Looking for a list of destination wedding must-haves? I've got you, girl! As a destination wedding photographer, I spend my life traveling the world photographing couples who choose to tie the knot in so many different places. I've gotten the chance to hear all about the pros and cons, the must-haves and all the do's and don'ts of packing for a wedding you attend via plane. So I plan on sharing all of those tips with you in this blog post! Let's get started!
Destination Wedding Must-Haves
- Legal and Travel Documents- First and foremost, you'll need all the legal documents and requirements for your destination. Don't forget your passports, ID's, marriage license, and birth certificates (if needed). Be sure and contact the courthouse of the destination to make sure you have everything they require for a legal marriage. This is IMPORTANT!
- A Safe Transport of the Dress- Another important measure to take is the protection of your wedding attire. Be sure and have these items cleaned, steamed or dry-cleaned and put directly into a protective bag.
Tip: Don't be afraid to check these items instead of shoving them into a folded up suitcase. If you do check them, put a FRAGILE sticker on the outside so they know to handle with extra care.
3) Your Wedding Planning Binder- I'm a huge physical copy kind of person. I always recommend to all of my brides that they should print out all of their wedding documents and timelines and keep them together in a binder (as well as backing them up in the cloud). Especially when you are going out of town to get hitched, having those in your hand is even more important. Don't forget to print extras so you can hand to the vendors or close family/friends.
4) Weather Prep- This is also a big one. When traveling to another country, even as just a tourist, it's really important to plan for any inclement weather that could occur. If you aren't able to check umbrellas, have your destination wedding planner order enough clear umbrellas for your guests (or at the very least, for the two of you). It's always better to be safer than sorry. A lot of European countries, such as Ireland, can be really rainy and wet throughout certain months. Take that into consideration when planning your wedding date.
5) Pack the Things You Know and Love- Don't rely on the hair and makeup artist to know your hair and skin the way that you do. Especially since you aren't able to do a trial run. Pack those go-to items such as facial primer and hairspray that you KNOW work best for you. You won't be able to just run home and grab them so it's better to have them just in case!
6) Bring an Emergency Bag- If you are getting married outside of the U.S., you likely won't be able to run to the convenience of a Walmart just down the road. Be sure and pack all of the little things you might need that you won't have access to (especially in Europe). Don't forget things like Tylenol, safety pins, Tide pen, double-sided tape, tissues, etc.
Screenshot this list to have and check off as you pack!
Destination Wedding Packing List
- Wedding dress
- Veil or headpiece
- Bridal shoes
- Lingerie and undergarments
- Accessories (jewelry, belt, etc.)
- Consider packing a backup dress or outfit, especially if your wedding attire is elaborate.
- Groom's Attire:
- Groom's outfit (if not traveling together)
- Accessories for the groom (tie, cufflinks, etc.)
- Marriage license
- Travel itinerary
- Hotel reservations
- Toiletries (including makeup, hair products, and skincare items)
- Travel-sized sewing kit
- First aid kit
- Wedding rings
- Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue
Getting Ready Essentials:
- Robe or button-down shirt for getting ready
- Comfortable shoes for getting ready
- Hairdryer and styling tools
Tech and Entertainment:
- Phone and charger
- Camera or smartphone for photos
- Playlist or music for getting ready
Wedding Vows and Speech:
- Printed copies of your vows
- Notes for any speeches or toasts
- Stain remover
- Safety pins
- Double-sided tape
- Comfortable shoes for dancing
- Flip-flops for beach weddings
- Snacks and water
- Shawl or wrap for cooler evenings
- Sunscreen for outdoor weddings
- Umbrella (if rain is expected)
- Travel jewelry case
- Compact mirror
- Foldable garment bag
Wedding Day Timeline:
- Printed copy of the wedding day timeline for reference
Legal and Administrative:
- Identification (driver's license, ID card)
- Credit cards or cash
- Contact information for vendors
- Separate bag or suitcase for the honeymoon
- Swimwear and beachwear
- Passport and travel documents for the honeymoon