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Destination Wedding Timeline

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Destination Wedding

I’m a little less than 3 months out from our tropical wedding in Mexico! I can’t believe how quickly time has been flying, but we gave ourselves quite a bit of time to plan (thank goodness!). Now that we are down to the final months before, and they also happen to be the craziest months I think of my life- hello new job, 8 hour commute between states every few weeks, moving, still balancing my old job, and wedding planning. wooo we!

There are tons and tons of wedding planning websites and timelines and about half a billion pins on pinterest offering help on when to do what- there are few that focus on destination weddings. I thought I would share some of the helpful timelines I have been using and somewhat following and then show you all what we have done so far/plan to do in the upcoming months.

Destination Wedding

A destination wedding is sometimes easier to plan because the resort does most of the work for you, that also can be quite expensive. You can plan as much of the wedding as you want, but you have to do it through e-mail and a few (we’ve had one so far) international phone calls. It’s also tricky because people have to buy their flights much further in advance so save-the-dates and invitations have to go out much earlier than they do for a wedding close to home.

The wedding planner at Cabanas La Luna has been amazing and she gave me this wedding timeline to help us map out the months leading up to our wedding.

Destination Wedding Timeline

12-9 months before wedding date
– Think about the type of wedding ceremony you both would like and the number of guests that will be attending, compile the guest list
– Research destination wedding locations and the marriage license requirements
– choose a wedding venue
– choose a wedding date
– send Save-the-dates

9-6 months before wedding date
– Review menus and packet information- get an idea of the items that you think you may want at your event
– send out invitations
-set up wedding website with information on destination location
– arrange transportation, guests purchase flights

5 months before event date
– book a photographer and DJ
– have guests make room reservations
– find your wedding dress!
– decide on bridesmaid dresses
– purchase rings
buy groom’s attire
– decide on food and pretend you can taste it from thousands of miles away

3 months before event date
– contact guests who have not rsvp
– make any changes to vendors based on guest count
– order favors or welcome bags
– decide on shoes and accessories

1 month before event date
-get final numbers of guests- make appropriate changes to budget
-get all guest flight information and hotel information for those staying offsite
-Make final payments for accommodations, food and beverage and vendors

Destination Wedding Timeline

Now… every couple is unique and every wedding is different. Also, even with the best planned wedding timelines things can get a little jumbled up and not go completely as planned. I’ll share the timeline we have actually followed next!

Did you stick to a timeline? What things did you save for the last minute?


is a marine biologist, cider-maker, wine-scientist and bride blogger. She got married in 2016, and you can read her wedding planning posts here.