This is part of a series on how to plan a destination wedding, more specifically in the Virgin Islands. Blue Sky Ceremony is…

You’ve decided to marry in paradise and hopefully found the perfect invitations. Now it’s time to navigate the ins and outs of what to say and what wording to use for your destination wedding invitations. In this guide, I’ll show you:

  • Wording for destination wedding invitations
  • What to include in a destination wedding invitation suite
  • How to assemble and address wedding invitations
  • Wedding websites
  • Save the dates
  • Wedding registry tips and etiquette


Traditionally, wedding invitations follow specific customs and conventions with only a few select elements changing from couple to couple.  Today’s trend, and even more so for a destination wedding, is to follow your tastes and dreams and design the invitation that you want as long as it makes good etiquette sense. Below is a breakdown of traditional wedding invitations, as well as ideas and examples for modern and destination wedding invitation wording.  Remember – your wedding day is your day.  Whether you want traditional or something wonderfully unique, feel free to break the rules and create and an invitation that matches your style, personality, and sets the right tone for your big day. 


(The Anatomy of a Wedding Invitation)


The host line informs the reader who is hosting the event.  Traditionally, this is the bride’s parents, but ever changing family structures and financial dynamics mean that this may include the groom’s parents or the couple themselves.  Furthermore, you’re planning a destination wedding and the wording for your invitation is up to you.

The most traditional and formal invitations include the use of courtesy titles  such as Mr., Mrs., Doctor etc. When using these titles, Mr. and Mrs. can be abbreviated but any other titles (or suffixes – such as Junior or Doctor) should be spelled out. If you choose to use the courtesy titles, remember: most married couples follow the standard format: Mr. and Mrs. Husband’s Full Name. Omitting courtesy titles is a little less formal and it also allows the use the first names of married women.  If you use this option, it’s best to omit middle names as well.

If the bride’s parents are hosting, use the phrase “of their daughter” before the bride’s name on the request line.

If the groom’s parents are hosting, use the phrase “to/and their son” before the groom’s name on the Bride and Groom Lines.

If both parents sets of parents are hosting, each set of parents names are listed on separate lines starting with the bride’s parents with an “and” on its own line between the sets of names.

If they have different surnames, an “and” joins them.

If they are divorced, names are listed on separate lines without an “and” between them and the mother’s name is always first.  If she has remarried, use her married name.

*Traditionally step-parents are omitted, but you can include them if you like.  If the remarried parent has a different surname from his or her spouse, put the birth parent first.

If one parent has passed away, the deceased parent is not traditionally included on the invitation.  But you might want to include them anyway.  If this is the case, in order to make it clear that the deceased parent is not issuing the invitation, the deceased parent is usually mentioned after the bride or groom on the Bride and Groom line using the phrase “daughter of the late…”

If the couple is hosting the wedding, omit the host line altogether, begin the invitation with the Bride and Groom Lines, followed by the request line.  Another option is to use the phrase “Together with their families” in the host line.


The request line invites the reader and specifies the event.  The two most traditional phrases included in this line are “request the honor of your presence” and “request the pleasure of your company.”  The first indicates the ceremony will be in a house of worship; the second indicates that it will not.  Other examples include “would be delighted by your presence” and “invite you to join them,” and “invite you to share in the joy/celebration.”

The second part of this line specifies that the event is a wedding.  “at the marriage of” is the most commonly used wording, however “to the wedding” or “wedding celebration of.”  If the bride and groom are hosting, common wording might include “at their marriage,” “at their wedding celebration,” and even “to witness their wedding and celebrate the beginning of their lives together.”

To add a bit of fun to your destination wedding invitation, you might consider using wording on your something like:

..request the pleasure of your company
as we fly away to celebrate the marriage of…


Regardless of who is hosting this destination wedding, the bridal couple are the stars of this show and their names should be set apart (in larger or different font) and on separate lines.  The “to,” “and” or ampersand between them should go on it’s on its own line.  Traditional American formatting uses the word “to;” although some Jewish formats use the word “and.”

If the bride or groom’s last name is the same as her/his parents listed on the host line, only her/his given and middle names are used.  No courtesy title (Miss, Ms. or Mr.) are used.


Spell out numbers and capitalize proper nouns only; you can begin these lines with the prepositions like “on” and “at”  (not capitalized) if you’d like.  The day, date and month are traditionally spelled out, and the year is usually omitted (unless you want to date the invitation for keepsake value). The time should be spelled out as well using “o’clock” or “half past.”  But don’t worry about using a.m. or p.m., or a phrase such as “in the evening,” unless it is unclear, such as for an eight o’clock wedding.  Using numerals is a more modern practice, however, it is not necessarily more casual.  Whether you choose a traditional or modern style, make sure you use it uniformly throughout.


It is traditional not to include street addresses of houses of worship or well-known locations. Commas are not used at the ends of lines, and the state is always spelled out.  The ZIP code is omitted.

For a St. Thomas destination wedding invitation, the address is usually not necessary.  Most of your guests will be taking taxis, or you will have most likely included a map in your wedding invitation suite.  Leave the address out to keep your invitation uncluttered.



While the reception information is sometimes included on the main invitation, you can also use a SEPARATE CARD.  This is particularly helpful if the reception is at a different location than the ceremony or does not begin immediately after.  By using a separate card, your invitation will remain uncluttered.

If you choose to include reception information on the main invitation, you might use a phrase like “reception to follow”, “reception immediately following”  or “dinner and dancing to follow.”  If you are not serving a full meal, it is a good idea to let guests know by using a phrase such as “champagne toast to follow” or “cocktail reception and cake immediately following the ceremony.”


Brides today generally include a REPLY CARD that matches their wedding invitation, as well as a stamped envelope to encourage guests to respond to their invitation in a timely manner.  Traditional etiquette does not require this.  If you choose not to include a response card, include a line on the lower left corner of the invitation that says “R.S.V.P.,” the date by which you need the response, and the method by which they can respond (mailing address, phone number, email address, or WEBSITE).

Smart tip: Since people sometimes forget to write their names on the reply card, number your guest list, and then lightly pencil the proper number on the back of each reply card before tucking it into the addressed invitation.


If you want to stress the importance of the style of dress – black tie, for instance, or casual attire – place that information in the lower right corner, or on the reception card.  For your destination wedding invitation, you might consider using wording to remind guests to wear or bring their flip flops, regardless of the level of dress you expect them to wear.

The only thing that should not be included anywhere on your invitation – or in your invitation suite – is your REGISTRY INFORMATION.  The only place where it is acceptable to include registry information is on your website.  Once you register, tell your family and bridal party the details.  They will spread the news or guests will ask you directly.

If your wedding is adults only, be sure to address your invitations properly.  It is not acceptable to say “adult only” anywhere in your invitation or invitation suite.


You sent save the date cards as soon as you chose your date and location.  You found the perfect invitations and navigated the minefield of invitation wording and enclosures.  Now you are wondering about addressing your wedding invitations and assembling and mailing them too.  Regardless of how formal or informal your style, the little things do matter.  Writing out the address in the correct way, using the correct courtesy titles and honorifics (if you choose to use them), and spelling everything shows that you have put thought into the invitation. 

Destination Wedding Invitation Enclosure

Putting together your invitations for a destination wedding is no different from putting together a traditional invitation.  It starts with the guest list.  You will need to create your guest list complete with full addresses and courtesy titles such as Mr. or Doctor (if you choose to use them).  Consider calling parents or friends to acquire or confirm addresses and spellings.  Don’t wait until the last minute to get started, this can take a surprising amount of time and destination wedding invitations should be sent at least three months before the event.


The Inner and Outer Envelope:

Wedding invitations are traditionally mailed inside two envelopes.  This ensures that each guest will receive a pristine envelope, even if the outer envelope has been soiled in the mail.  While this is not necessary, I think it is a great touch that adds that extra something special to even the most modern invitations.  If your invitations do not come with two envelopes, you can order envelopes in white or a complimentary color from PAPER SOURCE.

Names and Titles:

For your destination wedding, you can use any naming convention you desire.  I love the idea of keeping the outer envelopes formal and using first names only on the inner envelopes and using honorifics for family, such as “Aunt” and “Uncle.”  However, should you choose to use traditional convention, here is what you need to know:

The outer envelope should include the full names and postal information for the head of household and spouse/domestic partner only (since this envelope is for the postal service).   Nicknames are not used and middle names are written out or omitted (no initials).  Only last names are traditionally used on the inner envelope (as there should be no confusion who Mr. and Mrs. Smith are at this point).

The inner envelope should include the names of all of the invited guests in the household including children or dates if they are invited (since the inner envelope specifies exactly who within the household is invited).  Children over 16 years of age should receive their own invitation.

When inviting an unmarried couple who lives together, or an engaged couple, list each name on a separate line on both envelopes, alphabetically by last name.  If you are inviting a single guest – who does not live with their date – include the guest’s name only on the outer envelope and include the line “and Guest” on the inner envelope.  If you know whom he or she will be bringing, it’s more personal to include that person’s name, on a separate line on the inner envelope.


All titles other than “Mr.,” “Mrs.,” “Ms.,” should be spelled out.  For a single woman, either “Ms.” or “Miss” is appropriate; many people find the former preferable. A boy under the age of 13 is “Master,” not “Mr.” Girls and young women under age 18 are called “Miss.”

Married Couples Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Georges
Husband has a suffix Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Abraham Smith Junior
Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Smith IV
Husband has a professional title but wife does not Doctor and Mrs. Cameron Rubino
Wife has a professional title but husband does not Doctor Cynthia Rubino and Mr. Cameron Rubino
Both are doctors The Doctors Rubino
Both have professional titles Doctor Mary Alison Gray and Lieutenant Michael Steven Gray, US Navy
Wife has a different last name Mrs. Kristen Jane Reid and Mr. Anthony Meecham
Couple is not married (separate on different lines and without “and”) Mr. Michael BakerMs. Michelle Thomas
Single Guests  Miss / Ms. Patricia Jones or Mr. Frank Kirwin

The Address

The address on a wedding invitation should be hand written. Printed labels (like the Avery brand one used by many offices) are not appropriate.  However, it is acceptable to use decorative or fancy labels if they match your invitation style.  I prefer to still hand write the address on the label.  If your invitations are formal, you may want to consider having your envelopes inscribed by a professional calligrapher.    Make sure you get your envelopes and guest list to your calligrapher at least two to three weeks before you  need them.

Be sure spell out all words in the address such as “Post Office Box”, Street and even State names.  House numbers smaller than 20 should be spelled out.

The Return Address

Write out all the words here too on the envelope’s back flap.  This however can be printed on the envelope.


All enclosures should be printed on coordinating papers.  Enclosures should be stacked smallest to largest (with the invitation on the bottom).  When using a folded invitation, insert the inclosures into the invitation.  Insert everything into the inner envelope, print side up (facing the flap – so that when guests open the inner envelope, they see the text).  Then slip the unsealed inner envelope into the outer envelope with the names facing the back flap.


Bring your completed invitations to the post office (or bring a sample in advance to check the weight) so that you are sure to purchase the correct postage.  If the post office does not have the design you want, you can order stamps from USPS.COM or even create your own postage at ZAZZLE.COM.  If possible, I recommend that you can request that your invitations be hand-canceled – which will prevent the damage that machines can cause, and have a pretty stamp instead of printed bar code.

Adding a Special Touch:

The towns listed below will cancel your stamps for you, imprinting them with their sweet names. Enclose your stamped, addressed invitations in a large padded envelope or box, and include a note detailing your request. Address it to “Postmaster,” followed by the name of your chosen town, state, and zip code.  Be sure to call ahead to let him or her know the invitations are on their way. Consider sending the envelopes Priority or Express Mail, so you can track the package. Allow enough time for invitations to be delivered, postmarked, and mailed out — ask the postmaster how long it will take.

Bliss, New York 14024; 585-322-7740 Honeyville, Utah 84314; 435-279-8213
Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27514; 919-942-4170 Kissimmee, Florida 34744; 407-846-0999
Darling, Mississippi 38623; 662-326-8408 Lovely, Kentucky 41231; 606-395-5848
Deary, Idaho 83823; 208-877-1470 Loving, Texas 76460; 940-378-2259
Harmony, Rhode Island 02829; 401-949-2745 Romance, Arkansas 72136; 501-556-5911




You’ve set the date and chosen a location for your destination wedding and now you are looking at invitations and maybe even save-the date cards for your destination wedding. Because of the travel and budgetary requirements of a destination wedding, you will want to give your guests as much time as possible to make the necessary arrangements.

This guide covers timing for sending wedding correspondence such as save-the-date cards, invitations and thank you notes for your destination wedding.

Palm wedding invitation is perfect for a beach wedding or destination wedding

lilian wedding invitation by betsywhite studio


A general rule of thumb is to send Save-the-date cards for your destination wedding 9 to 12 months in advance. Your save the date card should be sent to everyone you plan to invite to the wedding and should include your names, the date of the ceremony and the location. In the case of a destination wedding, you may still be trying to determine your venues, hotels and other logistics, as such, the location on your save the date card may only name the island where your wedding will be held. It is a good idea to also include your wedding website address where you can add hotel and flight information as you make your decisions.


Destination wedding invitations are usually sent our 5 to 6 months before your wedding date. This is much earlier than a traditional wedding, but the additional time will give guests the opportunity to make their travel arrangements.

I recommend ordering your wedding invitations so that they arrive to you a month or two before you plan to send them out. Addressing and assembling wedding invitations can often take much longer than you think. And be sure to leave enough time for other services such as calligraphy if you choose to have your wedding invitation addresses hand written.


The reply by date for your destination wedding invitation should be 3 months before the wedding. That way you have an accurate headcount as you finalize the last details of your wedding.


For gifts received before the wedding, try to send thank you notes upon receipt. Note: The bride should use her maiden name when responding. For gifts received at or after the wedding, thank you notes should be sent once you return home from the honeymoon.


Now that you have found the perfect INVITATION SUITE, you may be wondering what else you should include with your invitation.   Below are a list of common destination wedding invitation enclosures.  If you want to avoid enclosures all together, you can include all this information on your WEDDING WEBSITE. A guest who is not technologically savvy can always get their information from you directly, however, I recommend that brides and grooms include something more than just an invitation and response card when planning a St.  Thomas destination wedding. 


Enclosed within your destination wedding invitation should be a response card including a self-addressed, stamped envelope or instructions regarding the method of reply which might include your phone number, email, or wedding website.  Just remember, that not every guest is wired.  So if you choose an online RSVP, make sure to have another option for those guests.

If you choose not to include a response card, include a line on the lower left corner of the invitation that says “R.S.V.P.,” the date by which you need the response, and the method by which they can respond (mailing address, phone number, email address, or website).  This helps to ensure that the bride and groom and/or wedding planner have an accurate count of the number of guests expected to attend. An additional benefit of response cards is that they can also include the guests’ meal preferences so just the right amount of food and drinks are ordered.

Smart tip: Since people sometimes forget to write their names on the reply card, number your guest list, and then lightly pencil the proper number on the back of each reply card before tucking it into the addressed invitation.


Locating a hotel (or two) that’s convenient and affordable for your out-of-town guests is a common courtesy; you can pass this along using an insert card. You needn’t include all the features; just give the basic room rate, plus contact information.  If you have negotiated a deal with an airline for discounted travel for your group, include this information here as well.  And don’t forget the airport code, for St. Thomas, it is “STT.”


When the reception will not be held immediately following the ceremony or at a venue other than the ceremony site, a reception card is used.  This allows you move extra information like the time or location onto another sheet and keeps the invitation clutter free.

In addition, many destination weddings include more than just the ceremony and reception.  Consider including a schedule of optional events and their locations such as welcome drinks, a night on the town, and a morning after breakfast just to name a few.  This information can go on the wedding website, but that is not a substitute for a direct invitation.  If everyone is not invited to everything, use separate invites or enclosures.  Bear in mind, if guests travel for your wedding, they should be invited to everything except the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.


Guests sometimes wonder what to wear to a wedding; you can tip them the wink by adding a line to the lower right corner of the invitation indicating “black tie” or other information. You can skip the attire card all together by including this information on the schedule of events.


A map may or may not be a helpful addition to a destination wedding invitation suite as many guests may use a taxi service to get to your wedding events or you may plan on providing transportation.  But a nice aerial map of the island is always a charming addition to a St. Thomas destination wedding suite.

Several online map services will help you make one. If you want a more organic, creative touch, add artistic touches by tracing over a printout of your map, see if your calligrapher can create a map for you, or search for a graphic artist on ETSY.COM.


In the technological age, I don’t recommend mentioning the wedding website on your invitation.  I think the invitation itself should be as clutter-free as possible, but a business card sized enclosure with the web address for your website is a great idea.  Not only can you avoid including enclosures all together; you can also have more information available on your site than would ever fit into your destination wedding invitation suite.


Since a change in marital status is often accompanied by a change of address, and sometimes a change of name, this small card is a way to let people know how to contact you — and how to address you — after the wedding. The title usually reads: “At Home,” and was followed by the date you would return from your honeymoon, or your wedding date itself: “After May 22, 2010.” Nowadays, you can include your cell phone, e-mail address, and website, if you wish to share them.  I think this is a great addition to any wedding invitation suite as it adds a little tradition to even the most modern invitations.


The slips of TISSUE PAPER that find their way into invitations originated when all invitations were properly engraved (the ink can smudge, and the TISSUE PAPER keeps things neat). People who chose other printing methods included the tissue paper to camouflage their choice. If your invitation isn’t engraved, leave these out.

Even if your store provides them, do not include little cards that contain information about your registry. And don’t add the registry information to your invitation itself in any other way. It’s impolite for you to start the conversation about gifts. Even if some guests find it convenient, others will think it seems greedy. Ask family and friend to spread the news when people ask; you can also put this information one level down on a wedding website, and mention it to anyone who asks you directly.



The etiquette of wedding gifts and registries always seems to be a source of stress for couples.  But it shouldn’t be.  In fact it’s simple.  You have invited you guests to share in the celebration of your marriage and a wedding gift is the same as any other gift -the giving is the sole discretion of the gift giver and it is impolite to even mention “no gifts, please.”   You are getting married and many of your guests will want to give a gift to honor the occasion,  and you are not allowed to talk about it.  So then how do you approach the subject of gifts and registries? 

Registry Etiquette

It is impolite to mention your registry on your invitations.  In fact, you should not mention your registry at any time except when guests explicitly inquire as to where you are registered or on your WEDDING WEBSITE (since this is where guests will come for practical information about the wedding such as hotels or flights).  You should not even mention “no gifts, please,” on your invitation or aloud.  Information about registries is traditionally spread by word of mouth.   The couple lets their close family and friends (usually the wedding party) know where they are registered, so that they can help answer questions from guests.  Make sure your registry is not the focus of your website.

Traditional wedding gifts developed from the dowry given by the bride’s family, which contained the necessary items for the bride to start a household.  Registries once served simply to let guests know your china, crystal and silver patterns (and that of course you needed eight of everything); now brides and grooms create wish lists that reflect their lifestyles, so camping equipment, power tools, and gas grills are as common as towels and glassware.Your mother’s registry probably consisted solely of household goods.  Today, many couples have already set up their household and bridal couples are registering for anything, from flatware to camping equipment.  It is not considered greedy or tacky to register, in fact most guests find registries a very efficient tool to select a gift that the couple would like or need and will not be duplicated by other guests.  Also, it is okay to have more than one registry, you should not have more than three.

A Few Tips for Creating Your Registry


Consider registering several places so your guests have the option to shop in person and online.  Just don’t register for the same items at the same place.

Consider your guests budgets.  Make sure your list contains a variety of items in different price ranges.

Make sure to have at some traditional items on your registry.  No matter how cool she may be, Grandma Rose does not want to give you a kayak for your wedding.  The best registries have a mix of both prices and types of items, so that all of your guests will feel comfortable finding something they will be excited to give you.

If you are having a shower, it might be a good idea to set up a shower registry separate from your wedding registry with lower priced items. – especially if your shower has a theme.

Again, remember: in the end, the choice of gift is always up to the giver.  A registry is merely a guide.

“Registering” for Cash or Big Ticket Items

It has always been acceptable to give cash (or a check) to the bride and groom.  But remember, the choice of gift is the sole discretion of the giver.  You should create a registry regardless of whether or not you want cash.  As with registries, give this information by word of mouth.  Tell your closest family and friends “of course we would love anything you get us, but we are saving for a down-payment on our first home” or something similar.

While there are websites that help facilitate cash gifts, or partial payments towards a honeymoon or other large expense, I do not recommend them.  They are distasteful and seem presumptuous.  Plus these sites will charge you a service fees or a percentage of the gift.


Thank you notes

Speaking of writing, your wedding duties are not complete until you have properly thanked your guests for their gifts.  There is a widely circulated myth that you have a year to send thank-you notes for you wedding presents.  That is untrue.  A thank-you not should be sent out within a day or so of receiving a gift or at the latest, within a month of returning from your honeymoon (if it is scheduled immediately after your wedding). If that seems like a lot, don’t forget: thank-you notes can also be written by the groom.

Thank you notes should be written on stationary; no fill-in-the-blank cards, no pre-printed cards, no phone calls, no emails and no generic post on your website.  Also, a bride signs with her maiden (or pre-marriage name) before the wedding, and signs her married name afterward. When using monogrammed stationery, the notes sent by the bride before the wedding have her maiden name initials; post-wedding notes have her married initials or the couple’s last-name initial.

According to EMILY POST make sure you thank the following people:

  • Anyone who gives you an engagement, shower or wedding gift, even if you have thanked them in person. Individual notes should be written to people who contributed to a group gift.
  • Anyone who gives a gift of money: cash, checks, contributions to savings accounts and donations to charities. Mentioning the amount is optional, but it does let the person know the correct amount was received. You should mention what you plan to do with the money.
  • Your attendants. A warm personal note attached to your gifts to your attendants will let them know how much you appreciate their efforts and support on your behalf.
  • Anyone who hosted a party or shower for you. Ideally these notes should be written within two days of the event. Each host or hostess should be thanked individually with a note and a thank you gift.
  • People who house or entertain your wedding guests. A note and a small gift should be sent to anyone who houses or entertains out-of-town wedding guests.
  • People who do kindnesses for you. The neighbor who accepts delivery of your gifts when you are at work; the cousin who supervises the parking at the reception – anyone who assists you before, during or after your wedding.
  • Suppliers and vendors. You don’t have to write everyone you hire for services, but anyone who exceeds your expectations will appreciate a courteous note of thanks.
  • Your parents or whoever is hosting your wedding.

Writing a thank you note can seem a daunting art form.  But remember these simple rules from EMILY POST.

  1. Do personalize your notes and make reference to the person as well as the gift.
  2. Do remember that a gift should be acknowledged with the same courtesy and generous spirit in which it was given.
  3. Do be enthusiastic, but don’t gush. Avoid saying a gift is the most beautiful thing you have ever seen unless you really mean it.
  4. Don’t send form letters or cards with printed messages and just your signature; don’t use email or post a generic thank you on your wedding web site in lieu of a personal note.
  5. Do promptly acknowledge the receipt of shipped gifts by sending a note right away or calling and following up with a written note in a day or two.
  6. Don’t mention that you plan to return a gift or that you are dissatisfied in any way.
  7. Don’t tailor your note to the perceived value of the gift; no one should receive a perfunctory note.
  8. Do refer to the way you will use a gift of money. Mentioning the amount is optional.
  9. Don’t include wedding photos or use photo cards if it will delay sending the note.
  10. Don’t use being late as an excuse not to write. Even if you are still sending notes after your first anniversary, keep writing!


A wedding website – or “wed-site” is one of the most popular trends for engaged couples.  These sites can include photos, information on travel and lodging, wedding plan updates, electronic RSVP options and they are the only place where it is acceptable to include your REGISTRY INFORMATION.Personal wedding websites are a great option for a destination wedding as there is so much information to share with your guests. You don’t need any web design skills to create your own destination wedding website. There are many companies out there that offer free wedding websites, complete with templates that you can personalize.  In addition, there are paid sites that allow even more customization.  You and your spouse-to-be only need to agree on what details to include. 

Our Favorite Destination Wedding Website Resources:

Create a free destination wedding website using a collection of fabulous theme choices, apps and features.  Or upgrade to a premium account which allows for custom theme colors, photos and full customization.  In addition, premium packages are available as a cost-saving option for couples who want a custom domain name or longer hosting period.  I especially like their clean, vintage themes.

WEDDING WINDOW:  Offers a wide selection of vintage and rustic style templates.

Destination Wedding Websites Destination Wedding Websites Destination Wedding Websites Destination Wedding Websites
 Momento Seasons  Stitch  Darkroom

EWEDDING: Offers free templates in lots of tropical brights for your destination wedding website.

Destination Wedding Websites Destination Wedding Websites Destination Wedding Websites Destination Wedding Websites
Satin Classical Bouquet Summer

WEDDING PAPER DIVAS:  Offers free wedding website templates to match more than 40 of their bestselling WEDDING INVITATIONS.

Destination Wedding Websites - Tropical Sojourn Destination Wedding Websites - Beachflowers Paradise Destination Wedding Websites - Captivating Coral Destination Wedding Websites - Seaside Elegance
Tropical Sojourn Beachflowers Paradise Captivating Coral Seaside Elegance


  • Basic Information: Be sure to answer the questions Who? What? Where?  When?  & Why?
  • Related Wedding Events: Many destination weddings include more than just the ceremony and reception.  Consider including a schedule of optional events and their locations such as welcome drinks, a night on the town, and a morning after breakfast just to name a few.
  • Directions and Maps: This is may not be necessary for a destination wedding if your guests are taking taxis or you are providing transportation, however, a map of the area so that guests can get their bearings is still a good idea.
  • Schedule of Events:  You will most likely have several events when having a destination wedding.
  • Hotel Information and Travel Information: Whether you have reserved a block of rooms or just want to recommend nearby options, your guests will need help from you in finding a place to stay.
  • Suggested Attire: Guests always want to what to wear, so help them out by telling them that it’s a formal affair, or that jeans and flip flops are okay, especially if you have several wedding events.

Your wedding website might also include:

  • Wedding Party Information:  You might want to include a list of your wedding party with a little information about them or your relationship.
  • Registry Information: Your wedding website is the only place where you can ‘announce’ your registry information unsolicited.  It is not acceptable to include this information with any other wedding information, such as on your invitations or enclosures, but this is where guests come to get practical information about your wedding.  Make sure that your registry information is not the focus of your site.
  • Stories about Your Engagement or How You Met: A short story about your romance is a nice idea.  Just make sure that the personal stories you post are appropriate for all of your guests.  Also, many wedding websites are public (not password protected).  If in doubt, keep personal information private.
  • Online RSVP: Some couples prefer the convenience of having guests RSVP on their wedding website.  Be mindful of guests who are not computer savvy and make sure to include another means of response on the RSVP section of your invitation.
  • Photos and/or Videos: Your guests will appreciate a few cute photos and perhaps a video or two.  Just don’t go overboard – there is no need to post photos and videos documenting every detail of your relationship.

After the wedding. You can use your site after the wedding to post wedding and honeymoon pictures, anecdotes and a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to all. This thank you does not replace the individual THANK YOU NOTES that must be handwritten.

For more tips, check out what PEGGY POST has to say regarding wedding website etiquette.


The ring is on your finger and the planning is underway — time to get your guests in the loop. Your first step: Send a WEDDING SAVE-THE-DATE CARD. This pre-invitation mailing officially announces your wedding date and lets guests know that they will, in fact, be invited to the celebration. Here are the answers to your most-asked etiquette questions. 

Where to Start

Q. Do we have to send a save-the-date?
As DESTINATION WEDDINGSand three-day weekends have become more standard, so have save-the-dates. And if you’re marrying during high-travel times like a holiday weekend or summer in a beach town, a save-the-date is an expected courtesy. Of course, you don’t have to send one if you don’t want, but it will give guests the heads up about your wedding plans. Between travel arrangements and busy schedules, sending a save-the-date will increase guests’ chances of attending your celebration. And that’s the goal, right?

If someone receives a save-the-date and will be unable to attend, they are likely to offer regrets far in advance. You still need to send a wedding invitation as a common courtesy.

Q. When do you send them?
As a general rule, it’s best to start spreading the news at around six months prior to the ceremony (eight months for a faraway destination). This gives WEDDING GUESTS plenty of time to book their travel, save a bit of cash, and ask for days off from work. Any earlier, and they may toss the notice aside. Any later, and it might as well be an invitation.

Q. Do we have to send save-the-dates to everyone?
Just to the people that you want to come to your wedding. Even if you’ve already received confirmations from certain guests, you still need to send them a save-the-date (BRIDESMAIDS, siblings, and parents). But remember: Only send to those that you definitely want to attend. Once these are in the mail, there’s really no turning back.


Sticky Situations

Q. Do we need to add “and guest,” or can that wait for the invitations?
It’s best to be clear about who’s invited to the wedding, even this far in advance. Always call your best friend’s boyfriend by his nickname? Now’s the time to find out what’s on his birth certificate. By including the actual names of every intended guest on the envelope, you’re less likely to have any assumed invitees (like your third cousin’s new boyfriend), or general confusion (is your seven-year-old niece invited?). Being up front about who’s invited also gives families with uninvited kids ample time to plan for child care, and out-of-towners time to figure out hotel room shares.

Q. What if we send save-the-dates and then change the date or location?
This scenario is very unlikely, since no couple should send out formal wedding information before setting the plans in stone — but stranger things have happened. In the event of an unexpected change of plans, your best bet is to update your wedding website, pick up the phone, and start spreading the word. You do have the option of sending out another mailing that explains the dilemma — but a personal, verbal notice is the best way to avoid confusion. (If your WEDDING GUEST LIST is a bit overwhelming, enlist the help of your bridal party.)


Wedding planning has consumed the past year or more of your life. Full of milestone tasks and concrete deadlines, your schedule becomes more and more hectic as the months wear on. In the midst of your frenzied agenda, it is easy to forget that the guests you want to invite also struggle with their own daily schedules.Today, people often plan vacations, business trips, family outings and church events at least four to six months in advance. To ensure your guests include your wedding on their calendars, they need to know about it first. But if your invitations go out only six weeks prior to the wedding, your window of opportunity for an acceptance may have long since past.

The solution comes in the form of SAVE THE DATE CARDS-also known as save the date invitations. Coming in many varieties, couples send save the date cards about six months in advance of the wedding. These cards let people know the date and location of your wedding so they plan ahead to keep the date free.

Because save the date cards are a relatively new wedding tradition, the rules of etiquette for them are still being written. It is certain, though, that you must make sure every person who gets a save the date card also gets an invitation. But should you send them to every guest on your invitation list?

Experts recommend sending save the date cards to as many of the guests on your list as possible, especially those who will be traveling from out of town.

Formal vs Informal

These cards-which vary in type from save the date postcards, SAVE THE DATE PHOTO CARDS, save the flat cards with matching formal invitations to save the date magnets-are less formal than your actual invitations. For this reason, you can relax your style when designing them.

This means using simple wording. In your formal invitations, you may choose to write your entire wedding date in words: The Twenty-Fifth Day of June Two Thousand and Seven. However, because save the date cards are less formal, it is acceptable to write the numeric date of your wedding: June 25, 2007.

As you struggle to choose every element on your formal invitation, the save the date invitations can simply announce the date and location of your wedding. If you choose, you may decide to provide out-of-town guests with accommodation and transportation information on or with these cards.

It is imperative to include “Formal Invitation to Follow” at the bottom of your save the date invitation. This will make sure none of the recipients mistake the save the date card for the formal invitation.

Setting the Stage

Some designers say that they must match your invitations or planned dcor. However, others say it is not necessary to be in the same style of the rest of your wedding.

To decide what’s best for you, keep in mind that people will see these cards as your way of setting the stage for your event. Even though they may not be designed in your wedding’s colors or theme, you may want to ensure your save the date cards are an appropriate reflection of your planned wedding.

For example, if you plan a formal evening gala, your save the date cards may include cursive text atop a couple decked in formal attire dancing across a ballroom floor. However, if your wedding will be more of casual, festive celebration, then a picture of you and your future spouse having fun might be more appropriate.

As save the date invitations become more popular, there are a growing number of options available. Magnets, scratch off cards, announcement postcards and inserts into your CHRISTMAS CARDS are all being used today.

With the many styles and options now available and the few firm etiquette rules surrounding them, you will have an easy time finding save the date cards that match your own unique tastes.

Save-the-date cards are a relatively new trend in weddings, and they came about as a way to respect guests’ time and make sure they can attend the wedding. In good etiquette, you’ll send these as soon as possible, months before the wedding to ‘reserve’ your big day on their calendars. As with any printed item for your wedding day, there are some etiquette mistakes you’ll want to avoid:

1. Sending them out immediately upon your engagement. You’re all excited about the wedding plans, you booked the place, you made a guest list that includes everyone you’ve ever known. But as time goes on, all of those deposits for the band, the videographer, the photographer, the florist, and more add up. You could find yourself in a money crunch that requires you to cut down your guest list…but you can’t if you sent everyone a Save-the-date. This is the #1 save-the-date mistake, because you must invite these people to the wedding now. It’s bad form to have them reserve a block on their calendars, not take their annual vacation, not register their kids for camp and so on…and then they don’t get invited to the wedding. Major rifts happen in families over this one, so take your time, make sure you know the strength of your budget, and send them out when you’re sure you can invite everyone on your list.

2. Going off-color. Your friends might think a wacky save-the-date card featuring a dog with cartoon-like eyes swigging from a bottle of tequila is fun, but your relatives will wonder about you. Keep the save-the-dates on the classic or classy side, and personalize them with a photo of the two of you, great colors, a border, and so on. There’s a lot you can do to be original without crossing the borders of taste.

3. Not notifying guests that there’s a magnet inside the envelope. The magnet save-the-date card is a popular choice now, but if you don’t write on the envelope that a magnet is enclosed, the recipient could place the envelope on top of a computer disk and erase it. It’s always best to put a ‘magnet enclosed’ note on the outside of the envelope.

4. Not putting enough information. Always make sure you include the wedding location, such as your hometown or a destination wedding locale, along with the date so that guests can make travel plans. Just having the date is not enough. Guests need to know how many days they’ll need to take off of work.

5. Enclosing confetti. Or anything else that will fall to the floor and be a pain in the butt to vacuum up. A better enclosure is a sheet of vellum with a poem or something that can be kept – or tossed – with ease.

Even formal save the dates are generally worded less formally than the invitation. Writing the date as 06.05.13 or June 5, 2013 is perfectly acceptable and even more common than “Saturday, the fifth of June, two thousand and thirteen.” Putting your wedding web site on your save the date is a great idea and totally acceptable in terms of etiquette. It’s traditional to put “invitation to follow” or “formal invitation to follow” on the save the date, but it’s not necessary if you choose a more spare, streamlined wording.


Save the date
Amelia Manning
Liam Cullen
New York City


Amelia Manning & Liam Cullen
are getting married on
Saturday, June 5, 2013
New York City
Please save the date


Please save the date of
June fifth, two thousand and thirteen
for the wedding of
Amelia Manning
Liam Cullen
in New York City
Formal invitation to follow


Save the date
Amelia Manning
Liam Cullen
June 5, 2013
Invitation to follow


Save the date of
June 5, 2013
to celebrate the wedding of
Amelia Manning and Liam Cullen
New York City
Details to follow


Save the date
for the wedding of
Amelia + Liam
New York City


Save the date!
Amelia Manning & Liam Cullen
are getting married on
June 5, 2013
New York City
Invitation to follow


We’re getting hitched!
Amelia Manning & Liam Cullen
are excited to announce their wedding on
June 5, 2013
New York City


Liam proposed… Mia said ”Yes!“
Join us on June 5, 2013
as we say ”I do“
in New York City
Formal invite to follow


Boy met girl.
For the rest of the story
please join us on
June 5, 2013
for the wedding of
Amelia Manning and Liam Cullen
Invitation to follow


She dreamt of a wedding of elaborate elegance,
a church filled with family and friends.
She asked him what kind of wedding he wished for.
He said one that would make her his wife.
Please save the date of June 5, 2013
for the wedding of Amelia Manning to Liam Cullen
Formal invitation to follow