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Destination Wedding RSVP Timeline: Dos and Don’ts

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When you are sending out your wedding invitations and putting together your guest list, the question of when should RSVPs be due for wedding guests has likely crossed your mind. Especially when it comes to a destination wedding, things can be a little bit different than if you are just getting married in your hometown. 

This article is a guide to invitations, RSVPs, and the Dos, and Don’ts of finalizing the guest list for your destination wedding. Your wedding RSVP timeline does not have to be difficult. 

rsvp deadline for wedding

The Invitations

Do: Make Your Venue Clear

On your destination wedding invitation, make sure that you make it very clear that this is a destination wedding. Be sure to include the location of the wedding and the resort in an easily legible font so there is no confusion. It would be very unfortunate to have a guest RSVP and then be surprised that they have to book a flight two weeks in advance!

Don’t: Misinform Guests on Cost

Destination weddings are definitely more expensive than getting married at home. As per destination wedding etiquette, the married couple does not have to pay for more than the ceremony, food, and drink. Depending on your budget, it is okay to ask your guests to pay for their own hotel room and flight. Just be sure to include that as a part of your wedding RSVP timeline. Make sure everyone is aware of the cost before they send in their RSVP. 

Do: Include Booking Information 

As a part of your invitations to RSVP for wedding ceremonies abroad, be sure to include booking information for your guests. Offer them information about the resort you will be staying at, and potential flight options for the days surrounding the ceremony. Make it easy!

Do: Include an Itinerary

One helpful thing you can do to help your guests understand the time commitment for your wedding is to include an itinerary. This does not have to be extremely detailed, but try to make note of any important group activities or meals. 

For example, you could include information about a welcome dinner, the ceremony, reception, and a day-long cruise or excursion the day after the wedding. This can help your guests know how to make the necessary preparations back home. 

rsvp for wedding

Don’t: Be Vague About The “Who”

Part of asking “when should RSVPs be due for wedding ceremonies” is also “who should RSVP for the wedding”. If you are inviting an entire family of parents and kids, include every name! If you are only inviting one person and their plus-one, make sure to make that clear. Otherwise, you might have more guests than you expected.

RSVP Deadlines

Do: Send Your Invites Early

In order for your wedding RSVP timeline to be seamless and well-organized, make sure you choose the right time to send your invitations. Because a destination wedding includes a lot more planning and travelling for all of your guests, try to send your invitations out with plenty of time for them to not only respond by the RSVP deadline for wedding, but also so they can make travel plans with plenty of time to spare. Mail out your save-the-date cards at least nine months in advance so everyone can be ready when the wedding comes!

Do: Clearly State Your Deadline

When you are asking people to RSVP for wedding travel and events, make sure you make the deadline extremely clear. That RSVP deadline is important to making sure that you, your fiance, and your wedding planner can finalize all of the last details of your wedding, like food, seating numbers, and tickets for any planned excursions. To make it easier, include a stamped return envelope in your Save-The-Date so it is easy for your guests to return their RSVP!

Do: Follow up!

If your deadline has approached and you still do not have some of the RSVPs, do not be afraid to reach out and ask. You do not need to offer people a grace period; they have had plenty of time to answer your invitation. You have already gone through the trouble of figuring out when should RSVPs be due for wedding events, and now you need answers. Ask for an answer politely, but if they cannot give you one in the next couple of days, it is okay to count them out. 

Finalizing Your Guest List: 

Do: Expect Some “No’s” 

When the RSVP deadline for wedding comes around, do not be surprised if you end up hearing that a number of your friends and family will not be attending. Don’t take any offense! It is very common for your guest list to be a lot shorter than your number of invites. 

In fact, only about 60% – 75% of guests end up attending a local wedding. For destination weddings, the number goes down to between 50% and 70%. As much as you want everyone on your list to be able to attend your wedding, sometimes it just isn’t in the cards. Especially with a destination wedding, sometimes people are not able to afford the flight or get enough time off of work. At least they got you an answer within your wedding RSVP timeline!

Do: Offer Updates!

After you have the every last RSVP for wedding celebrations, don’t forget to keep your guests in the loop about any changes or new details. With your Destify wedding website, your guests can have access to a complete itinerary, and even coordinate travel with one another. Plus, you can give them updates on how and when things change; maybe the welcome dinner has shifted from 6:00 to 7:00. Now, they can account for it in their own schedules, too.

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The Perfect Destination Wedding 

Finding the best RSVP deadline for wedding ceremonies abroad does not have to be difficult. In fact, after your wedding RSVP timeline, wedding planning is made easy with the help of Destify. Our wedding planners are here to help you with every step of your destination wedding journey, from creating a website to booking your resort. 

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