A Practical Checklist for Planning a Destination Wedding


wedding blog, destination wedding, wedding checklist

You may be the list-making type . . . the kind of person who keeps details organized on clean sheets of paper or in a convenient app on your smart device. Or maybe you’ve been meaning to become that type as you plan your upcoming destination wedding. Following an established checklist for engaged couples is an excellent way to ensure that you’ve crossed all of your ‘t’s’ and dotted your ‘i’s’ as you prepare to say “I do”. Destination weddings, however, have their own special wedding planning “to-do” requirements, so make sure you keep a separate list to help keep you on track.

Packing for Your Destination Wedding
As you form your special checklist, include a section for your carry-on items, and one for your checked luggage. You’ll need to arrange to have your wedding gown prepared carefully to travel as carry-on. Contact your airline in advance to discuss carry on options- in some instances, the airline may allow you to hang your dress in their coat closet. Add to your must-bring items whatever your seamstress recommends for treating minor wrinkles and creases on arrival.

Make a list of the events that you have planned during your wedding away. ?Pack the appropriate outfit and accessories for each event, including the shoes and undergarments you need to complete your ensemble. Be sure to pack active wear for any fun excursions and adventures beyond the resort. If you’re headed to a sunny site, save money and bring your own sunblock and toiletries as these tend to carry a huge mark-up at resort gift shops and in tourist towns.

Transportation is Key
You’ll want to ensure that you have transportation set up from the airport to your hotel or resort. You will not want to have to figure it out on the other side, with your gown and other wedding accessories in tow. It’s best to know that a taxi, shuttle, or town car will be there on your arrival to make sure you get to your destination safely and smoothly. Want to make it even easier on yourself? Most resorts can handle this “to do” on your behalf!

Remember Important Documents
Your destination wedding checklist should include all of the important documents you might need during your time away. Proof of age and identity may come in the form of a passport, valid driver’s license, or birth certificate. Consult with your destination wedding specialist in advance to ensure you know what is needed, and carry an extra set of photocopies of any that you bring in case the originals are lost or stolen. If either of you have been married before, you may need to provide proof of dissolution of your previous marriage (such as death certificates or divorce decrees). Take copies of your vendor contracts, reservation information, travel and medical insurance policies, prescriptions, and your vows. Electronic copies are helpful, but keep a hard copy in case your computer, phone, or tablet is compromised.

Consider Your Guests
Be mindful of the fact that some of your friends and family may not be able to attend your destination wedding. Sometimes, it simply doesn’t fit in their budget or perhaps they can’t get the time off of work. It’s best to not take it personally if some guests decline – it doesn’t mean they don’t want to be a part of your special day! Just be sure to get in touch with them and plan a date to meet up when you return to share pictures and stories. You may even want to provide them with your wedding hashtag so they can stay up-to-date on Instagram! In some instances, a fun, laid-back reception back at home is an appreciated gesture for those who were not able to make the trip.

Keep a running list as you make arrangements for your celebration, and consult it as you prepare to leave. Your special day will be made even more carefree when you ensure that you have everything you need. Now is the time to start your list-making habit!

Photo credit: myinspiredwedding.com


Megan Velez is the Vice President of Product at DestinationWeddings.com, the world’s leading destination wedding and romantic travel planning company. DestinationWeddings.com has worked with over 20,000 couples and half a million guests to plan dream destination weddings. For more information, visit DestinationWeddings.com. 

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