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Planning Your Destination Wedding Abroad? Here’s How to Get It Done Seamlessly

Destination wedding
Written by Shannon Durso

This blog post was updated on August 16, 2021.

Traveling abroad for your wedding comes with loads of planning. From the guest list to the venue, the dresses and the tux, it’s easy to forget something as important as the wedding rings! Traveling by airplane with many important items to keep track of while stressing yourself out for everything to go as planned, can be a nightmare. We’re here to help you remember the essentials in order to get to your destination seamlessly.

If You Haven’t Already…

couple sitting on the floor with suitcase and laptop

Start reserving rooms and booking flights at least 10-12 month in advance. If you haven’t already, book your flights and block out space in a hotel for your guests to stay, (most hotels will offer a discounted rate for large groups). It will be nearly impossible to book everyone’s rooms and flights yourself, so keep your guests updated with detailed information on how to get there and where to book. If you’re an organized couple, a great idea is to create your own personal website for your guests to go to for wedding details such as dates, times, and places of all events; this way you avoid answering the same repeated questions on flight information.

Still haven’t booked your tickets to your destination wedding? Find your flights right here! 

Think of Yourselves (the Bride and the Groom) First

Most important: The dress and the tux – don’t even think about checking this precious cargo! Contact your airline when booking your tickets to inquire about bringing a delicate wedding dress on board. Most airlines have closet space located at the front of the aircraft for items such as these. But, if there isn’t space available to hang your attire, be sure to stow your garments in an overhead bin *laid on top of the baggage*. Your carry-on should also include your wedding shoes, wedding bands, jewelry, veil, and any other important items that you’ll be wearing on your big day. Lastly, you’ll need to be legally married in the US (in most countries) before you head out, so don’t forget your marriage certificate and, don’t forget your birth certificates as well.

Don’t Neglect Your Guests

wedding guests holding champagne

To avoid chaos, assume your guests know nothing about traveling. Try to keep in touch with your most important guests like immediate family and the bridal party before you leave, to remind everyone to check their flight times (…because missing a flight and a bridesmaid or groomsman is a nightmare!). If everyone is on the same flight, check with the airline if you haven’t already received a confirmation. Remind your party to pack their garments in a carry-on and to bring along a hand steamer to de-wrinkle dresses and suits for when they arrive at their hotel room.

Remaining Balances

bride and groom holding money

Contracts — you need them, all of them; from your vendors, the venue, and from the hotel or resort! You want to be able to easily prove that everything has been paid for and have the exact amount you owe in order to pay remaining balances. If possible, try to have everything already paid for, like hair and makeup, the venue, the caterers…and don’t forget about gratuity! A stressed-out bride and groom scrambling through envelopes to complete payments is never a pleasant sight.

The Venue and Vendors

Arrive at the venue a few days prior to your wedding day. Stay in close touch with your wedding planner (if you have one) or the venue that you booked. Make a contact list of all vendors you’ve hired and have either your planner or yourself contact them all, including the caterer, musicians/DJ, florist, photographer, etc. to confirm one last time. Don’t forget about the officiant — call him/her too!

Important Things to Remember

bride with her stiletto on a suitcase

Found your perfect wedding destination? Awesome! But, there are a few things to do before you board your flight. First, call your cellular provider to switch your plan if necessary, or turn off your cellular data once you take off to avoid massive international charges. You don’t want to get there to find out you can’t make phone calls or text messages or that you’ve racked up a huge international bill. Second, notify your credit card companies that you’ll be leaving the country, so your accounts don’t close in the assumption of fraud. Third, leave a copy of your passport with someone at home just in case you lose yours in the chaos of your big day. Lastly, if you’re leaving straight for your honeymoon take all your tickets and itineraries with you on paper!

There you have it — you’re all set to jet off to your wedding day — Congratulations and Happy Travels!


Have you had a destination wedding? Tell us how you planned to get there seamlessly in the comments below! 

About the author

Shannon Durso

If she’s not searching for the world's coolest destinations she has yet to explore, you can find her writing content at Fareportal or maybe even drooling over a foodies latest post. Shannon’s a Brooklyn native who enjoys good company, new adventures, and a great laugh!

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