10 destination wedding invitation wording and design ideas to transport your guests

A couple gets married beside their bridal and groom parties in front of an outdoor pool.
Paperless Post BlogWedding > 10 destination wedding invitation wording and design ideas to transport your guests

Every wedding is a special occasion, but a destination wedding is a true adventure! You’re beginning your new life in a romantic, exotic place, ready to step from altar to honeymoon in an instant. All you need are tickets, a passport, a venue—and your favorite people. Whether you’re reciting your vows on a mountaintop or a tropical island, we’ve listed everything you need to consider when doing the wording for your destination wedding invitations to set the right vibe while letting everyone know the plan.

What’s included in a destination wedding invitation?

Just like local wedding invitations, destination wedding invitations provide all the information that guests need for the best experience possible. However, your wedding invitation wording for your destination wedding will have a lot more detail to add—and it needs to be very clear on the specifics, especially when it comes to travel and accommodations.

  • Wedding time and date: Guests need to know exactly when your wedding ceremony will be so they can plan their travel accordingly.
  • Venue: Add as many details as possible, like venue name, address, city, and country (if applicable) to help guests end up in the right place.
  • Travel and accommodation details: Consider adding links to flights or travel tips so guests can easily buy tickets. Paperless Post’s Travel and Accommodations Blocks let you list important travel information, like links to room blocks and details about flights, right beneath your invitation.
  • Itinerary: Are you planning events for guests before or after the wedding ceremony? Add these occasions—and their times and places—to your wording. If you’re not planning extended activities for guests, suggest local tourist activities.
  • Dress code: Whether you’re planning a black-tie affair in Paris or a low-key beach wedding in the Bahamas, consider adding the dress code so guests aren’t guessing what to pack.
  • RSVP: Ask for RSVPs around a month before the wedding takes place so you know how many guests to expect. This RSVP timeline gives you a chance to follow up with guests and adjust ceremony and reception arrangements if needed. Use Guest Tags on your invitations to organize guests into helpful groups after they RSVP.
  • Additional reception information: Since not every guest can attend a destination wedding, some couples plan a local reception after their ceremony. Include this information in the invitation if you’re planning on a party back home, too.

When to send destination wedding invitations

A timeline depicts the optimal time to send save the dates and invitations for a destination wedding.

Generally, a destination wedding invitation timeline is longer than a local wedding timeline. Destination wedding invitations should go out three to four months before the wedding.

Save the dates for destination weddings should be sent out even sooner than that—some up to a year or two beforehand, depending on your locale. It’s important to know your date and your destination when sending save the dates so guests can start thinking about whether they can attend.

Sending the save the dates and invitations out so far in advance allows guests to book flights and hotel rooms, request time off work, and make other travel arrangements without added stress.

Remember to ask your guests to let you know if they are coming with an RSVP date that’s a month before the wedding takes place. Then you can finalize your own plans with your venue and caterer.

Destination wedding invitation wording and design ideas

To help you plan your big day, we’ve gathered 10 destination wedding invitation ideas and wording suggestions to invite family and friends on the vacation of a lifetime.

1. Tropical destination wedding invitation ideas

An invitation with palm trees on a beach; a newlywed couple in wedding attire sits at a sweetheart table in front of a bamboo forest.
Key West” by Felix Doolittle for Paperless Post; image via Anne Salas.

 

For a romantic wedding on a faraway beach, choose the beautiful “Key West” invitation by Felix Doolittle or “Moon Lagoon” by Paperless Post. Add formal-but-relaxed wording like:

 

With the sand beneath our feet and the sea at our backs,

we’re saying “I do” to a lifetime together.

Please join

Kate March and Corey MacNeill

at our dream wedding on the beach.

Sunset Beach Resort

Montego Bay, Jamaica

June 10th

Ceremony at 1 p.m.

Reception at 3 p.m.

RSVP by May 1st

Semi-formal beach attire requested

Please see travel and accommodation tips below.

No gifts please; your journey is all we need.

 

2. Mountain destination wedding invitation ideas

A destination wedding atop a mountain gives guests a breathtaking view of the valley floor—and an unforgettable nuptial experience. Send guests the “Mountain Scene” or “Arete” invitation by Paperless Post to set the scene, and add wording like:

 

We’re shouting our love from the mountaintops!

You’re invited to witness it at the wedding of

Skyler Smith and James Parker

on Saturday, May 16th.

Ceremony at 5 p.m.

at Mountain Meadow Resort

in Colorado Springs, Colorado

Dress to impress in semi-formal attire

Travel and hotel block information below for your convenience.

RSVP by April 15th

 

3. Woodland destination wedding invitation ideas

If you and your beloved feel most at home among the trees and nature, it’s only natural to set your wedding in the forest. Invite fellow nature enthusiasts with the “Augusta” or “Sequoia” invitations by Felix Doolittle, and say:

 

Join us for a wedding under the stars

as Billy Warner and Viola Murray

commit their lives to each other in matrimony.

Saturday, April 10th

Ceremony at 3 p.m.

Twin Pines National Park

New Gloucester, Maine

RSVP by March 1st

Consider joining us for a family dinner on April 9 at Sandy’s Diner in town.

The bride and groom are staying at Dakota Lodge in the park; 

find links below for additional lodging options.

One-of-a-kind wedding invitations

Customizable designs from Oscar de la Renta, Rifle Paper Co., kate spade new york, and more.

4. Travel-themed destination wedding invitation ideas

Play up the travel part of your destination wedding with the understated “Flying High” invitation by Paperless Post or “Bristol Belle” by Crane & Co. Use wording like:

 

Our adventure is just beginning.

Together with our families,

Brandi Keating and Josh Powell

invite you to our wedding

in Tuscany, Italy!

Vero Amore Resort, Villas 1 and 2

Saturday, May 20th

Ceremony at 1 p.m. 

Formal attire requested

RSVP by March 20th

For those who can’t join, a reception will follow our return 

back to the States

in the couple’s hometown

at 901 Petersen Road, St. Louis, MO

on June 1st

 

5. Garden destination wedding invitation ideas

Flowers are blooming, birds are singing, and your guests are tearing up at your floral-themed garden wedding. Set the tone early with “Spring Florets” by Happy Menocal or “Shanghai Garden” by Rifle Paper Co., and add wording like:

 

Sweeter than a rose is my beloved to me.

The Rogers and Patel families invite you

to the wedding of their children,

Marie Rogers and Amir Patel,

on the twelfth of July

Two o’clock in the afternoon

Royal Botanic Garden

London, England

with tea and reception to follow

at Tea House Theatre

Formal or semi-formal attire

RSVP by June 1st

 

6. Big city destination wedding invitation ideas

A man and woman without faces shown sit in a subway car holding colorful flowers; an invitation with a pink border featuring city skyscrapers.
Image via Sylvie Rosokoff; “City Panoramic” by Paperless Post.

 

Getting married in the Big Apple, the Windy City, the City of Lights? Let guests know they’re in for a big-city experience with “Skyline View” by Paperless Post or “City Panoramic” by Paperless Post. Add fun wording like:

 

Join us for a week in the greatest city in the world!

Celebrate as Mark and Tyler tie the knot

at the Plaza Hotel

in New York City, New York

March 15th at 7 p.m.

Cocktail attire 

Come for the wedding—stay for the honeymoon!

See our attached itinerary for planned events,

and join us for anything that looks fun.

We’re staying at the Plaza (wedding block information below)

and would love to see you there!

RSVP with your plans by February 1st

 

7. Autumn destination wedding invitation ideas

Not every bride is a June bride. Emphasize the autumnal beauty of your destination wedding with “Autumn Boughs” or “Buckhannon” by Felix Doolittle. Include wording like:

 

The days may shorten, the leaves may fall,

but, my darling, my love remains evergreen.

Together with their families,

Pearl Hogan and Matthew Spindler

invite you to their autumn wedding

on October 20th

Ceremony at 4 p.m. with a reception to follow in the main room.

Wilton Forest Resort

Hartford, Connecticut

Semi-formal or cocktail attire

Travel and accommodations are outlined below

Your response is requested by September 1st

 

8. Nautical destination wedding invitation ideas

If you’re getting married on the high seas, invite guests aboard with nautical-themed invitations. The “Nautical II” invitation by kate spade new york or the “Mr. Digby” invitation by Mr. Boddington’s Studio set a jaunty but elegant tone with wording like:

 

We’re swept away!

Celebrate the marriage of 

Mary Jo Hoffman

and Bethany Christine Gilbert

aboard the Paradise Cruise Ship.

The ship leaves from Packer Harbor, Washington

on September 5th at 9 a.m.

and returns on September 10th at 5 p.m.

with a wedding ceremony on Tuesday, September 7th at 3 p.m.

and a reception to follow.

Cruise attire welcome.

RSVP by July 1st, if you’d like to join us!

 

9. Vineyard destination wedding invitation ideas

Set a romantic scene among the vines when you plan a vineyard destination wedding. Both the “Vineyard II” invitation by Paperless Post and “Napa” by Felix Doolittle add the right touch of outdoor elegance, along with wording like:

 

We request the pleasure of your company

at the wedding of

Marissa Henderson and Anthony Burgen

as they take the first step into the rest of their lives.

May 17th, 5:30 p.m.

Wine tasting to follow the ceremony

Trinity Vineyard

Napa Valley, California

Formal attire requested

If you are unable to travel for the ceremony, 

please join us for a reception banquet back home

at McMahon Hall, Little Rock, Arkansas

May 30th at 6 p.m.

 

10. Ornate destination wedding invitation ideas

A red and gold invitation with an ornate arch at the center; an invitation with an ornate red and gold mandala-inspired border.
Golden Paisley” and “Dvaar” by Paperless Post.

 

The beauty of some weddings can’t be contained. If you’re planning a gorgeously ornate wedding in another part of the world, pair the “Golden Paisley” or “Dvaar” invitation by Paperless Post with wording like:

 

You are cordially invited

to the wedding of 

Shimomura Kiyomi and Emaan Bhati

as they celebrate their love and life together.

Friday, June 19th

Five o’clock in the afternoon

The elegant Magnolia Hotel

Lahore, Pakistan

Itinerary and travel suggestions attached for your convenience

Your formal response is requested by May 1st 

While the couple would love to celebrate with everyone in our lives, 

they understand that travel is not possible for all guests.

 

Destination wedding invitation etiquette

Etiquette for destination weddings is largely the same as other wedding etiquette—with a few additional considerations.

Keep cost in mind

While destination weddings offer guests a once-in-a-lifetime experience, they do come with a higher financial commitment. Keep track of the costs guests may incur, especially your wedding party, and try to provide cost-cutting tips when possible.

Add Travel Blocks with room block codes so guests can save on accommodations and plane tickets. You may also consider saying something like “No gifts—your journey is our present!” in your invitation so guests don’t have to spend extra on a registry.

Only invite people you know can come

Destination wedding invitations shouldn’t be a surprise. If guests receive an invitation to a destination wedding that they can’t attend for financial or life-related reasons, they may see it as a request for wedding gifts rather than a real invitation. Discuss the wedding details with potential guests before the invitations—or the save the dates—go out, so there are no mixed messages.

A fun way to highlight who is already coming is with a Wedding Party Block in your Paperless Post invitation. You can add photos and information about each person in the bridal party so guests already know some people who are attending before they arrive.

Include plus-ones and kids

It’s good manners to allow guests to bring a plus-one to a destination wedding, rather than requiring them to travel and vacation by themselves. Consider adding kids to this equation, since finding childcare for a multi-day wedding event may prevent some guests from attending.

If kids won’t be allowed, consider adding wording like:

  • No kids, please!
  • We love your kids, but this wedding is just for adults.
  • Babysitters are available at the hotel as this wedding is for adults only.

Add details about local customs

For destinations that take place in a country or region with different customs, include important cultural tips for visiting the area. For example, discuss whether the region has a practice of tipping service employees, wearing a certain dress code, or closing early in the day for religious observances.

Stay in communication with guests

Chances are, your guests will have questions about your wedding—even more than with a local wedding. Use Guest Surveys in your Paperless Post invitation to gather information from guests about their dietary needs or add a Comment Wall for travel questions and other concerns. Guest Check-In also allows you to confirm guests’ attendance once they arrive at your wedding so everyone is accounted for.

Stress that there’s no obligation to attend

It’s easy to include wording that reflects your understanding of guests’ limitations to book travel or spend money on a destination wedding. Add something like:

  • While we would love to celebrate with everyone in our lives, we understand that travel is not possible for all guests.
  • If you can’t attend our ceremony, please join us for the after-party at our home when we return!
  • Don’t worry if you can’t attend—we get it! We look forward to celebrating with you near or far.

Take your wedding on the road with Paperless Post

Destination weddings are a truly unique and beautiful way to connect two lives in marriage. When you invite guests to a destination wedding with Paperless Post, your invitation sets a beautiful, organized tone for the trip of a lifetime.

But the journey doesn’t end with the invitation! Add a custom URL and use your Paperless Post Event Page in place of a wedding website. Contact our Personal Design Services team to create a special design, like a custom monogram, an illustration of your venue, or a hand-drawn map of your wedding weekend. And add a Registry Block if you have a registry so people can find your information easily and plan what to send.

To ensure you don’t miss any of the details, check out our complete guide to planning a destination wedding, including important logistics and congenial touches. And if you’re still looking for the perfect venue, find inspiration in our list of destination wedding ideas around the world. Bon voyage!