When you are planning your wedding invitations, you’ll find that there is a traditional “tried and true” format that most of us are all too familiar with. However, when planning a destination wedding there are a lot more information needed that sometimes can seem obvious, but still definitely needs to be stated. In this post we will examine all the parts of a destination wedding invitation that you need to be sure to include to ensure as little need for clarification as possible.

Names

This one is pretty straight forward but, in general, it will also set the tone for the entire invitation, so be sure to think this one through. Begin with the names of the couple getting married. This can be as simple as “Sarah and John” or more formal, such as “Sarah Smith and John Doe.” Or, if you are extra fancy, “Dr, Sarah Smith, MD and John Doe, Esquire” This is completely up to you.

Wedding Date and Time

Clearly state the date and time of the wedding ceremony. Be sure to specify whether the time listed in the morning (am) or afternoon (pm). This might seem silly, but when you factor in guests coming from different countries, different cultures and the fact that Italy uses a 24-hour clock, it is better to err on the side of caution to avoid any unneeded confusion. 

Destination

Because this is a destination wedding, having a line or two dedicated to the country, region, province and city is imperative.  We recommend keeping this part short and sweet and expanding on it on your wedding website.

Location

This is perhaps the most important piece of information you will be sharing with guests. It is very important when planning a destination wedding in Italy, to include the exact address of the venue, in addition to its name. Believe it or not, there are so many “Villa Giulias” or “Tenuta Belvederes” across Italy that unfortunately, on more than one occasion, we have had organize hectic, last minute transportation to get guests in the proper place!

We recommend providing as much information in this section as possible. If the ceremony, aperitivo and dinner will all take place in different locales, this is important to relay to guests. The more information you can provide the better, however, in keeping with a minimalist themed invitation, perhaps you could include all of the minute details on your wedding website. (Don’t worry, check out our Wedding website blog for more information).

RSVP Deadline

Clearly state the deadline by which guests should RSVP. This helps you finalize your guest count and make necessary arrangements for seating, catering, and other logistics, but will also leave tome for guests to get their affairs in order. Leave your guests plenty of time to arrange travel, time off from work, set up childcare and pet sitters. (Sidenote: An often-overlooked responsibility, but one I take very seriously, is to make plans to have someone come by and water your plant-babies if you will be gone for more than a few days).

RSVP Method

Specify how guests should RSVP, whether it’s through a designated wedding website, traditional (snail) mail, email, phone or text. Include relevant contact information or RSVP links if using digital platforms. (We always recommend that couples be mindful of their time, energy and ‘bandwidth’. Since we are all so entrenched in the digital era, our phones are constantly bombarded with notifications, texts, calls, junk mail, etc. We recommend that you opt for a wedding website so that you will have all of your wedding information in one place and will (hopefully) avoid waking up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night, wondering if you remembered to add Aunt Betty and Uncle Chuck to the RSVP list?!?

Wedding Website

Since we (unavoidably) live squarely in the “digital era”, a wedding website is almost always expected. This is a great idea because you can constantly update the website with new information as details are finalized. We always suggest that couples should include the basic information outlined above and then add any additional information (that is not relevant to the invitation), such as destination details. accommodations, dress codes, cultural traditions, travel tips, local attractions, FAQs and more! Encourage guests to visit the website often for further details and updates.

In conclusion, a wedding invitation should include all of the traditional information: Names, dates, times, destinations, locations, and RSVP information. Keeping your invitation simple, clean and clear will allow guests to understand exactly what they need to know AND by including a URL to your wedding website, guests will have all of the most recent information at their fingertips and will greatly reduce the number of conversations that inevitably crop up while planning. Trying to keep as much information available to your guests as possible will leave you free to actually enjoy the planning process.

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