STEP FIVE: Invitations and Travel Information
Again, this is something not pertinent to my destination wedding, but it will be crucial to the success of yours if you want people to attend! Now that you have your date set and your destination wedding resort booked, you can send out the invitations and travel information to your guests. You may have already sent some initial information to them to give a heads up to those needing to block off vacation time or to save up that well earned bonus from work to pay for the trip, but you now have the specifics in hand. You will want to get your invitations out well ahead of what a traditional wedding timeline suggests, as you have booking deadlines to meet with your travel agent and it takes a lot of preparation to travel, especially to an international destination.
There is a good chance that your travel agent gave you invitation enclosures, a printable flyer, or an e-flyer that includes all of the details of the destination wedding package for your guests. If they did not, or you prefer to have one made to match your invitations, it’s essential to be thorough and include all pertinent information. Work with your agent to include the specifics. The travel information provided with the invitations should also include the resort name, expected pricing, what the pricing includes, and all deposit and booking instructions. While you may end up taking care of a portion, or all, of the arrangements for close family members, the majority of your guests will be contacting your travel agent on their own time. Be sure the agent’s contact information is clearly outlined and that your guests fully understand that they need to contact the agent by a certain date to obtain the special wedding rate. It’s always best to not wait until the last minute to contact the travel agent so that he or she has plenty of time to answer any questions and process everyone’s request before the deadline. If you are having a wedding outside of your home country, make sure that all of your guests know that they will require a passport and to apply for one immediately if they do not already have one. Obtaining a passport can take up to a month, or more, depending on the current demand. If they do have one, encourage them to check the expiration date and make sure they have at least 6 months validity left on their passport following their return from your wedding. Also, remind them that each country has different entry requirements, so it’s always best to check with your travel agent on the requirements and possibly include them with the travel information. For example, it’s well advised to have two blank pages in your passport before entering South Africa otherwise you may be turned away at the point of entry.