Destination Wedding: The Do’s & Don’ts

destination wedding

Wedding bells in your near future? If you’ve been dreaming about having a destination wedding, there are a few things you should know before you say, “I do.” From the save the dates to the gift registry, here’s the scoop on destination wedding do’s and don’ts.


Send Your Save the Dates Sooner than Later

Save the dates are an essential part of any wedding. But when it comes to destination weddings, these mementos are even more important. Most traditional wedding invitations are mailed eight weeks prior to the wedding and save the dates are usually mailed around four months in advance.

For destination weddings, it’s common to send out your invitations 12 weeks in advance and your save the dates between six and eight months in advance. Some wedding planning experts recommend sending them as soon as you know your location and have booked your venue and accommodations.

This way, your wedding guests have plenty of time to prepare their travel plans and make their own accommodations for your big day. Additionally, it’s not uncommon to ask for the RSVPs of your wedding guests as part of the save the date, with a traditional, more formal wedding invitation to follow.

Visit the Location of your Destination Wedding

Many couples land on a destination wedding location that’s special to them in some way, whether it be where they first met or a place where they took their first trip together. However, some brides and grooms-to-be opt for new-to-them locations.

Ideally, you’ll want to have visited the location at least once prior to your wedding, and this includes a visit to your venue or hotel. Wedding planning experts advise planning this visit before booking anything and then again three to four months before the big day.

If you’re unable to make it out to the destination prior to your wedding and after booking, consider arriving a handful of days early ⁠— five or so is recommended ⁠— to tie up any loose ends and make sure everything is perfect and ready for the wedding.


Forget About Your Specialists

Specialists such as makeup artists, hairstylists and the like commonly travel with the bride. It’s common courtesy to cover their airfare or travel costs as well as their accommodations in addition to their service fees. While most professionals typically go over this before anything is booked, it’s important for you to bring it up in conversation and work out all of the details before committing to a contract. This way, there are no unexpected surprises.

Expect to Receive Lots of Gifts

Today’s modern wedding registries are incredibly accommodating. However, keep in mind your guests are traveling and spending some good money to see you and your betrothed say, “I do,” and it can get expensive. There are a number of resorts that allow wedding guests to purchase certain experiences for couples to use while on their honeymoon. You can also direct any gifts purchased from your registry to be delivered to your home or another mailing address so that both you and your guests don’t have to worry about transporting gifts.

Aside from a few key factors, planning a destination wedding is very similar to planning a traditional wedding. Keep these do’s and don’ts in mind when planning yours.