Destination Wedding Checklist

beach wedding

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Having a destination wedding? You have a very long and exhausting list of things to accomplish, but it doesn't all have to be done right away. Here's a great checklist for each stage of the planning process so you can tackle a little at a time.

  • 01 of 06

    6 Months to a Year Before Your Destination Wedding

    Save the date
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    ___ Decide on a wedding budget.

    ___ Find your wedding style.

    ___ Announce your engagement.
    ___ Choose a wedding date.

    ___ Choose a wedding location. You might also want to read about beach wedding tips and how to have a perfect outdoor wedding.

    ___ Research the location, including using online resources, renting books from the library, purchasing books, talking to the local tourist bureau, and talking to friends and family who have been there. Ask resorts for "package deal information," special honeymoon/destination wedding offers, and other informative literature.

    ___ Look into marriage license requirements and confirm them with the local tourist board.

    ___ Find a local wedding coordinator. Resorts often have someone on staff or you may be able to find someone through the tourist bureau.

    ___ Put together a wedding guest list.

    ___ Send "Save the Date" cards.

    ___ Follow up with guests by phone to get a general headcount.

    ___ If you want a traditional wedding dress, find it now.

    ___ Start considering the groom's attire.

    ___ Start considering the wedding party's attire.

    ___ Obtain necessary legal documents, including, if necessary, passports, divorce certificates, visas, identification, birth certificates, and notarized declarations of never having been married.

    ___ Consider your Bridal Beauty.

    Continue to 2 of 6 below.
  • 02 of 06

    4 to 6 Months Before Your Destination Wedding

    Wedding Rings with Engraving
    Abraham Nowitz / Getty Images

    ___ Work with your wedding coordinator to find a wedding florist, musicians, wedding photographer, and wedding officiant. You may also want to find a hairstylist, makeup artist, and/or nail salon.

    ___ Decide on your wedding menu.

    ___ Finalize wedding ceremony and reception details, arrange for signed contracts to be sent to you.

    ___ Order wedding invitations.

    ___ Register for wedding gifts.

    ___ Buy wedding rings. Consider having your wedding rings engraved.

    ___ Buy your plane tickets.

    ___ Negotiate discounts with airlines and hotels.

    ___ Create and distribute a wedding website or newsletter to share travel and wedding information.

    ___ Finalize the groom's attire.

    ___ Write and order your wedding invitations.

    Continue to 3 of 6 below.
  • 03 of 06

    2 to 4 Months Before Your Destination Wedding

    A wedding dress and bridesmaids dresses hanging on cupboard doors.
    Mint Images / Getty Images

    ___ Mail your wedding invitations.

    ___ Begin choosing or writing your wedding vows.

    ___ Shop for shoes and other accessories.

    ___ Make sure all of the wedding party and other essential people have made their travel arrangements.

    ___ Finalize the bridal party attire.

    Continue to 4 of 6 below.
  • 04 of 06

    1 to 2 Months Before Your Destination Wedding

    Woman in Bridal shop having a dress fitting.
    Peter Cade / Getty Images

    ___ Order wedding favors and gifts.

    ___ Have your final dress fitting.

    ___ Shop for vacation wear, including swimsuit(s), a rehearsal dinner outfit, and sun protection.

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    2 Weeks Before Your Destination Wedding

    Love Verse on Envelope
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    ___ Confirm all details with the hotel, chef or caterer, florist, photographer, officiant, musicians and/or DJ, and others involved in the wedding.

    ___ Arrange guest seating, if necessary.

    ___ Assemble favors and/or welcome bags.

    Continue to 6 of 6 below.
  • 06 of 06

    Upon Arrival

    Fresh flower arbor on the beach with eight chairs for a small beach wedding
    Brodie Computes Inc. / Getty Images

    ___ Apply for a marriage license.

    ___ Meet with your wedding coordinator.

    ___ Meet with your officiant.

    ___ Visit the ceremony site.

    ___ Distribute welcome bags to guests' rooms.

    ___ Go over last-minute details.

    Lastly, do your best to relax, enjoy yourselves, focus on each other, and have fun with your friends and family.

Watch Now: Tips to Cutting Your Wedding Guest List