Nothing, we mean nothing, can ever compare to the romance and adventure of flying thousands of miles to say, “I do.”

But here’s the thing: If you’re orchestrating a destination wedding, keep in mind that you’ll see an increase in the number of wedding planning challenges. You’re flying to a foreign country to get hitched so expect to experience language barriers, differences in regulations, and other logistical challenges.

But don’t get overwhelmed. As long as you have a solid plan – which we’re here to help you create – and know how to stick to it, things will be just fine (and even exciting!).

So, without further ado, let’s create a comprehensive checklist for your international affair:


12-18 Months Before the Wedding

  • Set your budget. Before getting into the finer details of planning your big day, make sure you work out your budget. While the cost of a destination wedding varies based on many factors, the average baseline stands at around $35,000.
  • Hire a wedding planner and travel agent. Let the experts take over to ensure your wedding unfolds beautifully.
  • Set the date, pick the country, and finalize the venue. When choosing your destination, be sure to determine the seasons that are ideal for weddings. When it comes to finalizing the venue, scour the internet for trusted reviews and trust the expertise of your travel agent or wedding planner.
  • Sort your paperwork. This would include your passports, travel visas, health documents, marriage license, and wedding insurance. Be sure to apply for your travel visa a year ahead of your big day.


9-11 Months Out

  • Gather your wedding squad. Ensure that all of them have their passports and other valid documents to travel smoothly.
  • Determine guest list. Destination weddings are generally an intimate affair, make sure you craft a well-thought-out list.
  • Share the details with guests. Once you send your Save the Dates, it’s time to help your guests with their travel and accommodation. A simple and interactive way to go about it would be to create a wedding website that includes everything – from airport information to predicted weather to registry details, and more.
  • Design your wedding theme. This will determine how your fairytale wedding in a faraway land will look like. Sit with your wedding planner and decide on the overall theme, décor, color palette, florals, seating arrangement, and more.
  • Find vendors. Team up with your agent and wedding planner to recruit the right vendors. Be sure to meet them on Skype before finalizing them. Your wedding vendors would include an officiant, florist, cake maker, DJ or band, hairstylist and makeup artist, linens and rentals, photographer and videographer, and more.


6-8 Months Out

  • Go over your catering options. Not all venues offer catering services. So, talk to your planner and keep your menu ready beforehand.
  • Book the rehearsal dinner and reception party locations.
  • Pick out your wedding dress and tux. It’s always best to pick your wedding dress at least 8 months before your big day. You’re probably also going to need some fittings to be done, which can sometimes take months.
  • Decide what your bridal party is going to wear.
  • Schedule your bachelorette and bachelor parties.
  • If there’s any wedding day transportation required based on your wedding venue and accommodation, make sure you take care of that. You can even book a shuttle service for your guests to travel back and forth between the venue and their hotel rooms.


Pro Tip: When picking your wedding dress, take the venue and season into consideration. For instance, if you’re having a beach wedding, go for fabrics that are light, breathable, and airy. Factor in the weight of your gown. Remember, you’ll have to pack and carry (or ship) your dress all the way to a foreign country. So, avoid heavy dresses and fabrics that can be easily damaged in transit. Go for fabrics that are stronger and less prone to wrinkles instead.

3-5 Months Out

  • Design recreational activities for guests. Organizing recreational activities for your guests is a great way to get them to have fun, make memories, and come back refreshed for the big events.
  • Arrange wedding accessories. So, your wedding dress and tux are now ready. But have you thought really hard about the accessories and other undergarments that are supposed to go with them? Make sure that your veil, jewelry, shoes, and special undergarments, are all in one place.
  • Plan your honeymoon!


3-8 Weeks Out

  • Confirm + finalize everything. This includes your flight, hotel, venue, vendors booking, catering, guests list, all pickups and deliveries, songs list, reception timeline, recreational activities, and more. Also, double-check whether you have all the legal documents (visa, passport, birth certificates, etc) in place.
  • Ask yourself, “Did we get all the vaccines required to travel to our destination? Have our guests done the same?”
  • Sort the wedding favors for your guests, and purchase gifts for everyone on your wedding squad, parents of the couple, and your fiancé.


1-2 Weeks Out

  • Time to pick up your wedding dress and tux (or suit).
  • Pack away! Plan what outfits you and your fiancé are going to wear before, during, and after the festivities. Once this is done, get everything ready for your honeymoon. Create a comprehensive list of every possible thing you’re going to need there and double-check everything to ensure you haven’t missed anything.
  • Make final payments to vendors.


The Wedding Week!

Arrive at the wedding location at least 5 days before your big day. You should arrive before your guests so you’re there to welcome them. Use this time to also:

  • Tour your wedding venue and meet your vendors and your wedding planner.
  • Select your cake!
  • Get your nails done.
  • Do a trial run for your makeup and hairstyle.
  • Organize your wedding rehearsal.

Before you know it, your big day will manifest itself in all its beauty. Remember to have your dress steamed a day before the big day to get rid of those travel wrinkles. Also, don’t forget to get your beauty sleep so you wake up looking like a goddess on your wedding day.

Happily Ever After…

There you have it – the roadmap to planning your destination wedding flawlessly. That said, it doesn’t hurt to start hunting for the wedding dress of your dreams right away. Does it? Jump into our collection of Wedding Dresses featuring high-end designer bridal pieces from international fashion houses today!

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