Wedding

Destination Save the Date Ideas + What to Include

Whether you’re flying across the world or escaping to a cozy coastal beach town, planning a destination wedding is just as much an adventure as the trip itself. After all, in addition to the wedding day, you’re also coordinating a getaway for all the loved ones in your life.

Even your wedding stationery requires an additional level of travel-related detail. For example, destination wedding save the dates require more information and time for your guests to plan.  Your save the dates are important announcement of your plans, encouraging your family to set things in motion long before the big day.

Though destination weddings take a bit more planning, all this effort will all be well worth the energy when everyone you love is gathered in an idyllic setting to celebrate your nuptials.

WHEN TO SEND | WHAT TO INCLUDE | DESIGN IDEAS

When should I order my destination save the dates?

destination wedding save the date and other wedding stationery

Unlike the traditional save the date etiquette, destination wedding save the date cards should be ordered eight to 12 months before your big day. To get things rolling, set the following things in motion before designing your cards and placing your order:

  • Double-check that your desired date works for the people in your wedding — bridal party, parents, immediate family members, desired officiant, etc.
  • Set the date and sign a contract with your venue
  • Design your website with all pertinent travel and wedding information, as well as a way to contact you and your partner about questions
  • Solidify your guest list and their addresses using mailing solutions

When should I send destination wedding save the dates?

Since destination weddings require extra schedule shuffling, budgeting and paperwork, you should give your loved ones as much of a heads up as possible. Send out your save the dates with no less than six months before your day—though up to a year in advance is acceptable—as some guests will need to make work arrangements or update their passports.

What do I include in my destination save the dates?

bride and groom celebrating on the beach

Similar to non-destination weddings, destination wedding save the dates include basic information regarding location, date and time. It also acts as an announcement that travel plans are in play, allowing guests to begin the planning process. To help manage the initial wave of questions, you’ll also want to include an online guide to cover important details.

Basics

  • You and your partner’s names
  • Date + Time
  • Location
  • Website address
  • Optional RSVP date
  • Announcement that a destination wedding invitation will follow

Event itinerary

Once you’ve lead guests to your website, your event itinerary will help them time their travel plans properly. Destination weddings traditionally include a few extra events, such as welcome dinners or guided tours of the region. Be sure to list:

  • The date you’d like guests to arrive
  • Where they can check in
  • Welcome lunches or dinners
  • Optional group activities
  • Rehearsal and rehearsal dinner specifics
  • Wedding day schedule
  • Post-wedding activities
  • Official send-off date and events

Wedding website info

Wedding websites allow you the space to include as much or as little as you choose, depending on your given group. Either way, be sure you make all the crucial information easy to locate and understand. We suggest the following tabs:

  • Travel information: This page includes all dates and times, local airport options, car services and hotel information. It should also note—quite clearly—if guests are required to apply for visas or receive any additional documentation before they travel to your wedding
  • Wedding Ceremony: Include the date and time once more, the members of the bride and grooms’ party, how to find the ceremony location from each hotel, and information regarding your weddings’ dress code
  • Wedding Celebration: Include time and location, travel tips to and from reception spot, and any additional tips (avoiding heels for a beach wedding, for example)
  • FAQs: The frequently asked question section can cover any family-specific and general concerns about travel and the wedding itself
  • Registry: Include the links to your registry lists so guests can find the perfect gift for you and your partner
  • An RSVP link: Can be helpful to use a digital RSVP in addition to RSVP cards, guests appreciate a variety of options

Hotel information

It is a good idea to book a room block to help your guests secure the best price. Be sure to list the hotel’s cut-off date toward the top of the page, directions from local airports and if applicable, the easiest way to book a room if there is a language barrier.

You may also want to list other local hotel options you’ve researched in case guests are looking for a different experience.

RSVP (optional)

Though you traditionally wait until the invitations are sent for RSVPs, an early headcount can help you and the venue prepare. Only list this option if you think it will ease your process. Just make sure that you won’t need to collect a good deal of information from the guests later on, such as meal choices and travel information, as this can add extra work.

If your destination is particularly far from home or complex, you could encourage a two-step RSVP, one with the intention of attending and the other to fill in final travel details.

Destination Wedding Save the Date Design Ideas

There are plenty of stylish ways to weave your overall design into your destination wedding save the dates. Highlight your engagement photos, reflect the setting of your destination or adopt a layout design that speaks to your wedding theme.

destination wedding save the date with an ocean background and wedding couple embracing

Adventure Awaits

  • Use a simple engagement photo that hints toward your destination location, such as posing by the beach or seaside
  • The solid ocean background ensures that the text stands out
  • Use destination wedding wording such as “adventure” and “journey”
  • Include a call-to-action for a touch of excitement as they did by writing “be there”

destination wedding save the date with an old ticket theme

Vintage Magnet

  • Old-fashioned ticket designs highlight the classic energy of your wedding design while featuring your travel plans
  • Include a black-and-white engagement photo to match the aesthetic
  • A magnet makes a perfect save the date that will constantly remind your guests of your upcoming nuptials

destination wedding save the date with a passport theme and two engagement photos in the desert

Passport Save the Date

  • The passport theme is perfect for an out of country location, it is a subtle reminder to your guests to update their passports
  • Consider including a link to your wedding website so guests can get more information while allowing you to keep your save the date design clean and simple
  • Use engagement photos that have simple backgrounds, this turns the focus to you and your partner

destination wedding save the date with a black and white film strip and palm trees

Filmstrip Save the Date

  • A classic film strip of images gives you an opportunity to feature multiple photos while leaving space for text
  • In the background, use a simple image of your destination to get your guests excited about your unique wedding location
  • Make sure that your text is legible, sometimes using a bold font or text outline will make a huge difference

Sending out your save the dates is a major wedding planning milestone. Before placing them in the mail, be sure your wedding website is up and running and that you have assistance handling the possible wave of questions from friends and family members. Most importantly, celebrate taking this step. The excitement around your big adventure will only continue to grow as the day draws nearer.