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.