Today is a very special day — Part I of a three-part series about the written materials you should create for your wedding weekend. If you’re one of my clients, I create these materials and e-mail them to you so you can personalize them and edit them and do what you like with them before you send the packets out to your guests. But, if you’re not lucky enough to be my client or to be getting married on Vieques Island, I figured you might need a little help with this part of the destination wedding planning process too. So let’s move on to the topic of the day — writing your travel information packet.
The travel information packet is a very important document because it should contain all the necessary information for a wedding guest to make their travel arrangements, accommodations reservations, and rental car arrangements. If you didn’t send a “Save-the-Date,” then your travel information packet might be the first real thing your guests see related to your wedding weekend.
As I said before, I write the travel information packet for my clients. Then my clients can personalize the packet and send it out to all of their wedding guests. If you’re writing it yourself, here is an outline of what you should include:
— a welcome note
— travel information, including any group discounts that you have arranged and how to use them
— accommodations recommendations, including detailed descriptions of each venue you’re suggesting your guests consider
— rental car information, or information about getting around to your particular destination
— a tentative itinerary of the wedding weekend to give your guests an idea of when they should arrive and how long they should stay
— contact information for your wedding planner, if you have one
— the web address for your wedding website, if you have one
You don’t have to make your travel information packet fancy and expensive. Lots of my clients print the packet on regular colored 8 1/2 by 11 paper, staple it, and mail it out in regular #10 envelopes. But just as many of my clients choose to have a professional graphic designer create special mailers for the materials so that they match the wedding invitation and other printed materials. I did something somewhere in between. I purchased vertical ivory notecards stamped with a scallop shell to use as a top page. I printed the rest of the pages on ivory resume paper. I also bought ivory #10 envelopes in a higher quality to match the paper. Rather than staple, I punched holes and tied ribbon. I played with the fonts and made the packet look fancy, but I didn’t spend $1,000 to do it. You can spend as little or as much as you want to spend. If you can get away with duplicating it on the copier at work, go for it!
Post the contents of your travel information packet on your wedding website after you’ve mailed it out, but don’t do that in lieu of sending an actual paper copy via snail mail. People don’t read all the information on a wedding website. It’s just a fact. The information that you are sending in your travel information packet is deadline sensitive, and must be dealt with upon receipt. We all love the Internet, but it isn’t always the most effective tool for delivery.
The travel information packet should be sent before the actual formal wedding invitation is mailed. With a destination wedding, it’s important to give your wedding guests as much lead time as possible. The travel information packet can be sent out a week or so behind a “save-the-date,” or mailed in conjunction as a combination “save-the-date” and travel information packet all rolled into one.
Now I don’t know how well you write, but if you follow the simple outline I’ve provided to you, you shouldn’t have too many hassles with getting your guests to your wedding. I’ve been re-using and improving the travel information packet for Vieques and Culebra islands for a long time. Yours won’t be as good as mine is. LOL But my packet virtually guarantees that I won’t receive more than one or two e-mails from guests with additional questions for each wedding I plan. That’s the whole purpose of taking the time to send a travel information packet. You do not want to have to hold each guest’s hand individually as they make their travel and accommodations arrangements for your wedding weekend.
Next blog will be Part II in our series about written materials for your wedding weekend — the month-out newsletter! Until then, happy wedding planning from Weddings in Vieques and Weddings in Culebra.