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Dedicated August 2022

Destination Wedding std vs Invitation or both?

Bride2Be, on November 13, 2020 at 2:27 PM Posted in Planning 1 16
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We are planning a destination wedding for Summer of 2022, and booking our venue this summer about a year out. What should we do in terms of sending a Save The Date or Invitation? I want to send something out ASAP so people know what to expect with our wedding plans and so they can save money and book their airfare/hotels in advance. I'm confused with when we should send out the RSVP part so we know how many people will come or not. We have made 2 lists so we can invite others if not everyone from our first list can make it. I want to have ALL the travel info ready so when they go to look at our wedding website, they can get a good idea on how much it will cost to get there and what activities we have planned if they want to come earlier. Any suggestions on how to go about this?

16 Comments

Latest activity by Bride2Be, on January 22, 2021 at 11:52 PM
  • A
    Expert September 2020
    Alli ·
    • Flag
    Definitely go through a travel agency and get 1 agent. We put our wedding website link in our STD which we sent 10 months out. Put all accommodations / excursions / cost / travel agent info on website.
    Super easy and organized. When people had questions, we said refer to link. They can RSVP on n website. Not sure how you would do list A and list B... and why? Some people did not even book until 30 days before. It’s so much fun planning though!!
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  • B
    Dedicated August 2022
    Bride2Be ·
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    We just have a hugeeeeee guest list (huge families) and friends and we are only allowed 120 total at the venue so we had to divide who we realllllly wanted there and who we would be ok if they couldn’t come but if not everyone on list A can go, then we want to be able to invite people from list B. If that makes sense? How long is a good amount of time to have someone rsvp by? I know there are last minute people who might make plans but the island we are going to books up fast especiallly over the summer so we are encouraging people to do it ASAP! And we will have to submit final numbers by a certain date too.
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  • M
    Super October 2022
    Michele ·
    • Flag
    A save the date is sent 10months or so before the wedding when you have the venue and guest list finalized. An invitation is sent out 6-8 weeks before the wedding...no earlier or later. Also anyone who receives a save the date must also receive an invite.
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  • A
    Expert September 2020
    Alli ·
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    We had a 60 day mark before our wedding. But, again, we had people book in the final 30 days... our resort did not need final count until 15 days prior to wedding. So I would check your contract for sure! No venue should need a number much sooner. We chose a very large resort, so chances of getting booked fully were slim. Also, we had people who booked and did not RSVP and people who RSVPed and never ended up booking...lol it’s quite annoying... In regard to the pandemic, it isn’t going away anytime soon, so making people RSVP/book too soon is unrealistic.
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  • B
    Dedicated August 2022
    Bride2Be ·
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    That’s a great point. It’s so hard to know what everything will look like in a year! I guess I need to reel in and adjust what my expectations are lol
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  • B
    Dedicated August 2022
    Bride2Be ·
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    I’ve heard when it’s a destination wedding people are supposed to send everything out much sooner. Isn’t the point of the invitation to tell people the details of the wedding? And won’t they need to know that stuff when they are trying to decide if they want to come or not? Or is the invitation just for getting the official rsvp? And meal option if going that route? I’m so confused lol
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  • M
    Super October 2022
    Michele ·
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    A save the date gives guests a heads up to make travel arrangements and save up as needed. It will also list your website if you have one that details the location, hotels, directions, reply and meal choice via rsvpify.com, etc. The invite is a formality because the save the date is not an official invite.
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  • Sarah
    VIP September 2019
    Sarah ·
    • Flag
    You really can’t send a save the date until you’ve booked a venue. What happens if the venue ends up not being available that date and you have to change it? You wouldn’t want people to have booked travel that they now can’t change.
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  • Yasmine
    Rockstar October 2020
    Yasmine ·
    • Flag
    I would send Save the dates about a year out in advance for a destination wedding, obviously after you book your venue. As far as actual invitations and RSVPs I would send them out 3-4months in advance
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  • B
    Dedicated August 2022
    Bride2Be ·
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    I know I wasn’t going to send them until after booking the venue! We’re are going to book this summer and then after that I will send out save the dates! It’ll be about a year in advance of when we want to get married so I didn’t know if I needed to send out the invitations then too so people know what to plan for.
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  • Rebecca
    Rockstar August 2019
    Rebecca ·
    • Flag

    RSVPs go with invitations. If you send an STD with RSVPs, you've sent an invitation.

    Now, some people may immediately reach out and say, "hey, I won't be able to make it" for whatever reason (don't take it personally, it almost never is about you, and is almost always about their life).... but most people won't. (We ended up skipping even a STD to one friend. Why? Well, she was due to deliver her first child on our wedding day. We said, "we love you, but, uh... you'll likely be a wee bit busy?" And she laughed and said, "Yes, I very much will!" She ended up giving birth a day or two before our wedding, so... yeah. She would not have made it.)

    But, yes, STDs for destination weddings can go out about a year in advance.

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  • B
    Dedicated August 2022
    Bride2Be ·
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    Oh wow how wonderful! Thank you for this clarification!
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  • Jei
    Dedicated June 2021
    Jei ·
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    For our destination we sent out STD 16 months early. I know that seems like a lot but here's why we gave such advantage notice. We had to block rooms for our guess at our all inclusive resorts upfront. Any rooms not reserved/booked 6 months before our wedding needed to be released back to the resort or we would be responsible for a portion of the cost of the unused room that we originally blocked. Since we had to factor that in, we sent out STD early, which gave our guess 10 months to comfortably pay on their room or at the very least reserved their room before we released the unused ones back to the resort. Even after releasing the unused blocked rooms, our guess still had an additional 3 months to continue paying on their room since the resort didn't need the final head count until 90 days before our wedding. Once that 90 days hits and we knew who truly plans to attend, we plan to send out official invitations to those individuals.


    One thing I recommend is knowing your resorts drop date for rooms you reserve, so that you can fact that so your guess can have the time they need financially. Good luck
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  • B
    Dedicated August 2022
    Bride2Be ·
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    The thing is for ours, they don’t let us block any rooms but they do offer a discount on the rate when they go to book. They only have like 65 rooms total and more than half of them are suites so people can double up or a family could sleep in one. There are some condos next door that are rentable and can sleep 2-12 people for the bigger families if needed and they also offer a discount but I can’t block any off. I will urge people on our wedding website to book ASAP so they can get a room there!
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  • Tina
    Just Said Yes August 2021
    Tina ·
    • Flag

    My DW is in Aug 2021. I sent out STDs in November 2020 and will be sending out invitations by early March 2021. My mom and I were on the fence w sending them out that early, but we want people to have all the info they need before they really plan their summer, so they can decide what they want to do. We spread the word ourselves though already and several people have booked their reservations anyway! Also our venue is requesting guests' meal choices ahead of time, I think like 4-6wks in advance, but I wanted this info asap lol, so my RSVP date is June 1st. I didn't include a wedding website on my STDs but it will be on the invitation details card. Hope that helps!

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  • B
    Dedicated August 2022
    Bride2Be ·
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    This helps a lot thank you so much!!
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