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Sending invitations to a destination wedding when you need guests travel info

  

More and more couples these days are choosing to treat their closest friends and family to a magical vacation starring a wedding, instead of having a huge wedding in a home town. And why not? With weddings these days costing upwards of $20,000, and discount vacation packages available, what seems like a grand gesture can be an affordable choice.

But before you sail into the sunset, there are some practical matters to attend to. If you're planning to pay for your guests airfare and hotel (a generous offer), you'll need to know early on if they'll be attending, as well as get their legal names, preferred airport, and travel dates, often months before the wedding. There are two ways to approach this:

First, decide whether you'd like to send the invitation out now or wait until proper time before the wedding (4 to 6 weeks).


If you decide to wait, send a personalized letter to each of your guests. I'm guessing that if they are close enough to you to be invited, they probably already know about the wedding. 

The letter could say something like: Dear Paul: As you already know, John and I are planning to be married. We've decided to combine our wedding and our honeymoon to have an intimate and memorable wedding in Cancun next February! Because you've been so special to us, it would be an honor if you could join us there as our guest. (alternate wording: as the guest of our parents and us. You could also say something like it would be an honor if you could join us and witness our wedding. As a wedding present to us, my parents are inviting everyone as their guest.) We've planned an all-inclusive four-day weekend trip from February 12 to February 16. The wedding will take place on the evening of February 14 and will be a casual affair on the beach, with the sunset behind us. The other days will be full of swimming, snorkeling, sight-seeing, some great food, a little dancing, and opportunities for us all to get to know one another better.

A formal invitation will be sent closer to the wedding date but, as we need to purchase the airfare and the hotel packages, we'll need to know if you'll be able to attend by July 15. I know this is early to make such a commitment, and I hope you'll be able to come. Also, if you don't already have one, you'll need to obtain a passport. I've enclosed a guest questionnaire, information about applying for a passport, and details about the trip, along with a return envelope.

With love, (or fondly)
Jessica Anderson

Ask your travel agent what the questionnaire should cover - typically it will include:

Passport or birth certificate name
Preferred airport to fly out of
Smoking or non-smoking room
Dates you'll be able to attend (we hope you'll be able to come for the full trip)

If you decide you'd rather do the formal invitation now, keep its language as you would for any other wedding, then print an insert similar to the above letter. You should then plan on sending something to the guests 4 to 6 weeks before the wedding that gives them an update on plans so that you know they have it in their minds etc. 
 
 
 

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Love Magazine: Sending invitations to a destination wedding when you need guests travel info
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