Map out your budget—then stick to it. Destination weddings can be deceptively more expensive than booking an at-home location.
Friends and family
Are there elderly grandparents who would have a difficult time with long-distance travel? Friends who might not be able to swing a four-star hotel in Maui? Rather than inadvertently excluding loved ones from sharing your big day, explore the various ways that you can accommodate disparate needs.
Save the date
Be sure to send a save the date card well in advance—at least one year, if possible—so your guests can plan ahead and get the best deals on airfare and hotel reservations.
Do your homework
Scout out locales and venues. Get brochures, and also seek recommendations from couples who have married at a resort or other venue before you.
Take a tour
Visit a resort or other venue at least once before you book it for your wedding day.
Hire a wedding coordinator in the destination where you plan to marry. Give your coordinator images of bouquets, cakes and more so that she or he can help you find vendors that will suit your desired style.
If you invite more than ten guests, negotiate group air and hotel rates.
Look into immunizations if you're traveling to an exotic location like Africa or Nicaragua. Check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's travel section for a complete list.
Learn the local language if you're going overseas. Get tips online from travlang.com.
Buy or borrow a great digital camera—you won't have to worry about damaging film in airport security.
If you're traveling to a fabulous shopping destination, include a lightweight duffle bag to haul back all of your new purchases.
Make sure that your passport and/or visa haven't expired.
If you’re traveling overseas, purchase $50 or $100 in foreign currency before you depart.
Arrange to stop delivery of your mail and newspapers
Set up pet care or child care for the duration of your trip.