You have your date. You have your venue. You decided on a destination wedding… Now to plan! There are a lot of little pieces to consider depending on how far your wedding is from your home. It is still considered traveling for your wedding if you are headed just a few hours in a car or jumping on a plane.
On the other hand, you may be staying in the United States or headed to parts unknown. Either way, you need to know what to do and not do when traveling for your wedding. In addition, you may be concerned about etiquette at a place you haven’t been to before. It could be out-of-state wedding etiquette like when you head to a small town from a big city. Or maybe when you head to formal New England from sunny southern California, or perhaps it is questions on all inclusive destination wedding etiquette, like how much is too much for that one growing teenager to eat. EventRoostr’s helpful wedding consultation and knowledgeable experts can guide you but if you want a primer, keep reading.
Do get organized
Think about the things and people that need to make it to your big day and start making a list. Maybe it is purchasing a luggage set specifically for wedding items. Or it is a spreadsheet or pictures. I am a spreadsheet girl, so I added everything we were bringing to a sheet, noted how it would get there (my suitcase, family/friend bringing it, shipping, etc.), and when it was expected to arrive. I included the tracking information and our onsite point of contact for items that we shipped directly to our hotel or venue. Hence, I knew exactly when things would arrive and who I could contact for confirmation. I shared this document with a couple of family and friends, as well as our onsite wedding coordinator, so they could access the information without needing to go through me. I also took pictures of everything going with us in suitcases and boxes for easy reference throughout our travels. Share those photos with your bridal party and your spouse. They will assist you in keeping track of your items for the planning process. After the wedding, those photos can supplement your wedding photos for memories and to write articles like this!
Do book the direct flight
More stops, more problems. While the direct flight is probably the more expensive option, things are less likely to go wrong. There may not be a single flight from your home to your wedding location, so choose the most straightforward option. No one wants a missing bride or groom, so minimize those layovers as best you can.
Do confirm your VIP guests are ready to travel
Before we committed to our destination wedding abroad, we checked in with our close family and friends to ensure they had what they needed or could get what they needed to travel. We booked nearly a year in advance, so this gave my grandparents plenty of time to get their passports!
Do provide detailed itineraries
Someone always has a question, but you may not always be available to answer it. Take the time to prepare and distribute detailed itineraries to your bridal party, close friends/family, and/or your wedding coordinator(s). The more information provided ahead of time will help get ahead of the questions and build in time for the unexpected. Your wedding and event planner can do this for you, so be sure to ask in advance, do not assume this will be done. Also, be sure to provide this to your wedding photographer and wedding videographer. A destination wedding has key moments that you won’t want to miss. Looping both into the detailed plan allows them to plan for capturable moments that you will cherish later.
Don’t do it all yourself
Ask friends or family if they can help get things to your wedding or bring them back. And make this easy for them! If you are asking them to be responsible for a suitcase, provide, pack, and prepare everything for them, so all they have to do is roll it on the plane.
Don’t forget travel insurance
More things than ever can impact your travel and your wedding day. Consider insurance options that may be available to you to protect your travel arrangements and/or your venue. When you book through EventRoostr’s first in the nation end-to-end wedding platform, you can rest assured that they include 100% liability insurance to give you full and complete peace of mind.
Don’t forget important documents
If you are getting married abroad, you cannot forget your passport. Some countries also require specific vaccinations or other supporting documents before you travel. Do your research to determine what you and your guests need, and be sure to share early! Another item to remember is your vaccine card. Some places (even in the US) still have strict guidelines, so ensure you are prepared with the right information. (And here is a reminder not to forget masks!)
Don’t check your precious cargo
Think before you pack in today’s world of flight delays, cancellations, and lost luggage. If there are items that are must-haves at your wedding (like your Wedding dress!), plan your luggage to bring that aboard the plane. Some planes even have garment areas in the cabin where a friendly flight attendant can place the items. Think ahead! The rings must be kept safe, and on your person, the elements for the ceremony, and any item that is a MUST have. In the event of lost luggage or delayed baggage, you could be in a situation where you don’t have your key elements. Don’t let this happen. A bit of inconvenience while traveling is worth the peace of mind. Just keep track of your possessions and property when you bring them on board the plane. A carry-on bag with the rings, ceremony elements, and other things should be one you keep at your feet or directly above your head.
Don’t wait until the last minute
Give you and your items lots of time to get from point A to point B. Reach out to your hotel or venue to find out if/when you can have items arriving onsite. Waiting to the last minute is an invitation for that old rule: what can go wrong will go wrong. And boy, will it go wrong if you don’t give yourself some time. A delayed bridal party due to delayed baggage can mean delayed hair and makeup. A rush to the ceremony. Stress. And possible cascading delays that push back your wedding start time. Don’t do that to yourself.
Don’t forget your plan to get things back
While it is easy to focus energy into figuring out how to get people and things to your destination location, sometimes we overlook how to get things back. Some of your belongings may not be coming back, but over the course of your activities, chances are you will have souvenirs, gifts, and other things that need to come home. Think smartly about that wedding registry to ensure items are shipped straight from stores to your home. Or inform people that you prefer gifts to be purchased before or after the wedding but NOT brought to it! Think about taking the same organizational approach for your return travels. If you are immediately going on your honeymoon following your wedding, consider asking trusted family or friends to help get your items home. Make this request well in advance!
Traveling for your dream wedding can be exciting. Take the DO’s and DON’Ts of this column to heart. Working closely with your Wedding and event planner allows you to have your wedding planned out. Making sure you have your checklists and aren’t overextending yourself ensures the best possible wedding nuptials.