St. John Wedding Planner

How to Pack When You’re Traveling For Your Destination Wedding

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

Destination weddings are one of the most romantic and exciting trips to plan and prepare for. Planning a wedding in a remote location offers many benefits, but also demands a little more vigilance from you. Since a destination wedding involves shuffling, transitioning and moving while traveling, packing becomes one of the most important jobs. It’s easy to miss out important things at home because of the excitement. Because your mind is swept up in the excitement when you’re packing, you may forget little but crucial details. Such mistakes can prove to be very costly. With planning and allowing yourself time, plus a checklist and suggestions from others who have experience with destination weddings, you’ll be good to go. As destination wedding planners, we have worked with brides for years. Here we’ll share with you suggestions for packing your bags while you travel for your wedding.

It is recommended that you start creating a check list of items to be packed, months in advance from the wedding day. Keep jotting items as you remember them, and while packing, check them against your list. This way your packing will be more organized and fruitful.
One of the first things to keep in mind, and perhaps the most difficult, is weight. With extra charges on luggage and weight limits, be sure to check with your airline in advance so that you don’t have costly surprises at the gate if budgeting is a concern. Use bags and suitcases that are lightweight. Bags with wheels on them are quite handy, that allow the bag to be easily pushed, thus saving you a lot of effort. Check out the vacuum-sealed bags from stores like Target and Wal-Mart to pack your clothes tightly and efficiently. You may also want to FedEx or mail a box of clothing or items in advance to your location.
This is quite obvious, but needs to be said anyways; do not forget to bring your wedding dress. We have known women to pack their bags–and then turn around to realize they still need to figure out how to fit in their dress. It is important to keep your dress wrinkle free throughout the duration of your journey. Use the coat closets available in aircrafts to hang your dress. Grooms are advised to rent and bring a tuxedo from their hometown, and not risk searching for one at the destination. You may want to ask your wedding planner or local hotel what services or facilities may be located near your destination in case you need care at the last minute. Also, do not forget to pack shoes that go with the tuxedo.

For brides, pack your make up box, and other related appliances if you prefer to do everything yourself. Go with travel-size everything as much as possible. Remember if something is liquid to check your airline’s regulations. Most liquid items need to be checked in your luggage, not taken on your carry-on. Ziplock bags are key for keeping cosmetics, lotions, perfumes and other products organized and sealed from spilling into the rest of your things. Also, you can always choose to visit a salon to have your makeup and hair done before your ceremony. This depends a lot on the location of your wedding…but private stylists or salons are often available if you ask your planner or hotel. Toiletry items might be provided by your hotel, so it is better to check with them on phone in advance. Pack your jewelry and wedding rings safely. Pack a sufficient change of clothes for before and after the wedding, including swimsuits if you opted for a beach wedding. Also, for the beach, you should definitely pack sunscreen lotion for protection against sunburns.

Forgetting to bring some important paperwork can be extremely excruciating, therefore pay special attention while packing these. You will need to check with your wedding planner about what the legal requirements of your wedding location are, and bring the appropriate papers with you. Some documents you should definitely bring with you are your birth certificate, your passport, and if applicable, your divorce papers. Put all your papers where they are easily accessible, for example your hand bag. Do not place them in your main luggage.

Apart from these things, you should have the contact numbers of your doctor, pet- sitter and your bank. Do not forget your hotel reservation slips, and your ATM cards. Take digital photos or scans of your ID, passport and credit cards on both sides; store these images in a safe place and/or on your computer in case of loss or theft. Make sure you take down the number of your credit card company into your address book contacts as well.

We hope everything we mentioned here is helpful to you. Packing may feel overwhelming, but with some suggestions and then organization, you’ll dissolve that stress quickly. If you have questions, contact other past brides who have experienced a destination wedding and/or your destination wedding planner. As the common saying goes, “prepare for the worst, expect the best.”


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We had such a perfect wedding day! Thanks to you, Michelle and Kwana for helping make that happen.
Again thanks!

Tiera and Ross

Tiera & Ross