But before you voyage into the last, there are some virtual matters to attend to. If you’re designing to pay for your guests airfare and hotel (a generous offer), you’ll need to know early on if they’ll be present, as well as get their valid names, chose airport, and travel dates, often months before the weddingThere are two ways to access this:

First, determine whether you’d like to send the invitation out now or wait until suitable time before the wedding (4 to 6 weeks).

If you choose to wait, send a personal letter to each of your guests. I’m thinking that if they are close enough to you to be invited, they probably already know about the wedding. The letter could say something like: Dear Jack: As you already know, Peter and I are planning to be married. We’ve selected to combine our wedding and our honeymoon to have an close and memorable wedding in Hawaii next January!

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Because you’ve been so special to us, it would be an honor if you could join us there as our guest. (Replacement wording: as the guest of our parents and us. You could also say something like it would be an honor if you could join us and see our wedding. As a wedding gift to us, my parents are inviting everyone as their guest.)

We’ve planned an all-inclusive four-day weekend trip from January 12 to January 16. The wedding will happen on the evening of January 14 and will be a casual affair on the beach, with the sunset behind us. The other days will be full of swimming, snorkeling, sight-seeing, some great food, a little dancing, and opportunities for us all to get to know one another better.

A formal invitation will be sent nearer to the wedding date but, as we need to buy the airfare and the hotel packages, we’ll need to know if you can attend by January 15. I know this is too soon to make such a commitment, and I hope you will be able to come. Besides, if you don’t already have one, you’ll need to get a passport. I’ve enclosed a guest questionnaire, information about applying for a passport, and details about the trip, along with a return envelope.

How early is too early for wedding invitations?

Sending them too early or too late can likewise be impolite, so here are basic wedding invite timeline rules: Save the date cards can be sent out as early as a year from your wedding date. Invitations should be sent to your guests six to eight weeks in advance of your wedding.

Ask your travel agent what the questionnaire should cover – commonly it will include:

  • Passport or birth certificate name
  • Preferred airport to fly out of
  • Smoking or non-smoking room

Dates you’ll be able to attend (we hope you’ll be able to come for the full trip)

If you select you’d rather do the formal invitation now, hold its words as you would for any other wedding, then print an enclose similar to the above letter. You should then plan on sending something to the guests 4 to 6 weeks before the wedding that gives them an update on plans so that you know they’ve it in their minds etc.

You should probably begin to address your wedding invitations three months before the wedding. (If you have a calligraphist, ensure with them four months before the wedding as to as they need your guest list and invitations.) Ideally, wedding invitations are sent 8 weeks before the wedding – allowing guests a few weeks to make travel organizations and set up time off from work if necessary, before sending them back to you. 

Remember, you’ll need to get them back in advance so you can begin marking place cards, make final head counts, etc. Ask for an RSVP date 3 weeks before your wedding, if you sent them on time. At a minimum, send them out six weeks in advance, and set an RSVP date of 2 weeks before the wedding.

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