Stay on track with this month-by-month guide:
- Set a budget. Factor in the number of guests and determine how much you can afford to spend.
- Decide on a place. Consider your wedding style and choose a first, second and third choice. Consider travel time and distance.
- Research resorts in your country/location of choice and compare what each offers. Shop for packages and consider all-inclusive packages. Compare prices and inclusiveness as well as recommendations, ratings and references.
- Research airfare and each resort’s room rates.
- Look into the marriage legalitiesin the locations you’re considering.
- Notify family and friends of decision to marry away; select a date.
- Decide on your wedding attendants.
- After selecting a resort, make travel arrangements for a visit.
- Have the location’s on-site wedding coordinator give you a list of preferred local vendors such as the photographer, florist and band.
- Visit the resort and meet with the on-site wedding coordinator and local vendors. Look into a group discounton room rates.
- Begin your search for your honeymoon locationif you will not be honeymooning at your wedding destination. If you’re getting married during a peak holiday season such as Christmas, you may need to book your honeymoon 9 months in advance.
- Start gown shoppingand begin registering for gifts.
- Put together your guest list.
- Set up your wedding website. Start with your wedding date and location, adding travel info and other relevant logistics as you go.
- Send out save-the-datesto give your guests plenty of time to make travel arrangements.
- Get a rough head count; reserve a block of rooms.
- Contact your officiant. For most religious ceremonies, you may be required to attend pre-wedding counseling. Civil ceremonies may require permission to be married in the location.
- Review and finalize pros’ contracts.
- Buy travel and wedding insurance.
- Reserve a block of rooms at two hotels in different price ranges and direct your invitees to your wedding website for the details.
- If your wedding will take place in another country contact a travel agent to see if you can reserve a block of seats with an airline. Many carriers offer discounts to passengers with groups over ten.
- Book your own honeymoon/travel
- Select and order your gown and bridesmaid dresses.
- Make final selections for your flowers, decor, menu and cake.
- Select musicfor the ceremony, cocktail hour and reception.
- Make arrangements for any transportationat the location such as a shuttle for guests to and from the airport.
- Make sure website is updated with most recent information.
- Write welcome letterto guests and itinerary of events to include in gift bag. Have both printed and ready to take with you or ship to resort.
- Order brochures of local activities along with area maps to include in the gift bag.
- Review documentation for a legal ceremony with your coordinator.
- Set up a seating chart, get all RSVPs from guests.
- Test a spray tan if you plan on gettiing one for the wedding.
- Confirm travel reservations; release any rooms not needed.
- Finalize detailswith wedding coordinator and local vendors.
- Determine an order of events schedule with your coordinator.
- Finalize ceremony details: write vows, finalize music.
- Ask guests to RSVP for group activities via e-mail.
- Ship gift bag items, printed materials (programs etc.) to site.
- Finalize guest headcount and confirm group activities.
- Ensure all paperwork is in order (passports, documents needed for marriage license, wedding and travel insurancepolicies).
- Print your wedding programsto take with you.
- Confirm your honeymoonreservation and any speacial requests.
- Address any wedding announcements, stamp and arrange for mailing on your wedding day.
- Finalize the seating plan; give catereryour final guest list count.
- Pack what you need for the wedding and honeymoon; pick up tuxes.
- Put together an emergency kit(spot remover, band-aids, asprin, etc).
- Determine photo schedule and shot listfor your photographer.
- Confirm final meeting with vendors for when you arrive.
Day Before Departure
- Go over final details with coordinator; update website.
- Contact the wedding party and make sure they know how to reach you.
- Arrive at location and meet with on-site coordinator, officiant, and vendors to review final details.