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Your destination wedding planning timeline

You’ve probably already seen time lines for a local wedding. If not, we have one at Most of the tasks on the list can apply to a destination wedding as well, but destination weddings have their own special requirements. Here’s the breakdown!

12 months to go

  • Decide on your budget
  • Set up your wedding pre-party at
  • With a destination wedding, it’s extra important to get the excitement started.
  • Read sites like for inspiration and start an inspiration wedding binder
  • Make sure your passports are current; if not, get them renewed
  • Research wedding destinations including weather and accommodations
  • Create a guest list and gather addresses

11months to go

  • Choose your destination
  • Research wedding laws in the destination country
  • Hire a local wedding coordinator
  • Check sites like for reviews and ratings. The less familiar you are with the location, language, and customs of your chosen destination, the more important it is to hire a coordinator.
  • Send out save-the-dates
  • For destination weddings, it’s extra important to give people advance notice.

9 months to go

  • Make hotel reservations for the wedding party
  • Make travel arrangements for yourself
  • Encourage your wedding party and other essential guests to make travel arrangements and gather passports and other travel documents
  • Research and make arrangements for destination activities for the wedding party

8 months to go

  • Create your wedding gift registry
  • Choose invitations and stationary
  • Order your wedding dress
  • Make sure to let the bridal salon know that you are having a destination wedding; they can help you pack the dress for the airplane.

7 months to go

  • Order bridesmaids’ dresses
  • Order tuxes or arrange for local attire for groom and groomsmen
  • Begin ring shopping

6 months to go

  • Finalize decisions about cake, flowers, and catering menu

5 months to go

  • Send out invitations. This is much earlier than a non-destination wedding, but the additional time will give guests ample opportunity to make travel arrangements.

2 months to go

  • Confirm hotel and travel arrangements
  • Confirm contracts with vendors

1 month to go

  • Finalize and reconfirm everything!

4 days to go

  • Arrive at destination
  • Meet with vendors in person and review arrangements and timetable for day of wedding
  • Manicure/pedicure/spa day — ahhhh!

For more wedding tips:

Essentials of Planning Your Ideal Wedding
Destination Wedding & Honeymoon Travel Planning
Bridal Shoes or Strappy Sandals?

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