Invites and Paper

When to send out invitations for a destination wedding... Not using "save the dates"

Hi Everyone, I've been reading through here and see the usual timeline for sending out invitations is 6-8 weeks before the event, however I am having a destination wedding and was not planning to send save the date cards (to keep costs down). I figured I could just send the invites extra early to give people time to make arrangements. Would it be inappropriate to mail out invitations at 12-16 weeks in this situation?

Re: When to send out invitations for a destination wedding... Not using "save the dates"

  • I'm not sure what etiquette dictates, but I would highly recommend sending STDs. Can you design a simple STD on the computer and send it via email? 
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    southernbelle0915doeydojules3964
  • I agree with @ElcaB. Email is free. It doesn't have to be anything fancy. You could literally write "Save the Date for Amber and Marc's wedding in Estes Park, CO on 6/20/15. Formal invitation to follow" in a couple of different colors and call it a day. It's just a heads up after all. 

    I always side-eye getting invites way far in advance. It makes me think the couple doesn't understand etiquette and then I start asking myself questions like "if they got this simple thing wrong, will they host me properly, etc." And I have to say, whenever I've been to a wedding where they sent stuff way too far in advance, the hosting has been shitty. Just my experience.
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  • I actually thought emailing anything wedding related was poor etiquette, it's OK to email save the dates?

    Southernbelle0915: I have never been to or know anyone who has been to the kind of etiquette driven wedding I've been reading about, so just out of curiosity, could you please elaborate on what you mean by hosting properly/poor hosting?

  • Fran1985 Fran1985 Narnia
    Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper
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    vista print does save the date post cards 50 fo 5 dollars. I think that would be worth it

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    MairePoppy
  • We are also having a DW. I would highly recommend some sort of STD. Like pp said, they can be done cheap. Nothing fancy. As far as the invites, maybe check with your coordinator/caterer. It turns out ours needs a final head count 45 days out. That surprised me, but we are stuck with it and will send invites accordingly.
  • hggy15 said:

    I actually thought emailing anything wedding related was poor etiquette, it's OK to email save the dates?

    Southernbelle0915: I have never been to or know anyone who has been to the kind of etiquette driven wedding I've been reading about, so just out of curiosity, could you please elaborate on what you mean by hosting properly/poor hosting?

    So one example was where I got an invitation in June for a November wedding. The RSVP date was in July. (Its supposed to be 6-8 weeks sending and 2-3 weeks prior asking for RSVPs.)

    For this particular wedding, they had an unhosted gap (poorly hosted) and a cash bar (poorly hosted). So when I got the invite, I had a feeling they didn't know much about etiquette. Turns out at their wedding, they proved it.

    Spend a bit of time lurking on the Etiquette board and you'll have much more examples or what it means to be properly hosted. If you have specific questions, speak up. We love planning and helping with weddings!
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  • Thanks Southernbelle0915! The cash bar thing is really throwing me for a loop too, I know that it's very poor etiquette but my family insists everyone will be more upset if there is no alcohol at the wedding than if they have to pay for it... but that's a problem I'll worry about later.

    Thank you all for you input, it sounds like save the dates really are the way to go and there do seem to be some cheaper options than the place I'm getting my invitations from. Would it be improper to hand-make your own? 

    What would be the timeframe for save the dates?

  • I think hand made ones are fine.  I actually appreciate hand made things more.  I know there is a certain etiquette as to when you send them and I'm not sure what that is.  Our DW is in Hawaii so we sent ours 11 months out because our family is on the mainland in the US and in New Zealand.  Everyone will be travelling and we wanted to give them plenty of time to plan.  I'm sure some would say that 11 months goes against etiquette, but that's what we did and people have appreciated the notice.
  • Definitely fine to hand make them! You might consider buying a pack of blank cards w/ envelopes from Michaels or Staples and printing whatever you want on your home printer. We did this and made custom TY notes with a photo from the wedding. It was pretty cool and really easy.
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    hggy15
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
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    You invitations should still go out 6-8 weeks in advance. The STDs should go out 6-9 months in advance if you are mailing them. If you want to save the costs, just call/text/email your VIPs with the date. You don't have to call it a STD, just let them know what you're planning.
  • I got 120 STD postcards for $25 at Vista Print. I would HIGHLY recommend sending out anything as a heads up, especially for a destination wedding. People will need more time to plan & save if they need to for a destination wedding. 
  • princessleia22princessleia22 Oceanfront Property in Arizona
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer
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    STD's can be informal, even though they are wedding related. I've seen people do STD just via private message or private event page on Facebook and thought it was perfectly acceptable (as long as is accessed by invite only and not public).  You can do something handmade.  You could do an e-mail.  You could do a text message.  You could do a phone call.  Or even just tell them in person. A STD is just to let them know that there will be an event that day and they may want to start planning ahead or make arrangements. And the formality of the STD doesn't necessarily dictate the formality of the wedding, like the invites do.   

     

    With DW's, STD's are a lot more critical, since people do need to request time off work, book travel arrangements, etc. And some people may need as much time as possible to save money to be able to attend. Typically with DW's, STD's should be sent 6-12 months in advance.  Formal invites should still go out about 6-8 weeks in advance, with RSVP date of 2-3 weeks in advance.  But, for invite date & RSVP date, make sure you check with your venue and vendors because some require final head count early.  For my DW, I had to have final head count 4 weeks before wedding, so that required me to send invites out & have RSVP due earlier than typical.

     

    Having gone through it myself, I'm actually a big fan on using technology for DW's. It can be very useful for dispersing info to your guests. And depending on type of DW, there can be a lot more info than a typical wedding.  If you set it up and do STD's via e-mail or private Facebook page, you can use that same method to easily convey info on hotel blocks, travel info, flight info, or whatever other requirements you need to coordinate.  I did a cruise ship wedding, so I had too coordinate everyone booking their cruise & hotel, plus answer a billion questions about flights and other details of the trip.  I created a website with all the info, but found it much easier to just private message people on facebook if something came up or we were approaching a deadline, since all but 2 of our guests had facebook pages that they checked regularly. Some DW's won't require as much coordination, but they will still want info about travel & hotels.

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  • I used the Knot STD tool, and a lot of people didn't get it, so they got offended and then I had to forward the messages manually by email. So if you do a STD, I don't recommend this one. We had to skip his cousin's wedding cause they only gave us 8 weeks and couldn't get off work. My wedding is a DW for a lot of people, though not for us. I sent the invitations in May for a September wedding so that they had plenty of time to arrange time off work and travel plans. The only people that aren't coming either can't afford it or have major life shit going on.
  • hggy15 said:

    Thanks Southernbelle0915! The cash bar thing is really throwing me for a loop too, I know that it's very poor etiquette but my family insists everyone will be more upset if there is no alcohol at the wedding than if they have to pay for it... but that's a problem I'll worry about later.

    Thank you all for you input, it sounds like save the dates really are the way to go and there do seem to be some cheaper options than the place I'm getting my invitations from. Would it be improper to hand-make your own? 

    What would be the timeframe for save the dates?

    I'd be annoyed at going to a destination wedding that had a cash bar for sure. Or one that's dry tbh.
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