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A destination wedding calls for a spectacular announcement. Not only because it’s a chance for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure to celebrate the start of your marriage, but it also requires extra planning for your guests. Whether you’re eloping in Paris, escaping to a Napa Vineyard, or celebrating in the Caribbean, here are some splashy ideas to announce your destination wedding:
1. Create a travel-themed invitation
With travel as your theme, create a clever invitation to reveal that your guests will need to pack their bags. An invitation shaped like a boarding pass, a passport, or a train ticket will delight your guests. And it will contain all of the information they need to plan their trip.
2. Send a care package to your potential wedding party
For your nearest and dearest, ask them to be your bridesmaid or groomsman with a care package of travel essentials that will help them prepare for their upcoming journey. Sunscreen and sunglasses for sunnier destinations. A hat and gloves for a winter wedding. A pocket guidebook or map for global getaways. A pocket translation book if the language is different than what you speak at home. You’ll get them excited and prepared for the trip, announce your destination, and craft a cute wedding party proposal box all-in-one.
3. Find vintage postcards for save the dates
Vintage (or ones that just look vintage!) are a unique way to clue guests in on where they can meet you to celebrate. And they’ll make an amazingly retro and unique save the date. You can even skip the envelope and save money on postage by taking advantage of the reduced USPS postage rate for postcards.
4. Gift your immediate family a clue from the location
Purchase a favor as an announcement with a custom label and give it to your immediate family members at an intimate dinner. This can be a bottle of wine from the region, a cute tchotchke, or a book in the language. Get creative!
5. Have a destination reveal party
If gender reveals are a thing, a destination reveal can be a thing too. At your engagement party or wedding shower, make an announcement your guests won’t forget. You can create a destination-themed party and include the announcement in your invites or make it a surprise and ask guests to show up to find out where the wedding will be!
If your destination wedding is going to be in France, for example, play French music, serve French food or choose a French restaurant, and give out French macarons as favors. The party will set a tone and get people excited for the trip. It will also allow anyone who isn’t able to travel to attend the wedding a little taste of the destination so they’re not missing out as much.
6. Eloping? Send back a small souvenir
For example, lemon-flavored candies from Italy, a palm-tree magnet from Florida, mini tequila bottles from Mexico. All would be great gifts to bring or order from where you eloped. Mail or give them out in person with a note that you eloped but didn’t want them to miss out on your adventure so you brought them back a little something. The souvenirs can even be customized with a photo of your “I Dos” or the wedding date.
7. Use a painting of your venue for your invitations
Your save the date or invitation is the perfect canvas to paint a picture for your guests of where they are headed. Find a photo of the venue or key location that sets the stage and an artist you like to paint it. Then include all of the information your guests need to know (or include a link to a website) in order to book their trip.
8. Create a themed social media announcement
If you’re looking to share the news far and wide, consider a social media announcement. You can use a changeable letter board to announce the destination and month like a departures board at the airport. Or create a faux scene of you and your partner getting ready. For example, if you’re getting married in the Caribbean you can lounge on a beach or load up on sunscreen for a funny photo op.
9. Send out luggage tags with the date
Nice luggage tags with a convenient pocket to put all of your wedding details. It can contain the date, location, and a website with booking details. Genius! Choose something durable so your guests will be able to use it on the trip.
10. Email a destination announcement
For a quick and easy “heads up” send an email! You can use gifs with scenes from the place or make a custom e-vite with a template from Paperless Post or Etsy. One advantage of sending an email to announce your destination is you’ll get a fast response whether they can or can’t make it.
Here are some additional things to keep in mind when you’re working on these ideas to announce your destination wedding:
Send the announcement as soon as you know the basic details, like the date and location of your confirmed venue. This will ideally be 12-18 months in advance if the destination is international. You can get away with 6-9 months in advance if the trip is only a few hours away by car or plane. You want to give advance notice because people need plenty of time to renew their passports, book hotels and flights, and take off from work. Then they can plan to be at your wedding without a stressed arrival.
Make sure you know exactly what information your guests need to know in the invitation. For example, how to word it and what is a destination wedding, is important for those who don’t know.
Looking for more wedding tips and tricks that are beyond the traditional advice your mother would give? For a community of like-minded brides who are planning destination weddings, micro-weddings, elopements, traditional ceremonies and more, check out my exclusive, free Facebook group for Bold On A Budget Weddings.