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Destination Wedding Timeline

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Planning a destination wedding? Your wedding planning timeline may look a little different.


There are tons and tons of wedding planning websites and wedding timelines and about half a billion pins on Pinterest offering help on when to do what- there are few that focus on destination weddings. We thought we would share one for you here that was recommended to us by an onsite wedding planner at a popular destination wedding resort!

A destination wedding is sometimes easier to plan because the resort does most of the work for you, which can 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 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 worked with one of our previous bride bloggers, Cortni, and she gave her this wedding timeline to help map out the months leading up to the wedding.

Destination Wedding Timeline

12-9 months before the 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 the wedding date

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

3 months before the wedding 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 the wedding date

  • get final numbers for caterer and venue
  • 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.

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


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