The Destination Wedding Checklist Every Couple Needs

Are you dreaming of a destination wedding for your big day?

If so, you’re in good company. Each year in the US, there are around 2 million weddings that take place. 340,000 of those unions take place in destination weddings.

As you start planning your wedding, you may feel overwhelmed by the number of details.

Don’t worry. We’ve compiled the ultimate destination wedding checklist to lead you right up to the big day.

The Ultimate Destination Wedding Checklist

After Engagement

  • Announce your engagement.
  • Discuss expenses and set a wedding budget.
  • Create a list of possible destinations.
  • Start researching venues, packages, and available dates.

9-12 Months Out

  • Select your location and schedule a site visit (if possible).
  • Choose members of your wedding party (if you have one).
  • Decide on the formality and style of your wedding.
  • Hire a photographer and videographer (if not included).
  • Order and send out save-the-dates.
  • Start shopping for your wedding gown and bridesmaids’ dresses.
  • Register for gifts or create a honeymoon registry.
  • Research cultural or ethnic traditions to include in the ceremony.

6-8 Months Out

  • Hire a caterer, florist, and DJ or band (if not included).
  • Take engagement photos.
  • Buy your wedding dress and schedule a fitting.
  • Reserve a block of rooms for your guests.
  • Research and book group activities or excursions.
  • Create and launch your wedding website.
  • Book airfare (and encourage guests to book theirs as well).

3-5 Months Out

  • Order and send out invitations.
  • Plan the welcome party and rehearsal dinner.
  • Finalize menu, flowers, decor, cake, and music.
  • Renew passports and apply for visas (if required).
  • Research any marriage-specific laws for your destination country.
  • Choose the right formal wear for groom and groomsmen.
  • Ensure your bridesmaids have ordered their dresses.
  • Shop for a veil, jewelry, and other accessories.

1-2 Months Out

  • Write your vows.
  • Schedule final dress fittings.
  • Confirm day-of hair and makeup appointments.
  • Choose welcome-bag goodies for guests and gifts for the wedding party.

1-2 Weeks Out

  • Confirm all flight and hotel bookings.
  • Double-check all details with all vendors.
  • Finalize guest count for your caterer.
  • Make a seating chart and place cards.
  • Pack for the wedding and honeymoon.
  • Prepare day-of payments and tips.

On Arrival

  • Meet with your planner and officiant to confirm details.
  • Do a walk-through of the ceremony and reception locations.
  • Apply for the marriage license.
  • Get your dress and suits steamed to remove any wrinkles.
  • Distribute welcome bags to guests’ rooms.
  • Book a manicure and pedicure (or a full spa day).
  • Enjoy your rehearsal dinner and other activities.
  • Enjoy your big day!

Important Do’s and Don’ts

Few things in life are as stressful as planning a wedding. Here are some final tips to add to your destination wedding checklist.

  • DO factor airfare, visas fees, and other costs into your wedding budget.
  • DON’T forget to consider the budgets of your guests, too.
  • DO remember your passports and other documents.
  • DON’T forget to pack major items like the rings or your dress.
  • DO learn a few basic phrases in the destination’s language.
  • DON’T forget to call your bank and credit card companies to inform them of your travel plans.

Final Thoughts

Wherever your big day takes you, this destination wedding checklist will help to keep all the details organized.

Are you still considering locations for your destination wedding? Could you see yourself exchanging vows on a beautiful white sand beach?

Click here to learn more about our destination wedding packages in Lover’s Key, Florida.

Lover’s Key Weddings


8700 Estero Blvd,
Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931

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