Pre-planning is crucial for any wedding, but even more so for a destination wedding for many reasons, but most importantly to give your guests as much time as possible to make their arrangements. Most guests will need to organize absences from work or school, sitters for pets or children, and of course, have enough time to save for the flights and hotel.
With that in mind, one of the most common questions we are asked when planning a destination wedding with our clients, is regarding the save-the-date timeline – which is quite different than the checklist for a traditional local wedding.
While figuring out the wording or if you want save-the-date magnets, cards, or boarding passes is fun, first and foremost you need to determine when you should send out the save the dates for your destination wedding.
The simple answer? The best time to send your save-the-dates is as soon as you possibly can. Once you’ve selected your ideal wedding date, booked the location, and confirmed your room block (click the links for more info about those items!), you’ll want to get those save-the-dates out to your guest list, so they can start to consider their options!
When booking an all-inclusive resort for your destination wedding, if you have a large group and hold a block of rooms in a group room block, most contracts will require payment in full around 60-70 days prior - so keep in mind that your guests will have 2 less months to save money to attend your wedding. This is another reason why it’s important for you to give them enough time beforehand to make arrangements.
Additionally, remember that you will need a headcount to plan accordingly and to get an idea on how much your destination wedding will cost, as the price is based on the number of guests that you’ll have in attendance (many resort wedding packages will include up to 20 guests, but over that is a per head cost for the ceremony and reception). Therefore, the earlier you can get people to commit, the better for you as well to move forward with planning and budgeting for your destination wedding.
With so many creative, fun, and unique options for save-the-dates are a big deal now as you and partner get to introduce your plans and wishes to your loved ones about your upcoming wedding! Yet another benefit of your decision to have a destination wedding however, is that you don't need to stress about the formality and traditional timeline that are expected when hosting a local wedding. Win!
A resort destination wedding is usually more relaxed, so there are less “rules” to follow when it comes to your invitations. We suggest sending these out at least 9-12 months prior to your wedding day. The most important take-away is to provide your guests ample time to prepare and save, so giving them a heads up about the details is highly recommend and they will be grateful for the consideration. Plus, more advance notice can also equate to having more guests attend the wedding!
Lastly, don't forget that during certain months and peak seasons, popular resorts can book up to a year or more in advance – not even factoring in the COVID-19 pandemic which forced so many couples to reschedule to 2021/2022 - so if you have a specific date and/or prefer an evening time for your ceremony or reception, it's always better to confirm at least a year in advance so you get the resort, date and time you truly want to ensure your destination wedding dreams become a reality.
I hope you found some valuable insight to help you get started with planning your destination wedding. If you feel overwhelmed or would like assistance to narrow down the perfect destination or resort, we are here for you! This is what we do every day!
We spend most of our vacation time touring resorts, meeting with the wedding coordinators and training for destination weddings, so we can make it very simple for you. We save you time by filtering out all the bad advice and countless options for you. Let us take the guesswork out and match-make you to the destination and resorts that fit your style, vision and budget the best.
Together we will find your most perfect wedding resort and we take care of the logistics after that. All that you have to do is the fun wedding planning and creating an unforgettable event your friend and family will remember for a lifetime! Schedule your free consultation to see how we can assist and learn more about our services!