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More couples nowadays are deciding to say "I do" with their closest friends and family at a warm destination. Rather than having a big wedding in the couple's home town, couples are choosing to treat their guests to an enchanting vacation. With charter/discount vacation packages being more competitively priced, what would appear to be a generous gesture can be an affordable choice.

If you are planning to pay for hotel and airfare of your close friends, family and relatives, a critical component to consider is the number attending. As well, you need their preferred airport, travel dates, and legal names typically several months before the wedding.

Creating a custom wedding invitation in order to effectively inform your close friends and family of the event date and details is important when planning a destination wedding. Typically, wedding invitations are sent out to guests about six to eight weeks before your wedding, however, with the need to book hotels, confirm flights, etc. most couples would mail out their destination wedding invitations between four to six months in advance.

Typical facts you need to confirm with your guests are:

- Their preferred airport to depart from
- Whether they would want a smoking or non-smoking room
- Dates they'll be able to attend
- Passport or birth certificate name and information

Finally, with designing your destination wedding invitation, the temptation is to use all sorts of fragile sea shells, star fish, even perhaps somehow incorporating sand into the invitation. The unfortunate fact is that fragile items are extremely expensive to ship and difficult to keep intact. The last thing you'd want to have happen is spend $15-$20 per custom wedding invitation and have them arrive to your guests in broken pieces of glass, coral or seashell as these items tend to crack or break easily in the mail.

Some different techniques for designing your custom wedding invitation with the destination theme in mind would be to simply use bright papers, ribbons and ink colors for your wedding invitation. Choosing a special graphic or image and printing a small picture to add to your invitation is also very popular. To keep the design simple, elegant but fun, the image should be approximately 1" inch to 1.5" inches square and can be added to the front of the invitation, at the top of the invitation wording if there is room or as a watermark behind your main wording. Popular images include sunsets, coral, palm trees, waterfalls and of course starfish and seashells. It is also a good idea to use blue, aqua, or teal print or materials such as papers and ribbon colors to accent your design to remind your guests of the cool waters or orange and red tones to create a warm effect. A lot of papers today are offered in a variety of textures and using an assortment of these papers can help achieve the effect you are going for. Some favourites include shimmering blue metallic papers coupled with a sand coloured ribbon.

A good suggestion is to use a motif that is suggestive of the area your wedding is being held. For example a turtle or hibiscus motif can signify a wedding taking place in Hawaii. Dice, hearts and spades or poker chips can be printed on the invitations so that your guests can look foward to a weekend of fun and excitement in Las Vegas. A soft mountain scene is a nice touch that can be adding to the wedding invitations to indicate a wedding taking place in the Rockies.