Q&A: Invitations: Send Early to Faraway Guests?

Q: I know that you normally send out invitations four to six weeks before the wedding, but we are getting married in Florida in “peak season" and 80 percent of our guests will be coming in from out of town. How early should I send invites to give them time to get the lowest airfares? Also, how should I handle reserving hotel rooms for these guests?

A: The best thing to do if you're marrying far away from where most of your guests live -- especially if it's a tourist area -- is to send out save-the-date cards with accommodations and travel information. This "card" can be as simple as a letter from you both (a nice computer printout is fine) letting guests know your wedding date and giving them any travel, hotel, car rental, and such information they may need to make arrangements. Another idea: Send save-the-date notices that include just your wedding date and location immediately; then send the accommodations and travel information in a separate mailing about four months before the wedding. (Invites themselves can still go out two months before the big day.) Since your wedding is during peak season, you'll want to contact a few hotels to see if you can lock in a discounted group rate. Then just let your guests know they should mention your wedding when they call for a reservation.

Up Next
Q&A: Invitations: Destination Wedding Etiquette?

My fiance and I are getting married in Maui and know that not all the 200 guests we would like to invite will make it. When we come back home, we are going to have a reception for everyone not able to make the trip. I've read that when getting married away and returning home to a reception, you should only send out wedding invitations to those you know can and will attend the wedding, then send out separate invitations for the reception. We both feel very strongly about sending invitations to everyone and then including (at the bottom) that a reception will be held in our honor when we return. We are afraid that if we follow etiquette, we will hurt people's feelings. Do we follow the rules or do what we feel is right?

by The Knot