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Complete and Stress-Free Destination Wedding Planning List

Posted by katie fisher on

Destination weddings offer a unique experience to tie the knot amidst a dreamy setting, but they come with their own set of challenges. At the Crafty Lady Boutique, we believe in making your special day as seamless as possible. To help you prepare, here’s a comprehensive list to ensure your destination wedding goes off without a hitch.

Budgeting for Your Destination Wedding:

Primary Expense: The main cost is the trip. While each guest covers their own travel, you'll handle the flight and hotel for yourself and your partner.

Ceremony Cost: A basic beach ceremony starts at around $599 but expect to pay more if you want extra amenities or have a larger guest list.

Reception: Most all-inclusive resorts will include a wedding meal. However, extras like a private dinner, DJ, or dance floor may incur additional charges.

Special Offers: Some resorts may provide bonuses like free weddings or nights if you book a certain number of rooms.

Destination Wedding Planning Timeline:

12+ months before:

  • Set an overall wedding budget.
  • Draft a preliminary guest list.
  • Choose your wedding destination and explore venue options.
  • Decide on a potential date, considering the local weather.
  • Consider a pre-wedding trip to your destination to meet vendors and finalize logistics.
  • Research the marriage requirements of your chosen destination.
  • Update your passports and secure travel visas if required.
  • Ask your wedding party to join you on your special day. 

10-12 months before:

  • Confirm and secure your wedding venue.
  • Finalize your guest list and send out 'Save the Date' notices.
  • Set up a wedding website to share essential information.
  • Choose your wedding party.
  • Take the necessary leaves from work.
  • Book your wedding planner, photographer, and celebrant.
  • Reserve accommodations for you and your guests.
  • Monitor flights and share updates with your guests.
  • Define your wedding style.

6-8 months before:

  • Dispatch your wedding invitations.
  • Make arrangements for guest transport.
  • Plan pre and post-wedding activities.
  • Book your honeymoon.
  • Purchase your wedding rings.

2-4 months before:

  • Start drafting your wedding vows.
  • Send a final headcount to suppliers.
  • Ensure all legal documentation is submitted.
  • Make a list of desired shots for your photographer.
  • Prepare for any necessary vaccines.
  • Purchase bridal shoes and accessories.

1 month before:

  • Prepare a comprehensive packing list.
  • Organize all travel documents.
  • Settle all bills with vendors.
  • Finalize your vows.
  • Collect your wedding dress after the final fitting.

Final week:

  • Arrive at your destination and relax.
  • Have a final walkthrough with your wedding planner.
  • Welcome your guests.
  • Enjoy pre-wedding pampering and festivities.

Bonus Tips 

Choosing the Right Time and Location:

Peak Season (December to April): Prices are generally higher.

Off-Season (August to November): While more affordable, be wary of potential bad weather.

Spring Break: Avoid the spring break season, typically in March and early April, to sidestep higher prices and raucous college parties.

General Location Idea: Popular choices include Mexico, Jamaica, or the Dominican Republic. Understand the unique offerings of each destination to pick the best fit.

While planning a destination wedding can seem daunting, every bit of effort is worth it. Follow this step-by-step checklist, and you'll be relishing margaritas on the beach as newlyweds in no time. 

And as you start envisioning the perfect day, don't forget about the special ladies by your side. Looking for a heartfelt way to ask your bridesmaids to be a part of your special destination wedding? At Crafty Lady Boutique, we have the perfect solution! Our customized gift boxes are tailored to make your favorite ladies feel cherished and appreciated. It’s those little touches that make all the difference, and we’re here to help add that extra sparkle to your big day.