editorial Wedding Photography

The Wednesday Blog

Destination Wedding Timeline

Coconut trees overlooking the ocean. Wedding destination timeline image by Jenny Fu Studio

You’re probably excited to plan out the destination wedding of your dreams! But you might be thinking that a destination wedding timeline is too complicated. Take it easy, and we’ll give you a sample timeline. But before anything else, finalize your wedding budget first and work around the budget as you go along your destination wedding timeline.

Make-up is being applied to the bride. Editorial destination wedding photo by Jenny Fu Studio

12-18 Months Prior

A destination wedding might need more time to plan out than a venue closer to home since you’ll be communicating with vendors overseas. So the earlier you start reaching out to vendors, the better. About 12-18 months before your wedding day, you should have already agreed on a venue and date. Then go ahead and book your venue and finalize the date and time of your wedding. List down your wedding party and create your guest list. Also, if you prefer certain vendors from home, such as a wedding photographer, it’s best to book them now to block their calendar for your wedding. Consider hiring a wedding consultant specializing in destination weddings at this stage. And another thing to consider is purchasing wedding insurance to protect your big day.

The bride is giving gifts to the bridesmaids. Editorial destination wedding photo by Jenny Fu Studio

9-11 Months Prior

Research and start collecting wedding requirements needed at your destination wedding location. Some countries require certain documents that need a while to accomplish, so it’s best to do this as early as possible. You can consider doing your due diligence at this point in your destination wedding timeline. Try visiting the venue to become familiar with the place and meet with wedding vendors. Once you do, you’ll have a better vision to create an itinerary for tours and extra-curricular activities for you and your guests (if you plan on having any). Then reach out to your travel agent to make travel arrangements for you and options for your guests. After this, go ahead and inform your guests! It’s essential to send invitations as early as possible so you’ll know firsthand those who can and can’t attend your wedding. Also, this gives your guests ample time to prepare and schedule their trip.

A beautiful ceremony set-up overlooking the ocean at Bali, Indonesia. Destination wedding photo by Jenny Fu Studio

4-8 Months Prior

If you plan on giving gifts to wedding attendants and parents and wedding favors to your guests, you can order these things now. Shop for your wedding dress, wedding rings, bridesmaids’ dresses, and groomsmen’s attire. It’s also the time to determine the wedding theme, style, and colors of your wedding. Book your wedding vendors on site, such as a florist and cake baker. And finalize your menu and wedding cake flavor & design. It’s best to finalize the ceremony details at this point so you can buy other things you will need for your wedding.   

The bride is saying her wedding vows in  a ceremony in Bali, Indonesia. Editorial photo by Jenny Fu Studio

2-3 Months Prior

Two to three months before your wedding day, updating your wedding budget, confirming all bookings and guests’ attendance, and reviewing contracts are best. Also, do all the final touches in terms of decor and details. And it’s good to arrange a final fitting of the wedding dress, bridesmaids’ dresses, and groomsmen’s attire.

The bride and bridesmaids are drinking coconut water from the coconut fruit. Editorial destination wedding photo by Jenny Fu Studio

One Month Prior

One month before your wedding day, you should determine the best way to transport the wedding dress, finalize the wedding day itinerary, confirm travel arrangements, and create a seating chart. It’s also the time to schedule the bachelor and bachelorette party.

An elegant outdoor wedding reception set-up at a destination wedding. Destination wedding timeline photo by Jenny Fu Studio

Three Weeks Prior

Contact all your wedding vendors to finalize the details.

The newlyweds are dancing the night away. Photo by Jenny Fu Studio

One Week Prior

Review your checklist, pack everything needed, and travel to your wedding destination! Do this one week or at least three days before your wedding day. Once you’re there, meet with your wedding planner or hotel/resort’s wedding team and discuss the details. Also, visit the city hall to sign the necessary papers and settle the fees. 

The newlyweds look gorgeous amidst the large floral arrangement at Bali, Indonesia.

The Day Before Your Wedding

You don’t have to do anything at this point but relax, pamper yourself in a spa, and get your mani-pedi done. Above all, you need a beauty sleep before your big day!

A beautiful 2-layered wedding cake with gold and white colors at a wedding in Bali, Indonesia.