Destination Wedding Planning Timeline

The information below is a basic outline of the standard timeline for planning a destination wedding.  Since each wedding is different, this is only an example of how the planning process might go.

12 Months Out

  1. Determine Your Budget

  2. Hire a Wedding Planner

  3. Select a Venue

  4. Make a Guest List

  5. Decide Overall Theme

  6. Hire Primary Vendors (Caterer, Photographer, Band, Officiant)

  7. Take Engagement Photos Ensure valid passports or visas (if applicable)

  8. Reserve Honeymoon Suite

9 Months Out

Cutting the Cake Together
  1. Recruit Wedding Party

  2. Create Wedding Website

  3. Register for Gifts

  4. Book Hotel-Room Blocks

  5. Send Save the Dates

  6. Buy Wedding Dress

  7. Select Bridesmaids Dresses

6 Months Out

Beach Wedding Canopy
  1. Order Rental Items

  2. Hire other vendors (ceremony musicians, lighting technician, on-site transportation, rehearsal dinner venue, baker, videographer, hairstylist, makeup artist)

  3. Book Flights

  4. Book Your Honeymoon

  5. Buy or Rent Groom's Tuxedo

  6. Begin Pre-marital counseling

  7. Walk-through Venue, if possible

  8. Plan Additional Wedding-Related Events

  9. Purchase Wedding Rings and accessories

  10. Order Invitations

3 Months Out

Elegant Table Arrangement
  1. Send Invitations

  2. Set Catering Menu

  3. Set Ceremony Schedule

  4. Buy Your Cake

  5. Buy Wedding Bands

  6. Select Groomsmen Attire

  7. Order any remaining supplies

  8. Local Hair and Makeup Trial

  9. Write Your Vows

  10. Craft DIY Items

2 Months Out

Wedding Cake
  1. Send Wedding Invitations

  2. First Dress Fitting

  3. Buy Wedding Party Gifts

  4. Give Song Selections to Band or DJ

  5. Complete Floral Mockup

  6. Finalize photographer shot-list

  7. Finalize Rental Items

  8. Get any Required Vaccines

  9. Order Wedding Favors

1 Month Out

Wedding Band Stage
  1. Assemble Gift Bags

  2. Pay Vendors in Full

  3. Create Seating Chart

  4. Order Escort and/or Place Cards

  5. Create Tip Envelopes

  6. Deliver all Items to Wedding Planner

  7. Final Dress Fitting

  8. Finalize travel documents

  9. Chase down RSVPs

Week Of

Brides Kissing
  1. Self-Care/Grooming

  2. Clean Rings

  3. Pick up dress/tux

  4. Confirm flight numbers and arrival times for family and wedding party

  5. Pack Your Bags

  6. Deliver Final Headcount

  7. Write Your Partner a Note

  8. Head to your destination!

  9. Apply for Wedding License (some destinations will require a prior trip for the license)

  10. Complete tastings with Caterer and Baker Hair and

  11. Makeup Trial 

  12. Final venue walk-through