Plan the best destination wedding with our detailed checklist
Planning a sunset ceremony on the sand? Wedding reception on the banks of Lake Como? Maybe a simple celebration in a Spanish village. Whatever you’ve chosen as the destination for your wedding, we’ve got the checklist that’ll make it happen.
From going on the hunt for dreamy locations, to sourcing local vendors and professionals who can help make your plans a reality. Our destination wedding checklist should form the backbone of all your overseas planning. Directing, and keeping you both on track as you put together the celebration of a lifetime.
When deciding to marry abroad, there are certainly a few more hurdles that need to be traversed. But with careful planning, and trusted, professional help in the destination of your choosing. There’s no reason why your big day in the sun should not go off without a hitch!
Destination Wedding Checklist
Unsure where to start? Stick with our easy-to-follow destination wedding planner checklist, and you’ll quickly find that your massive stack of tasks is suddenly not quite so daunting.
Confirm a Destination
You may already have a dream destination in mind, or you just know you want to marry somewhere warm. Either way, no progress can be made on your wedding planning checklist without selecting a destination.
Think about places you’ve visited together that you both hold fond memories of. Or destinations that you’ve dreamed of visiting. Maybe loved ones have already hosted their own, or have been to a destination wedding previously and can recommend somewhere?
Do not rush to decide where you’re going to marry, as it will affect everything else you subsequently book or decide on. Think also about your loved ones, as they are the ones being asked to travel somewhere for your wedding. Older relatives are typically not too keen on long-distance travel, and those with young children may not enjoy the experience either. Be sure to weigh up your options, and decide in your own time.
Check the Legalities of Marrying in Your Chosen Destination
Each country has its own set of rules regarding the marriage of foreigners on their soil. These legalities can sometimes be actually quite prohibitive, meaning many couples choose to marry officially in their home country before holding a non-legal ceremony abroad. Just to make things a little more straightforward.
Hiring a local wedding planner and talking to the foreign embassy directly can usually solve any issues with marrying in a different country. So if you do have your heart set on officially marrying in the destination of your choosing, you should certainly seek assistance.
Select a Wedding Date
As with getting married locally, the date you choose to marry on will affect your overall destination wedding experience. The weather, the cost, and the busyness of where you’re residing will all be impacted by the season. Plus, if you’re tying the knot during peak vacation season, you may find that some guests have already booked a trip away.
With the above in mind, be sure to prioritize date selection on your destination wedding checklist.
Destination wedding guests need further warning than those being asked to attend a local celebration. As more is expected of them. And the travel, time off work and expense of destination weddings can often be quite a bitter bill to swallow for some. Even those you’re closest to.
Either call personally the guests you want to invite before making any concrete plans, or send out save-the-dates well in advance of the big day if you think loved ones just need time. Either way, don’t leave inviting guests to the last-minute.
Choose Wedding Style
Traditional Hawaiian ceremony on the beach, followed by casual cocktails overlooking the sea? Or maybe you’d rather a super chic soirée on a rooftop in Milan? Either sounds amazing to us!
Decide your theme early, as you, or your local planner, will need that information to guide stylistic decisions.
Hire a Wedding planner
It can seem tempting to go it alone and plan the whole celebration yourself. But coordinating a wedding from so far away, even if it’s just a couple of hours away, can really be a challenge. Especially if you’re not really knowledgeable about the local area, its culture and potentially the language.
An experienced wedding planner will be able to take your ambitions and turn them into a coherent plan. Using their vast knowledge of the local wedding scene, and understanding of where and when is best to do things.
Adding another vendor to your destination wedding checklist is obviously another expense. But typically, a good planner can actually save you money, and stop you from making any costly mistakes. Especially when marrying abroad.
Book Transport & Accommodation
Your guests will expect some kind of assistance in getting to your wedding, and finding somewhere to stay. In a perfect world, you would block book hotel rooms for all your invited guests. Which would bring down their expenses considerably, but, push yours up… If it isn’t possible for you to provide free stays for your guests, then do try to broker a deal between yourselves and the hotel.
Hotels, and restaurants, are often very open to offering discounts when the prospect of filling their establishment is on the table. Meaning you should be able to offer some kind of deal to your guests.
Explore additional pertinent subjects that are interconnected with the checklist
The online Wedding Planning Assistant features an extensive suite of professional tools and checklists meticulously curated to help you organize your celebration.
We offer an international wedding planner service, open to all. Soon we hope to make our software available in all languages, so far, we have created versions for these languages: