What a 15 month planning timeline means for your guests

I got engaged December 2014 (I can’t believe it was so long ago as I am typing this). For the first year of our engagement we were pretty busy because we purchased a house, waited for it to be built and moved in. We were originally leaning towards a traditional home wedding (read more about what factors finally swayed us here) and moving into a new house definitely affected our budget! I was really unhappy with the options that I had for having a wedding at home so we officially decided in November 2015 that we would get married away.

We knew we would probably choose a date in Spring 2017 so I felt absolutely no pressure in November, I mean I have a good 18 months at this point right? And most pinterest timelines say give your guests 12 months notice so at the point I had LOTS of time (or at least that’s how I felt).

Here’s why this is misleading for Canadians specifically: Usually a timeline says something along the lines of “give your guests 8-12 months so they have lots of notice to arrange travel plans”. I’m not sure if this is strictly a Canadian thing, but for my wedding I picked a resort with flight package and then my guests called my travel agent and book themselves in for the same package. This has also been true for destination weddings I have attended. So when they give guests time to arrange travel, I think they mean give your guests some time to save!

Here is what I thought my timeline would look like:

15 months before wedding (end of February 2016): I set the date for May 13, 2017 and signed the contract with my destination wedding travel agent.

14 months before the wedding: Send out save the dates beginning of March and then guests would have three months to put down deposits.

Guests have until May 2017 to pay off the trip (14 months after receiving the save the dates).



Here is what it actually looked like:

15 months before wedding (end of February 2016): I set the date for May 13, 2017 and signed the contract with my destination wedding travel agent.

14 months before the wedding: Mid March: Confirmed everything. If you are getting married in Mexico or another Caribbean island just know they operate on “island time”

Immediately after confirmation I ordered save the dates and sent them to our guests. Everyone probably received their invitations late March/beginning of April.

12 months before the wedding: May 20th is when the deposits were due ($200 per person).

5 months before the wedding: End of January is when the rest of the trip is due! This was surprising to me. You can pay off the trip up to the beginning of March but you lose your early booking bonus of almost 200 per person which is pretty steep!


If you think about me setting the date in February and having my wedding in May I thought I would be able to give my guests 14 months to save for the destination wedding! In reality they had less than two months to decide whether or not they could commit and then a short 8 months to pay their trip off!

Just something to keep in mind! I know I couldn’t find a lot of information on what the booking process was like when planning my destination wedding so I hope that this helps !


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