Originally Posted by nl2134
We are planning on doing wedding in port on Carnival Dream in June 2014. I was debating doing STD's, but decided there is enough info the need early to book cruise, so I decided to just go right out with invites. I plan to send them out next month (9-10 months before cruise). They will have basic trip info, booking contact info and link to our website, which has a lot more detail. With invite I'm including preliminary RSVP for early count estimate, due September. That leaves me time to contact people before they miss early pricing. Then at about 4 months before trip I plan to send out more info on cruise & excursions, along with a final RSVP probably due at final payment deadline. At this point I will ask for booking info for anyone that hasn't already provided it. So I should have final count on sailing & non-sailing guests along with needed info before I need to provide it to cruise line. I with probably also send out a final mailing about a month before trip with more details about boarding, pre-wedding & wedding day schedule, hotel accommodations, and any other details needed.
Just wanted to share my experience with trying to plan a wedding cruise!
My FI and I are planning on getting married in April 2014. The cruise that we are taking is the Carnival Victory, which stops in Key West (our wedding destination) and Cozumel. We decided that by getting married in KW, it would be easier for more members of his family (who live in Louisiana and Texas) to attend.
I sent out my invitations in August with a final RSVP date of February 1 (the final payment date is February 9, I believe). Thus far, I do not plan on sending any additional paper notices out. Just as an FYI, if you have a contact person for each of the groups you are attending (ie. your future MIL for his family, your mom for your side and a trusted college friend for your college invites, etc.), then you more likely to get responses for people. For the most part, people do not realize that if they are not coming they need to RSVP.
All in all, I would say that by sending out multiple mailings, you going to create more work for yourself. Plus, most people are not going to take the time to appreciate your efforts. (Just being honest based on my experiences.)
If you find that most of your invites are virtually connected and you already have RSVP, you could consider ask for peoples' email addresses in order to send them notices that you have updated your website. (As an added bonus, you will have their emails for most wedding correspondences.) I think that would be more effective because all of the information you are talking about sending them is traditionally information you would find on a wedding website.
Hope you and other brides find my experiences helpful!