Creating Unique Invitations for Your Destination Wedding

Discover stationery style trends and must-know logistics for your wedding abroad.

Creating Unique Invitations for Your Destination Wedding

Photo: Kevin Williams

The hottest trends in paper are poised to leave their mark on a booming trend in celebrations: the destination wedding. Whether your guests will be traveling halfway across the world or just across town to reach your event, creating unique and informative destination-wedding invitations is a must. They add to the spirit of your affair and inspire attendees to make the most of their weekend adventure.

Style Trends
Today’s trends in destination wedding paper artistry include using regional colors and motifs borrowed from your location’s culture (e.g. food, activities, and nature) to set the right mood for your guests. Work with your custom invitation designer to research and create a style that is unique to your destination wedding.

- Hosting a wedding fiesta in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico? Use a fun pair of chocolate-and-orange maracas as the spicy theme for your paper products. For a clever save-the-date, send actual maracas handpainted with, “Shake, rattle, and roll with Amy and David for a wedding weekend in Mexico!”

- Tying the knot on a cowboy ranch in Texas? Make your motif a pair of copper boots stitched with colorful yellow roses. Send a fun rehearsal-dinner invitation in a small linen bag filled with scented yellow rose petals. Tie the bag with a note that reads, “Kick up your boots as we celebrate the upcoming wedding of Lynn and Steve!”

- Raising your glass at a Napa vineyard? Take the colors found in the natural landscape, such as sage and plum, and use them on a sensual vine pattern that can become your motif. Go one step further and craft playful escort and table cards that look like wine labels. You can also name your tables after your favorite wines, rather than using traditional numbers. If your table is called “Alexander Valley Merlot,” then your escort card would read, “Mr. and Mrs. Henry Stevens, Alexander Valley Merlot.”

Applying the same hues and motifs toward all of your paper products – save-the-date cards, invitations, programs, escort, place, and table cards, menus, and thank-you notes – creates a cohesive look for your affair. Simple touches like using your motif to divide the courses on your menu card, or letterpress printing the design at the top of your stationery, also produce impressive results.

Consider taking your theme beyond the page to adorn your guests’ gifts. Personalize a shawl for each bridesmaid in your color scheme or include flip-flops embroidered with the same motif in attendees’ welcome baskets.

The key to success for any destination wedding is planning and sending your paper products well in advance. Providing a save-the-date card is one of the most helpful pieces for your guests. Today’s couples are investing more time and money into creating them, and they are often regarded as more important than the invite itself. Here’s why: 
Save-the-date cards give your loved ones time to ask their employer for time off, search the Internet for discounts on travel, and plan a vacation they may take before or after your wedding weekend. Destination save-the-date cards can contain a number of details: the dates for the entire weekend, choices for accommodations with toll-free numbers and/or websites, travel agent information if available, names of local airport(s), local temperatures, and special phone/fax/Internet circumstances or services. They should also indicate the cut-off date for booking accommodations. Be sure to include a brief itinerary of planned activities for the weekend as well as suggestions for optional activities. Destination save-the-date cards should be mailed five months to one year in advance of your wedding.

The actual invitations can offer more information about the activities, such as any shuttle services you are providing and the preferred attire. It is important to include details about attire so your guests can arrive dressed and prepared to stand in the sand during your ceremony or dine alfresco in the fall. Mail your destination-wedding invitations two to four months in advance. Request for response cards to be returned at least one month before the wedding to give you ample time to order and commission your programs, menus, place cards, and gift baskets.

Welcome baskets filled with local delicacies and second itineraries are a considerate way to greet your travelers. Again, include detailed descriptions of activity locations and shuttle services, suggestions for local restaurants and tourist attractions, and phone numbers for the other accommodations, so guests can reach each other if necessary.

No matter how you choose to make these ideas your own, incorporate your destination into the style and content of your paper goods. It will create an inspiring extension of your wedding that will leave guests feeling prepared and appreciated, from their first impression to your final thank you.