If you are a wedding couple, you might be facing some difficult questions about
your destination wedding. One of these questions is: How far in advance should you
plan your destination wedding?
If you're dreaming of saying "I do" in a stunning destination wedding, you've come to
the right place. I've been helping couples like you plan their dream weddings in
paradise for two years, and I'm here to share some advice on how far in advance to
book and plan your destination wedding. So, roll up your sleeves, and let's dive into
this exciting journey together!
Step 1 – Secure the wedding date and time (12-18 months in advance)
Choosing the perfect date and time for your destination wedding is the first big step.
And trust me, it's not as easy as picking a date for a local wedding when you can pop
into venues on a Saturday afternoon. That's where a destination wedding specialist,
like yours truly, comes in handy. We'll help you find the ideal wedding venue that suits
your style and budget, so you don't waste time scrolling through endless options. Not
securing your date and time is one of the top mistakes I see wedding couples make
when trying to plan a destination wedding.
Step 2 – Get a group contract set up (As soon as the venue is selected)
Once you've nailed down your wedding date and time, it's time to secure a group
contract. This contract ensures that all your guests have a room at the same rate,
making everyone's stay seamless and enjoyable. As a destination wedding specialist, I
personally work with a travel supplier (vs booking directly with the resort) to set up
the group contract, as it simplifies the process and ensures you get the best deals.
Step 3 – Send out Save the Date invites (Give guests as much time as possible, at least 6 months, preferably a full year)
With the wedding date and group block secured, it's time to spread the excitement by
sending out Save the Date invitations. Make sure your invites include all the essential
details, and if you're working with a destination wedding travel specialist, we can set
up a wedding website where your guests can easily reserve their rooms. Plus, when
your guests book with group you can earn some fantastic perks like free rooms and
Step 4 – Pre-wedding planning (6-9 months before the wedding)
Now comes the in-between phase, where you've got some time before the big day.
Here are some tips to make the most of it:
- Consider a pre-wedding planning trip to your chosen destination, taking advantage of
any discounted rates.
- Research fun group activities like a catamaran cruise to keep your guests entertained.
- Remind your guests to RSVP by reserving their rooms with a low deposit.
- If you're hiring a photographer/videographer not on the resort's preferred list, plan for
the outside vendor fee, or consider having someone from the U.S. attend as a guest to
Step 5 - Start planning the wedding (Between 4-6 months from the wedding)
Even if your resort isn't ready to dive into the nitty-gritty details just yet, start planning
by creating a Pinterest board with your wedding inspirations for decor, colors, and
flowers. When the time comes, you'll be crystal clear about your preferences. Other
planning decisions include menu selections, photography packages, and music for the
Step 6 – Final Payments and Transfers (60 – 75 days before travel)
Approximately two months before the big day, it's time to make final payments for
room reservations. Don't forget to gather your guests' flight details, so transportation
can be coordinated smoothly. Double-check those itineraries to ensure they match their
room dates, as discrepancies can arise if you wait until the last minute. If you work with
a destination wedding specialist like me, this task will be on my plate. ;)
Step 7 – Tips, reminders, and travel documents, oh my! (2 weeks before travel)
As the wedding day draws near, send out travel documents via email about two weeks
before the trip. Ask your guests to review them thoroughly and notify you of any
questions or discrepancies. Provide them with tips and reminders for a stress-free trip,
including details on online check-in, shuttle services, gratuities, and emergency
contacts. Again, this is something I can easily take off your plate.
Phew, we've covered it all! Planning a destination wedding may seem daunting, but
with this timeline and the guidance of a destination wedding specialist, you'll be
well-prepared to create the wedding of your dreams in paradise.
With the help of this timeline, you will be able to: map out the big picture tasks
and events; divide them into smaller steps that are both manageable and realistic;
learn about the best resources for each stage of your planning; and most importantly,
feel confident in your ability to execute every aspect of your destination wedding,
from start to finish.
If you're ready to turn those dreams into plans, and you think you may want a little
help with putting your destination wedding together, then schedule a complimentary
consultation with me today. I have a few openings left this month! I can't wait to be
a part of your journey to 'happily ever after'! Just use this link to schedule now!