Planning a Destination Wedding can be the best decision you ever make!  But, it can also be stressful and overwhelming if you don’t know what to expect..

Here are a few of the do’s and don’ts of planning a Destination Wedding:


  • Try to stick to your budget: Make sure you write down every single item that you’re spending for your wedding on your budget spreadsheet.  Even the smallest expenses will add up to a large amount of money, if you’re not careful.
  • Give your guests as much notice as possible: When planning a destination wedding, it is absolutely vital to give your guests as much advance notice as possible. Try to give them atleast 6-8 months of leeway, so that they can have enough time to schedule their days off from work, as well as save-up for your wedding.
  • Create an itinerary to distribute to your guests on-site: Even though all of your guests know why they are in beautiful Mexico or sunny Jamaica (or wherever your destination is!) it’s always nice to have a structured formal notice of some kind (in this case an itinerary for the week) that welcomes every guest (and thanks them for travelling such a long distance), as well as a brief schedule/run-down for the week’s events, with a full description of where each event is taking place (ie: on the beach, in the ballroom, etc.) and the times of the events to remind everyone.
  • Less is More: Don’t overdo it in the décor department, and let the location’s natural setting and beauty shine through… (ie: oceanview backdrop, beautiful turquoise water, etc..)
  • Have a backup: Since we’re often dealing with tropical weather, make sure there is a backup indoor venue for BOTH your wedding ceremony and reception, in case you have booked all of your venues to be outdoors.


  • Over plan for your guests: Be mindful that all of the guests attending your destination wedding have come to do 2 things.. celebrate with you, as well as have a vacation for themselves too!  Don’t jam pack every single day with group activities… let your guests enjoy their vacation and go exploring on their own.
  • Stress about the small stuff: Just remember that something will/might go wrong. It won’t be the end of the world if the lantern that you chose wasn’t set on the table that you had envisioned, or if the bridesmaid bouquet didn’t make it to the guestbook table to be displayed.. Your guests won’t know!  Try to go with the flow and enjoy the moment!  If you’re having fun, your guests will have fun too!
  • Ship anything to the Resort: If it’s absolutely important for you to have, don’t ship it! Sometimes, packages can be stuck in customs, lost or potentially stolen…
  • Assume that the Resort will have everything you need: Although most Resorts will have extra toiletry items or emergency kits that they can provide to you (often free of charge), if you definitely need a certain brand of skin toner for your skin, then don’t forget to pack it in your suitcase. In certain destinations, you might be lucky and have a Costco nearby, but don’t assume anything.. err on the safe side, and if you need it, then bring it with you.
  • Stress about your guestlist: Most brides planning a destination wedding stress about this, at some point during the planning process. Remember that you can’t control which of your guests will book or when they’ll book.. Hopefully, those guests that are most important to you will book early, and as long as they are there, nothing else should matter.

Keep in mind that this isn’t a complete list… there’s definitely more that we can elaborate on and we would be happy to chat more with you about your wedding, when you come into our office for a complimentary wedding consultation!


© 2008 - 2017 Marsha Steeves Destination Weddings (BC Registration # 1787), a Division of Universal travel Inc. All rights reserved.

Commit to the Lord whatever you do and he will establish your plans. [Proverbs 16:3]

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