Destination Wedding Timeline: Tick Tock!

Planning a wedding is quite the task, add travel into the mix and many people don’t know where to begin.  Don’t run scared! A lot of the planning can be done in the comfort of your own home.  So, throw on your pj’s, sit back and let your Pinterest and travel agent do the work for you! No need to even stop binge watching your favorite TV series. If your dream is to have a destination wedding, then let’s get to it!

By 12 Months
● Lock in on a wedding date, time and location. The sooner the better! I offer my clients a complimentary service to save them the headache of calling overseas to reach out to hotels and/or venues.  The time change, language barrier and different currency are tricky to navigate.  I negotiate the best rates, check on wedding day availability, introduce you to the on-site wedding coordinator and get the best ceremony and reception options.  If you are flexible on the date, time and location, then you have a little time to spare.  Otherwise, step on the gas! Sunset weddings are the first time slots to get scooped up. Weekends during the summer months and holiday weeks/weekends are also likely to get snatched up quickly.
● Book a room block at a hotel.  Lock in rooms and rates so you can offer all your guest accommodations at great pricing.
● Be sure you fill out and return all necessary forms confirming your guest rooms, wedding venues and packages.
● Send in your deposits along with the correct forms. Yours truly, is happy to get this all arranged for you.
● Have a rough estimate of your guest count prepared. You’ll have time to add or subtract people from your list of attendees. This is not your final list!

8- 12 Months
● Lock down the specifics with your venue space.  You might have agreed on a wedding date of July 11th, 2020 at sunset but did you want the beach ceremony or the garden gazebo? These details should be finalized. Have a back-up plan if weather prohibits you from getting married in your preferred location.
● Make a free wedding website! Check out the Knot! It is a fun way to keep your guests up to date on the exciting celebrations.
● Hotels and venues offer different packages. Settle down on one.
● Rethink that “rough” estimate of your guest count.
● Start scrolling through Pinterest for inspiration. This will help bring your vision to life. Think: colors, florals, decor, etc.
● Make sure your passport is valid for more than 6 months before travel. If not, get on top of it!

● If you are not going with the photographer, DJ, florist, and such included in your wedding package then, lock down your vendors! (i.e. make-up artist, videographer, entertainment, etc.)
● Select your bridal party. The more time you give them to save and plan, the better!
● Send out save the date cards.

6 – 8 Months
● Book your airfare.
● Reserve the room category you want and for the correct number of nights to coincide with your flight schedule.

● If you’re in charge of anyone’s flight and hotel stay, whether it be just the planning of it or the financials of it, now is the time to think of them too! (Grandma is counting on you!)

● If you’re in charge of anyone’s flight and hotel stay, whether it be just the planning of it or the financials of it, now is the time to think of them too! (Grandma is counting on you!)

● If you’re thinking of taking a honeymoon, it’s time to book! Luckily you are already in touch with a great travel agent. Wink, wink!
● Consider an excursion or additional wedding week events for you and your guests, and reserve them.

4 – 5 month

● Double check your guest list. This is the time you want to reconsider the peeps on your B list.
● Send out invitations
● Share pictures and inspiration with your on-site wedding coordinator.  As well as music choices with your DJ.

● Enjoy your bridal shower, maybe even help plan a bit, and enjoy the short lived moments of being a fiancé.  It goes super quick!

2-3 months
● If you want to make any changes to your wedding package, now is the time.
● Start working on the menus. Not only for the cocktail hour and reception on your wedding day but the welcome party or any other events you are hosting.
● For LEGAL ceremonies all paperwork must be in by now.
● Finalize the small details with the wedding coordination such as, your cake, the decor, the flowers, change in guest count, etc.
● Prepare the stationary for the menus, place cards, programs, etc.

1 month
● Think about the specific requests for the day of. Make a list for the on-site planner. This usually consist of who is doing the toasts, allergies, surprise sent to your bride or groom, etc.  Confirm a timeline. Start with the time you are waking up, glam squad, cocktail hour, father daughter dance, fireworks, etc.
● Send over your final guestlist and seating chart.

● Welcome bags.  Surprise your guests from the moment they arrive with a thoughtful reminder of the fun that is to come.
● Anything you may want to add on (UGH! That fire dancer does sound cool! Or maybe extending the party for an extra hour)
● Send your wedding planner a list of anyone not staying at your hotel. They will need to pass security to get in and you’ll have to pay for them to get a day pass. Party poopers!
● You or your travel agent will need to send the wedding coordinator the rooming list. (I am always happy to step in and help my clients.)
● Schedule a day to sit and meet with your wedding coordinator upon arriving. When you arrive you’ll want to discuss the final details.

The Week of:
● Take care of yourself! As if you needed a reminder. Enjoy a spa day with your girls.
● Start packing for your trip.
● Have your passport and travel information printed and ready in a safe place.
● Go to the Bank. You will want to take care of outstanding balances. Travel tip: get a bunch of small bills. They will come in handy when you need to tip.

Days Upon Arrival
● The on-site coordinator will take the welcome bags for guests, as well as, the wedding gown and tuxedo to be steamed and pressed.
● Take a break from the sun and get plenty of fluids (not just the adult kind.)
● Celebrate with family and friends. A welcome cocktail party is always a great way to get people acquainted.

Wedding Day!