I am a firm believer in the theory that a well informed guest is a happy guest. But some rules are all about your guests’ convenience, and those are rules that I think are worth following – especially when it comes to destination weddings. Here are a few of my suggestions for keeping the comfort of your guests’ a top priority while you’re wedding overseas!
Timetable: The standard used to be to mail the invitation six weeks before the wedding. But that’s not nearly enough advance notice if you’re asking your guests to travel significantly, especially abroad or at peak travel times and coveted holidays. You can send a save-the-date card up to six months in advance, and the invitation itself eight to twelve weeks ahead of the event. Make sure the invitation includes all the necessary information such as the date, time, venue, and length of stay for guests to decide if they are able to attend or not.
Confirmation Package: When you receive a positive RSVP from the invitation for a destination wedding, send a confirmation package with all the pertinent travel information: logistics, accommodation, attire, activities.
Welcome Package: Available in every hotel room should be a welcome packet of information very similar to the confirmation package- about the locale, a reminder about the events, times, attire and other activities, and anything else your guests might find useful. Don’t expect everyone to have traveled with the confirmation package you mailed earlier.
When communicating with guests, I use the analogy of television. Tell them what you told them, tell them again and then remind them what you just told them – and you will have a happy well informed guest.
Goodnight Wishes: For turndown service, it’s a thoughtful touch to have the staff place preprinted or prewritten cards on your guests’ pillows with a bit of poetry, an apt saying, or simply a heartfelt thank-you for their attendance. This is especially appropriate when your guests have traveled long distances, sometimes at great expense, to share your nuptials.
Giving Thanks: When you’re designing and ordering the invitation, the confirmation package, and the welcome package- a lot of individual pieces of paper- you might as well throw in a set of matching thank-you notes in the same theme as your other paper goods.