destination wedding invitations

Wedding Invitations: Tips and Ideas
Retro Floral Elements- illustrations for wedding invitations.

Getting your wedding invitations in the mail with plenty of time for family and friends to respond is key to having a good turnout at your wedding.

If you’re one of the many couples planning a summer wedding, you’re probably thinking about getting your wedding invitations and save-the-date cards out after the first of the year. The invitations set the stage for your wedding. It’s the first opportunity you have to share the style of your celebration. You’ll want to have an idea of what type of ceremony you’re having, classic or modern, elegant or casual. When you order your invitations, you’ll want to consider other wedding stationery, such as menu cards, ceremony programs and thank-you notes, that carry your motif and colors throughout the event.

Making Your Wedding Invitations

Here are some tips and ideas you’ll want to keep in mind when you make your invitations:

  • Choose your wording carefully. Learn the rules of how your invitation should be worded. Traditionally, it’s the host of the celebration who is listed first. If you are dealing with multiple sets of parents, you may choose something different to honor everyone. Don’t put too much information on the card. Print separate enclosure cards for directions to the venue and travel information.
  • Don’t include registry information in your invitations. Put it on your wedding website and tell your family for when guests ask.
  • Order invites and other stationery together and early. This saves you time, money and stress.
  • Double or even triple check everything that is printed. Have two or three different people look at the proofs to ensure nothing is missed, misspelled or incorrect.
  • Get creative with fonts and coloring, but make sure the invitation is readable.
  • When ordering invitations, count mailing addresses, not guests. But remember to add a few extra invites to avoid having to run a reprint later on.
  • Send an invite if you’ve sent a save-the-date card. Even if you know the guests cannot attend, send the invitation, because not doing so implies that the guest is no longer invited.

Deadlines

  • It’s recommended that you send invitations about six to eight weeks prior to the wedding, but 10 weeks is becoming the norm in these busy times. You have to remember not to send invites too early, because people forget to RSVP. Sending invites too late doesn’t give you enough time to get responses to tell your caterer an official head count.
  • When putting an RSVP deadline on the card, give yourself a few extra days between the real date and the date you tell people. For example, you have to give your caterer a head count on June 1. Make the RSVP deadline on May 24, a full week earlier. If you have to spend time calling people, you won’t be so stressed. Giving people a short time to respond makes them take care of it quicker. You might even choose to move the date up even more.
  • Help your guests respond to invites with all the information that you require. You might be surprised how many people forget to write their names on the reply cards or just forget to respond at all. Discreetly number the reply cards to correspond to the list of guest names, or consider pre-printing a label for the reply card.

Making Your Wedding Invitations: Outside the Envelope

  • Don’t use address labels on the envelope. Hand write them yourself or ask your bridal party to help. If you’re concerned about making mistakes, just get a few extra envelopes. The hand-written address makes the invite feel more personal.
  • Get a glue stick to seal the envelopes without damaging the invites.
  • Be careful about the outside of the envelope. Use a dark-color ink to address the envelopes to make sure it can be read.
  • Check the correct the postage before you mail. Take one envelope with the reply cards inside to the post office and have it weighed and examined. To be sure that the clerk got it correct, mail an invite to yourself before you send out the others.

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Beautiful Destination Weddings in Canada

Destination Weddings

Although many couples dream of having the perfect beach wedding, there are many locations in Canada that are just as exotic, with beautiful backdrops such as the mountains or Northern Lights. If you’re planning a wedding, consider some of these great locations for your ceremony or honeymoon. All of the locations are non-denominational, making them excellent choices for religious or non-religious ceremonies. Get the wedding you’ve always imagined in the perfect setting that fits your personality and style.

Destination Weddings: Elk Ridge Resort, Saskatchewan

If you’ve always dreamed of a winter wonderland wedding, consider the Elk Ridge Resort when the snow is on the ground. It’s almost like a fairy tale—elegant, yet comfortable and inviting. This resort is open year round, with many different rooms available for your wedding and reception. There is a spa on site, a golf course nearby, and dining facilities that can accommodate 250 people. The resort even has pet-friendly facilities, so you can bring your best canine friend, provided it’s smaller than 50 pounds.

Maritime Museum of Atlantic, Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia probably isn’t the first location that pops into your mind when you’re considering a destination wedding, but the Maritime Museum features a historical backdrop for your ceremony and spectacular views of the harbor for your reception. While the wedding party is taking pictures, the guests will be entertained by the stunning displays and stories of the museum instead of patiently waiting around for the reception.

Hotel de Glace, Quebec

For a scene right out of “Frozen,” come to the Hotel de Glace in Quebec. The venue is constructed of ice and snow, and features 44 rooms and suites with exquisite ice sculptures and carvings. Available only in the winter, the hotel is a magical place that is a world-renowned tourist destination just a few minutes from downtown Quebec City.

Swans Hotel and Brewpub, Victoria, British Columbia

Combining the old world elegance with today’s technology is Swans Hotel and Brewpub, one of Canada’s most gorgeous wedding venues according to Slice.ca. The penthouse terrace overlooks the city, which gives you a perfect place to relax before and after the wedding. The hotel has plenty of space and accommodations for your guests, in a stunning environment that is decorated in charming elegance.

Blachford Lake Lodge, Northwest Territories

In 2011, Prince William and his new bride visited this lodge on their honeymoon. Wedding parties are limited to a maximum of 26 individuals at this location, so it’s the perfect spot for a private, intimate affair. In the late summer, you can even have your ceremony under the Northern Lights without worrying about flying insects, because there aren’t very many in this neck of the woods. Canoeing and hiking are just a couple of the activities offered to the bride and groom.

Banff National Park, Alberta

Lake Louise in Alberta is a picturesque location for any outdoor wedding. It is home to a number of resorts and inns that overlook the mountains, but there are also some great hotels with accommodations for all your guests. The park is one of the most popular tourist sites in Canada; make plans early to have your wedding here. Your guests can enjoy both outdoor or indoor activities prior to your ceremony.

Graydon Hall Manor, Ontario

Graydon Hall Manor is a reception and conference facility that can seat up to 250 guests on its terrace which overlooks the beautiful gardens. It also offers smaller, more private rooms for intimate events. The chapels are non-denominational, so are suitable for any type of ceremony. It’s a stunning backdrop for your wedding or reception, with fireplaces and a private bridal suite for preparation, and formal gardens for picture-taking.

 

Making Canada Your Destination Wedding

Bride enjoying a Destination Wedding

Many people think of sandy beaches and the ocean when they start planning their wedding, but if you’re a fan of mountains and trees, Canada provides many lush locations, both urban and pastoral. As with all destination weddings, if you are not a resident, you need to work with the local agency to make sure you have the documents you need to get married in a foreign country. In most major cities in Canada, French and English are both understood, which makes the country friendly to many different cultures.

Alberta Destination Wedding Ideas

The Northern Lights may steal the show when you get married in Alberta, but that’s not all there is to do in the area. Edmonton and Calgary both offer unique restaurants, dances clubs, and shopping. For the outdoorsy person, there are kayaking and winter sports, and with 19 lakes, you’re sure to find a beach to hold a beautiful ceremony. The climate is dry, with around 300 days of sunshine per year, the most in any province or territory.

British Columbia

British Columbia is a more temperate region, sitting just off the Pacific. Victoria may be the capital, but most foreigners are probably more familiar with Vancouver, home to the 2010 Olympic Games. Sophisticated hotels in the city offer stunning accommodations, with many different locations for ceremonies, including ski resorts and wineries. The climate along the ocean beaches in the south is rainier than the interior, but it’s also warmer as well.

The Atlantic Region

Your Nova Scotia wedding can include a day of whale watching as part of your pre-wedding get together. The sea life is what this province is famous for; you can’t get fresher lobsters than those that are brought in by boat every morning. The main city, Halifax, is home to five universities, giving you plenty of cultural activities. There’s plenty of nightlife and restaurants, but if you prefer something more rustic, you can make plans to hold your ceremony in one of the smaller sea towns close to Halifax. Summer temperatures rarely go above 80 degrees F, while winter temperatures average about 25 degrees F.

The Beauty of Ontario

Niagara Falls, one of the Seven Wonders of the World and one of the most romantic locations to hold your destination wedding, is just one and a half hours from Toronto. After the wedding, come back to Toronto and enjoy its music scene, museums, and unique pubs that offer award-winning craft beers. Bordering the Great Lakes, Ontario has beautiful beaches and national parks to explore before your ceremony. It’s warmer in the southern areas, but you’re guaranteed snow during the winter months in the north. If you want a white wedding backdrop, you can’t beat Ontario.

Quebec, a French-Canadian Province

The architecture of Quebec City has made it a UNESCO world heritage site, but it has plenty of modern and hip restaurants. It, too, offers a number of scenic locations, being located on the Saint Lawrence River and home to the Laurentian Mountains. The average mild summer temperature is in the 70s (F), but when combined with the high humidity, it can feel much hotter. Winters can be brutal if you aren’t used to the cold. Plan on snow on the ground from December to April, with an occasional November storm. The spring and fall are shorter seasons, but the weather is typically very pleasant. You may experience an Indian summer in the fall, which is a later heat wave.

Culturally Friendly

Canada is home to many different cultures and religions, with all religions having equal rights. Ministers of every religion have the right to perform a ceremony, and same-sex marriages are legal in Canada. The age to marry can be 18 or 19, depending on which province or territory the ceremony is being held. Canada is home to many picturesque scenes, which can make a beautiful backdrop to your destination wedding.

Eight Great Canadian Wedding Destinations for the Perfect Day

Wedding Destinations in Beacon Hill Park, Victoria

Canada is a vast country, rich with scenic beauty. Atlantic to Pacific and north to south across the great spaces spread out between the coasts, the varied terrain and rugged landscapes of the country provide ample opportunity for everyone to find the perfect site for wedding day celebrations.

Range of Wedding Destinations Options

When it is time to choose your one-of-a-kind Canadian wedding destination, whether for the ceremony and reception or just for a special getaway for you two when the formal event is over, consider some of the options available across the width and breadth of the country.

  • Nova Scotia – The historic Fogo Island Inn has an intimate capacity of 70 people, with 29 guest rooms, all featuring stunning North Atlantic views. Another intriguing option on the Atlantic edge of the country is the quaint and historic town of Lunenburg, with inns and restaurants rich with beauty, perfect for creating nuptial memories to last a lifetime.
  • Newfoundland – The province’s capital city, St. John’s, is the oldest city in North America and has natural charm to match its history. The Waterford Manor is an intimate inn constructed in 1901 with seven guest rooms. The Leaside Manor, located minutes from town, is a romantic destination with capacity for 60 guests.
  • Quebec – At the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac, guests savor the rich details of the renovated estate dating to the 19th century. The grand ballroom impresses with chandeliers of substance, a dazzling stairway entryway and culinary delights. Or for an unforgettable adventure, try the Ice Hotel, located about a half hour drive north. Open January through April, the edifice sculpted of ice hosts weddings and provides services including photography, catering and more.
  • British ColombiaBrock House in Vancouver is conveniently located in the city for ease of access to family and guests. The garden and beach have the feel of a secluded getaway, and the indoor reception hall is ample for a good-sized group with a varied menu available for the banquet.
  • Victoria, B.C. – At Beacon Hill Park, the wedding party can enjoy the gorgeous greenery for gathering outdoors and close-by restaurants for eating indoors. Permits are required at the park. Advance planning is mandatory.
  • Alberta – Banff is home to spectacular mountain views and gorgeous resort accommodations for wedding parties and guests. The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel shares its design with the Scottish castle that inspired it from a previous century, with spacious terraces to take in stunning views while exchanging vows.
  • Northwest Territories – For a remote wedding with the aurora borealis lighting the night, consider the Blachford Lake Lodge, Yellowknife. This unforgettable wedding destination will require that your guest list stay under 26 people to fit into the cozy north woods lodging and resort accommodations. Activities like canoeing and hiking will fill out the days surrounding the big event.
  • Ontario – For wedding parties with substantial guest lists, the Casa Loma is the ideal location. The fabulous great hall with 60-foot oak beam ceilings accommodates 550 people in grand style for the wedding party of a lifetime. In Kitchener, Ontario, the Hacienda Sarria features gorgeous gardens and a courtyard, a lovely pond and ample space for a ceremony and party. With rooms designed for different purposes throughout the location, guests take in the beauty of the entire estate.

Something for Everybody

With its diverse beauty, historic architecture and welcoming people, Canada has an ideal wedding destination for every taste. Wherever your dreams and visions of the perfect wedding may take you, somewhere in Canada is sure to have the scenic backdrop as well as the facilities and all the extras that you will require to make the day the most that it can be. Plan ahead, as the best locations and venues fill up fast.