any big mystery. If you give explanations, you invite dispute or criticism. I wouldn't write "if you are interested to contact my travel agent or me for more info" -- it sounds kind of commercial to me. Some posters on that other string felt that it was okay and helpful to give the travel agent's contact info, or perhaps the web site of the cruise line/resort -- I don't remember. I think people can make their own travel arrangements the same as if the wedding were simply in another city, but some posters think that international travel is daunting for some people.

If you will have a special, group rate for your party, that is different, and I would indicate that for sure.

Don't send save the dates to anyone who will not get an invitation.

I, too, would consider inviting just a small group to the cruise.

Have fun!

    Bookmark   October 8, 2007 at 5:33PM
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First of all ~ Congratulations on your up coming wedding! This is the only time (usually) in your life when this event is truly about you and your fiance - PLEASE, enjoy your ride!! It's only the first time once!!

I too am having a destination wedding so I can totally understand your concerns with trying to acommodate everyone. I must warn you, when asking for opinions on this forum, you may not always like what you hear! I joined another forum - - because they were more understanding and a lot more positive than many on this forum because everyone there IS having a destination wedding and can appreciate it!

With that being said, we too had to invite a lot of people. Actually, what is now happening is that people I didn't think to invite are coming out of the woodwork and want to attend and that is awesome!

What I did was a form letter on parchment paper and envelopes. I did a little "Save the date for the wedding of..." on the top third of the letter. On the rest of the letter I put "it is with much excitement and anticipation that we extend this invitation to you and your family. On (date) we will be exchanging vows at/on (the love boat - wherever). I did a short blurb of where and when it would be, a short blurb about which travel agency was handling reservations and gave a contact name and number there, a little short blurb about the hotel and 7 & 4 day all inclusive prices, two sentences about passports, one sentence about our wedding website and a closing sentence that said something like we hope you can make it, let us be the excuse you finally take a much needed vacation, etc. ~ and of course we signed the letters! I did attach a copy of the hotel's fact sheet and a color picture of the hotel (I took it off of the website - it had a PDF fact sheet)

Based on the feedback, the attachment REALLY was a nice thing to do and by including the prices it gave a lot of people a dollar amount to associate what they were getting for their money. It wasn't a sales pitch, it just gave people an idea of what it would cost.

Our wedding isn't until next November, but I sent the information out last month. For most working class folks with kids, we have to plan our finances accordingly and took that into consideration when sending out the letters so far in advance.

Good luck and don't let the negative posts on this forum get you down.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2007 at 11:13AM
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It make no difference to me if 20 or 200 go. I don't mind. I will invite everyone. It doesn't really make any sense to only invite some.

I have reserved a cruise rate for the group. It will save our guests money if they call my agent at the cruise line. It is not like a personal travel agent I hired. She is just the person working on our group at the cruise line.

If I don't put the information on the save the date letter. How is anyone going to know who to contact? And if i don't put the prices on the letter won't people assume that we are paying for everything. I want everything to be as simple as possible for the guests. If everyone is running around trying to gather info by themselves they wont get the group rate. or the other discounts on plane fare etc.
Thanks for your feedback, Rene

    Bookmark   October 10, 2007 at 6:17PM
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Hi Jadiesmom! I didn't even see your post until I posted my last comment. Thank you so much for your input! You have been absolutely the most help by far. You are right about the critism and replys on this site. Most of the advice doesn't make sense when trying to plan a destination wedding. I loved your idea about the save the date letter. That is exactly what I had in mind. I am getting married next Nov too. on the 25th. I am going to check out that web site you suggested. take care

    Bookmark   October 10, 2007 at 6:26PM
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Oh, for sure, if you are getting a group rate, send the info with the save the date letter.

You don't have to include actual prices, though. No one will assume you are treating. Just write something like this: "A special discount rate is available for our guests. For complete information, please contact Arlene Agent at Acme Travel, who is the coordinator for our group. She will be happy to help you. [phone and/or e-mail address]" Prices are hard to put an anyway, as people are flying from different points, some might want to upgrade or do separate flight packages or add-ons, etc.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2007 at 9:49PM
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Hi Renee,

Good luck on everything! We are getting married on November 9th in Puerto Vallarta.

You would be surprised, a lot of our guests were so happy to find out that the prices I listed on the letter were for airfare, and an all inclusive hotel. Everyone was happy that I had done the work for them and all they had to do was call our travel agent and make the reservations. Most of our group is traveling from Denver. We only had two from Arizona, so it wasn't a big fuss over the airfare. I just gave them the basic 4 night stay and a 7 night stay.

Yeah ~ I didnt' want people to think we were paying for them either! (Lol) I'm with you, as long as my dad, sis and best friend were there, everyone else that goes is icing on the cake!

Congratulations and have a wonderful time planning this once-in-a-lifetime event!
~Jadiesmom :)

    Bookmark   October 12, 2007 at 12:37PM
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Jadiesmom- I tried and there was nothing. Am I getting it right. Thank you so much for all your input. You have been SO helpful!! really. I really am excited to check out this website you were speaking of.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2007 at 2:29PM
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another argument for putting rates on the letter (if you can get something representative) is that they'll have an idea of whether they can afford it even before they call the travel agent.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2007 at 4:00PM
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I also tried and found nothing. However, I found and it has a forum. Perhaps that is the correct URL.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2007 at 12:06PM
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I apologize, try

I tried it again and that was the link.

Best wishes,

    Bookmark   October 22, 2007 at 12:25AM
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Hi and congratulations! There is a message board on Cruise Critic that is dedicated exclusively to cruise weddings. There are brides there that are cruising practically every cruise line. We're a friendly bunch and love to gab about our two favorite things: our weddings and cruising! I have learned so much about both cruising and cruise weddings since joining. Come on over and join us! :)

PS- Your plan is practically what every bride I've talked to there is doing. It must work! lol

    Bookmark   October 25, 2007 at 3:28AM
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