Destination weddings are a dream come true for many couples. With the stunning landscapes, exotic locations, and romantic settings, it’s easy to see why this trend has become so popular in recent years. However, planning a destination wedding can be a bit overwhelming. With so many details to consider, it’s easy to get lost in the planning process. That’s why we’ve created the ultimate destination wedding timeline to help guide you through every step of the way. From initial planning to the wedding day, we’ll cover everything you need to know to make your dream wedding reality. So, grab a pen and paper, and let’s get started on planning the destination wedding of your dreams!
Envision your Wedding
When it comes to planning a destination wedding, there’s no such thing as being too prepared! Once you are approximately a year out from your potential wedding date, it’s time to get to work. This is an exciting step in the planning process, but it can also be overwhelming if you don’t know where to start. The first thing to do is consider your budget–what are your priorities? Do you want a tropical beach wedding or an indoor reception? Are there any specific activities or lodging options that would make for great memories? Envision the type of wedding ceremony that perfectly complements your unique style and personality, and consider the number of guests who will be in attendance. Once you answer these questions, it’s time for research!
The internet is full of information about different locations and their weather patterns throughout the year; use this knowledge as inspiration for choosing where exactly will be most fitting for your big day. We recommend exploring sites such as The Knot, Wedding Wire, and Trip Advisor, in addition to consulting with friends who have already tied the knot in a similar setting. This will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the unique features and exclusive amenities each location has to offer, as well as any requirements that need to be met before obtaining a marriage license.
Hire a Wedding Planner
As you’re planning your destination wedding, it’s important to understand the local culture. A good wedding planner will help you create a personalized experience that reflects your interests and values. They can also connect you with vendors in their area who are familiar with their client’s needs and preferences–and they’ll know how much those services will cost ahead of time, so there won’t be any surprises later on.
Pick your Date
When selecting your wedding date, remember that the most sought-after venues tend to book up years in advance, so it’s imperative to secure your dream location as soon as possible. Additionally, if your chosen destination lacks nearby airports or train stations, we recommend arranging private transportation for your guests to ensure that everyone arrives on time and in style. Once you select your date, make sure to send save-the-dates as soon as possible so that your guests can make their travel plans accordingly.
By taking these steps to plan, you can rest assured that your destination wedding will be nothing short of a breathtaking and unforgettable experience for all in attendance.
Arrange Transportation and Purchase Flights
Arranging transportation and purchasing flights is essential to planning a destination wedding. You want to ensure that your guests arrive at the venue on time and with minimal stress.
First, have guests purchase their flights. When sending out invitations or save-the-dates, include information on the nearest airport and transportation options to the wedding venue. Encourage guests to book their flights early to get the best prices and to ensure availability. You may also want to consider group flights or group travel options to make the process easier for your guests. If you have guests traveling from different parts of the world, consider providing information on visa requirements or any necessary vaccinations.
Next, consider booking transportation from the airport to the wedding venue. This could be a shuttle service or a private car service. Be sure to research transportation options ahead of time and book in advance to ensure availability. You may also want to consider providing transportation to and from the airport for your guests.
Make Room Reservations
Once you’ve decided on the location, it’s time to start planning accommodations for your guests—first things first: research hotels and other accommodations in the area. If possible, consider making group reservations (like a block) through your venue or hotel so everyone gets a discounted rate. Ensure there are enough rooms for everyone; once again, this depends mainly on how many people will attend your wedding (and how far away from home). A destination wedding planner can help you with this process.
Book a Photographer
Once you have a venue, it’s time to book some vendors. The first thing on your list should be photographers. You’ll want to research local photographers in the area, compare different packages and prices, read reviews, and get recommendations from friends who have had their weddings there before. If you’re planning an outdoor wedding (or even if not), make sure that whoever is doing the photography has experience shooting at that location–they need to know how best to capture its beauty!
Set Up a Wedding Website
You want to ensure your guests can easily find the information they need. You’ll want to include all of the details about your destination wedding, including:
Obtaining wedding apparel is an essential part of the wedding planning process. It includes finding the perfect wedding dress, bridesmaid dresses, purchasing rings, and buying the groom’s attire.
Finding your wedding dress is an exciting and memorable experience. Start by doing some research online to get an idea of the styles you like. You can also visit bridal boutiques in person to try on different dresses and find the perfect fit. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to find the dress of your dreams and make alterations. Once you have found your wedding dress, it’s time to decide on bridesmaid dresses. Consult with your bridesmaids to get their input on style and color preferences.
Finally, buying the groom’s attire is an essential part of obtaining wedding apparel. Consider the style and formality of your wedding when choosing the groom’s attire. You can choose a classic tuxedo or a more casual suit depending on the theme of your wedding. Make sure that the groom’s attire complements the bride’s dress and the bridesmaid’s dresses.
Send Out Invitations
When it comes to a destination wedding, it’s important to give your guests plenty of time to plan. That’s why we recommend sending your destination wedding invitations six to nine months before the wedding day. This will give your guests enough time to make travel arrangements, book accommodations, and take time off work if necessary.
Once you are a few months out from your wedding day, contact guests who have yet to RSVP. If you have a list of people who haven’t responded yet, call or email each one individually and ask them if they plan on attending. Based on this updated guest count, make sure to notify your vendors of any changes.
Order Favors or Welcome Bags
Ordering wedding favors or welcome bags for your guests is an excellent way to show your appreciation for their presence on your special day. These small gifts can also serve as a reminder of the love and happiness that was shared during the event. When selecting wedding favors or welcome bags, consider the theme of your wedding and choose items that reflect it. Popular options include personalized chocolates or candies, mini bottles of champagne or liquor, custom candles, and tote bags with your wedding date or location printed on them. Be sure to order enough for all your guests, and if possible, try to match the favors or bags to the overall color scheme of your wedding. With a little bit of thought and planning, you can make your guests feel extra special on your big day.
Confirm Guest Flights & Accommodations
If you have guests flying in from out of town, having all their flight information in one place is essential. You’ll want to know when they’re arriving and departing so that you can ensure transportation is arranged to and from the airport. Additionally, if any of your guests are staying offsite, it’s vital to have their hotel information so that you can ensure they receive any relevant updates or changes to the event itinerary.
Make sure to send out a reminder email to all out-of-town guests to ensure they have all the necessary details, such as airport transfer information and hotel details. Providing this information in advance can help your guests feel more comfortable and relaxed, knowing that everything has been taken care of.
Make Final Payments
One month before the event, it’s time to make the final payments for all accommodations, food and beverage, and vendors. You should have a clear understanding of what’s included in each vendor’s package, so there are no surprises. Review all contracts and invoices carefully, ensuring all services have been delivered as promised.
If you have any questions or concerns about the final payments, now is the time to address them. It’s crucial to have everything settled before the event date so that you can focus on enjoying your special day.
We hope this guide has provided you with valuable insights and helpful tips to ensure your special day goes off without a hitch. Remember, planning a destination wedding can be a bit overwhelming, but with careful planning and organization, it can also be an incredibly memorable and magical experience. Don’t be afraid to enlist the help of a wedding planner, and most importantly, enjoy the journey! Your destination wedding is a celebration of your love, and it’s important to savor every moment of the planning process and the big day itself. Best of luck, and happy planning!
At Just Because Romance, we offer top-notch services for couples who want an unforgettable wedding experience. Our team of experts is dedicated to ensuring everything goes according to plan. We know how stressful this time can be, especially when planning an event on the other side of the world. That’s why we offer assistance every step of the way. So, schedule a consultation to start your destination wedding journey!
7 Ways to Save On Your Destination Wedding Day | Feeling Guilty about Having a Destination Wedding? Don’t! | Casa de Campo Resort & Villas | The Ultimate Guide to Creating the Perfect Destination Proposal | Traditional Wedding vs Destination Wedding: Which is Right for You?