How much time for responses on a destination wedding

Planning a destination wedding in early Dec. Plan to send out save the dates soon. The invites will go out about two months before the wedding. How soon after they go out can I ask for the responses back? I’d like to know how many people will actually attend so I can finalize the bookings.

Emmanuela Stanislaus, Precious Occasions, Wedding and Event Planner

Invitations for a traditional wedding are sent out about eight weeks prior to the wedding date with an RSVP date of 3-4 weeks before the wedding date. With a destination wedding, the earlier you send out the invitations the better! If you’re concerned about getting a finalized guest count, I would suggest that you send out the invites twelve weeks out with an RSVP date of 6-8 weeks before your wedding date. Best of luck to you.

Brandi Hamerstone,

The invitations do go out at least 6-8 weeks prior to your wedding date, as stated by the other expert. You’ll want to send them out a bit sooner, since you need to organize so many details with the destination wedding. I would agree with the previous post and ask for them within 6-8 weeks and send them out about 12 weeks prior to your wedding date. You may want plan on getting in touch with the people that you don’t hear from right away so you aren’t waiting until the last minute for all of the people who don’t get around to RSVP’ng in time.

Rebecca Black, Etiquette By Rebecca

Great advice. Plus, with the destination wedding, typically, there are fewer guests. So, it might be best to ask guests (verbally) if they are coming. Another option is to include the name of a travel agent who is responsible for assisting your guests with their travel plans with your save the dates. This person could help keep track of those attending. Of course, all of that depend upon your guests using him/her for their needs. 😉

A wedding website is helpful as well. You could post the a “countdown” for your guests to make their travel plans. There could even be a space for your guests to share their travel plan ideas. This is getting into the planner’s space though. I’m not a wedding planner 🙂

And, please remember that all guests who receive save the dates also receive invitations. You probably know this, but…had to mention it. 🙂

Joyce C Smith, MBC, President and owner of Weddings Unlimited, Inc. and Ohio State Coordinator for Association of Bridal Consultants

I agree with the previous posts, but would like to make an additional comment: not sure where your destination wedding will take place, but be sure all the requirements for a legal ceremony is taken care of now. Some locations outside the US take as long as six months to finalize. And some states have different residency and license requirements. An example has to do with an original birth certificate. Sometimes, it takes weeks just to get that sent to you.