Destination Weddings

DW - How much in advance did you give your guests?

Hi Brides,

I'm newly engaged and really pushing for a DW in Puerto Rico. I am undecided on whether or not we should have the wedding in August of 2015, giving our guests 1 year to plan, or pushing it back to the Spring of 2016 to give our guests plenty of time to save and plan. I just don't know if I want to wait that long to get married, although, there are benefits for our family and friends if we do push it back to 2016. Any thoughts on previous experiences are greatly appreciated!

Thank you,



Re: DW - How much in advance did you give your guests?

  • What I've seen and about what we've done:

    Save the dates: 8months to a year out

    Invitations: 5 - 6 months before the event. 

    Also, a bit of advice based on personal experience.  Give yourself 2 - 2 and a half months to receive RSVP's (making them due back to you).  We only did a month and a half and I'm waiting on about 25% of people to respond still and I can't finalize alot with that much of a gap.

  • Our DW is in Hawaii.  We sent the STD out 1 year ahead.  Most of our guests knew already the month and destination.  
    I think that August 2015 gives you plenty of time.
  • @lwaryjas - spot on.

    Also keep in mind that some people won't know until closer to the time so expect last minute situations. (Their job or financial situation changes, etc.) In the same light, some who RSVP yes might have situations arise that will have them pull out at late notice. (Babies, unexpected financial obligations, etc.)

    We had three people RSVP yes up to a month before the day as they were either travelling around that part of the world anyway for some reason, had a new job with more money all of a sudden, or just suddenly panicked and decided they were going to make it work. We also had people pull out because of pregnancy, lost jobs, etc. It goes without saying of course but just keep an open mind.

    Puerto Rico sounds amazing. Happy planning!!
  • We sent out save the dates with as much info possible 8 months before for our destination wedding. Everyone's circumstances change constantly so don't change your plans. Those that really want to go will make it work. I suggest you get a travel agent that specialize in destination weddings so she can negotiate prices for you and your guests and handle all of their requests. If you want some tips and some references, private message me. I had a dream team of vendors.
  • We just sent out our save the dates and we are not getting married until September of 2015. I don't think it's ever too early to let your guests know what your wedding plans are. We invited 70 people so we wanted to give everyone enough time to save and plan. We plan to send out the actual invitations about 2-3 months in advance. Good luck!
  • I just recently got engaged and plan on giving everyone 18 months or so notice. I figure if I want people to spend $1800 or so per person, I should give them that much time to save. $100 a month or so.
  • Hi Jessica!

    We've heard of destination brides who inform their guests about 8 months in advance, to those who notify them at least 1.5 years in advance. 

    It depends on the number of guests that you plan to invite, as well as the budget that you are setting aside to help to pay for part of their expenses. For small-scale destination weddings (about 30 guests), the wedding couple can inform their guests at a later date. The same goes for brides and grooms who plan to subsidise a portion of their guests' travel activities or accommodation. 

    Your decision of your wedding date should also depend on the time that you need to plan your destination wedding. 

    Here's an article that you can check out:

    The last section should be particularly useful for you! 
  • We sent SD out a year in advance and formal invitations 5 mos before. We are still awaiting RSVPs and our booking deadline is end of July. Personal experience do everything in your own preference because people can not be relied on (personally I've been planning our wedding for 4years and people still made excuses on attendance).
  • princessleia22princessleia22 Oceanfront Property in Arizona member
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer

    Sending STD or informing your VIP guests 10-12 months in advance should be fine.  We told our VIP guests (parents, siblings, etc.) of the date & location as soon as we knew, which was about 12 months before wedding.  We sent out STD to everyone about 8 months before wedding. Everyone seemed fine with that timing.


    Our formal invites went out about 4 months before wedding. I had RSVP date 2 months before wedding, because I had to submit final guest list to venue 4 weeks before wedding and wanted time to chase people down. We still had some people unsure until last minute.  I managed to get everyone to give me an answer a few days before I had to submit list to venue. Until a few months before wedding, we still had some people saying they want to go but weren't sure if they could get the time off or have the money or whatever.  But, once the RSVP time came, I had to push people to give a final answer, even if that meant they couldn't come. We did have one person that really hoped to come, so we put them on the final list, but they weren't able to make it in the end.


  • We are getting married January 25, 2015 on a Cruise ship.  We sent out invitations and started referring guests to our knot wedding page via fb at the end of February.  We want to be sure that as many as possible could cruise with us and figured giving them a year to set it up and pay for was the best bet.
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