Are you excited about planning your destination wedding? There are so many things to think about that you might begin to feel overwhelmed. The truth is that a destination wedding is harder to plan, but as long as you keep a checklist you will stay on track and create the most memorable wedding that you can imagine!

9-12 MONTHS
– Choose a destination and find out the marriage requirements
– Create a Budget
– Decide what type of ceremony you would like, the size, the formality of your wedding, and the time of year
– Choose a date
– Possibly purchase Wedding Insurance
– Speak with and decide on the wedding planner you will use (if you plan too)
– Contact the venues that interest you and ask for their proposals
– If you can, visit those venues and meet the vendors, do food and cake tastings, etc.
– Reserve your venue
– Select the members of your bridal party
– Begin shopping for your wedding gown
– Launch a wedding website with all of your wedding details
– Compile a guest list
– Send out your “Save-the Date” cards
– Start a wedding binder to hold all of your paperwork, magazine clippings, and thoughts – whatever you might need while you are planning your big event

6-9 MONTHS
– Book a block of hotel rooms for your guests
– Decide on your music and book a DJ or band
– Choose a photographer and/or videographer
– Find an officiant
– Look into any local customs or traditions that you may want to include in your wedding
– Select your menu and wedding cake
– Design your flowers
-Create your registry
– Shop for your bridesmaids dresses – style and color
– Buy your wedding accessories
– Plan your honeymoon if you decide to go to a different destination

4-6 MONTHS
– Order your invitations
– Purchase your rings
– Prepare your paperwork for traveling – make sure you have your passports, visas and whatever else you might need
– If they are required have your blood tests and vaccines taken care of
– Arrange transportation for your guests for their arrivals as well as the wedding day – Limos, taxis, buses
– Book your flights – you will want to arrive at least three to four days before your wedding day
– Order wedding decorations and favors and decide how they will arrive at your destination
– Buy groom’s attire
– Make sure your bridal party has ordered their dresses and attire
– Start a play list of your favorite songs to be played at your wedding
– Plan the pre-wedding events and activities such as welcome reception, daily excursions, and the rehearsal dinner

2-4 MONTHS
– Send your invitations
– Write your wedding vows
– Choose your wedding readings, ceremony music, and ceremony order
– Check to make sure your guests are booking their trip without any problems with flights and hotels
– Write a “Welcome Letter” and put together “Welcome Bags”
– Buy gifts for the groom, bridal party, parents, etc.
– Have your final gown fitting
– Decide how your gown will arrive at your destination – will you have it delivered or will you travel with it yourself

2-3 WEEKS
– Confirm all details of your wedding with the venue, officiant, vendors, DJ, hotel, etc.
– Make your seating chart and place cards
– Design a ceremony program if you plan to have one
– Confirm your travel plans – flights, hotels, etc.
– Check over your guest list to make sure you have everyone’s itinerary and have made arrangements for their arrivals

1 WEEK
– Start packing – pack strategically and ask families members to help carry anything you might not have room for. If you are traveling with your gown, have it prepared to board the plane with you

WHEN YOU ARRIVE
– Confirm all of your wedding details
– Walk through venue, ceremony site, and speak with the officiant
– Finish any wedding paperwork required by your destination and apply for a marriage license
– Put together your guests’ “Welcome Bags” and have them delivered to their hotels
– Have your dress prepared for the wedding day
– Remember to have the grooms attire and your bridal parties garments prepared for the wedding too
– Do a hair and make-up trial with your veil and accessories
– Make sure your guests enjoy the activities you have planned for them
– Have a wedding rehearsal and enjoy the rehearsal dinner afterwards

ON YOUR WEDDING DAY
– Relax!
– Make sure that the Best Man has the wedding rings
– Get ready and enjoy the excitement of starting your new life with your soon to be husband!

This may seem like a long list, but in the long run you will find it helpful. You want to make every detail of your destination wedding perfect. Enjoy the planning and be excited that you and your fiancé will be starting your new life together with your friends and family in a very special place…

By: Bridget Murphy