Destination Weddings

Planning Checklist

12 months

  • Choose a destination.
  • If you're tying the knot in a foreign country, check into legal requirements.
  • If necessary, apply for your visas, and schedule immunizations.
  • Hire a wedding coordinator. Get referrals from friends, family, or the Association of Bridal Consultants (
  • Send save-the-date cards to all of your guests.
  • Estimate how many guests will attend, and talk to your wedding coordinator about blocking off hotel rooms and helping you negotiate special airfare discounts.
  • Ask your wedding coordinator to recommend an officiant, photographer, hairstylist, florist, caterer, band, or DJ, and a few locations for the ceremony.
  • Request musicians' tapes or CDs, and have photographers and florists send you samples of their wedding work. (Your coordinator can arrange this.)

4 months

  • Visit the site before you confirm your choices for flowers, menu, music, photographer, and hairstylist.
  • Plan a few events for guests, such as a welcome party or a golf tournament. But don't feel like you have to fill every minute they're there.
  • Buy your plane tickets.

8–10 weeks

  • Send out formal invitations to everybody on your guest list.
  • Ask your planner to check on any legal paperwork that you’ve submitted.
  • Order favors and gifts, if they're not included in your wedding package.

2 weeks

  • Submit a final head count to the hotel or reception hall.
  • Confirm any group activities that you've booked.

2–7 days

  • Meet with your coordinator and officiant to review last-minute details.
  • Settle your accounts with all vendors.
  • Distribute a list of events and greeting bags (with goodies like sunscreen, local maps, and a phrasebook) to your guests' rooms.


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