Take the “I feel like I’m forgetting something” feeling, give it arms, legs, brains, and hearts, and you’ve created a bride and groom walking out the door on the way to the airport for their destination wedding. It feels like a setup—mixing a day where the assumption is that something will go wrong, with major (sometimes international) travel. But thousands of couples do it every year and say it’s the best decision they ever made. Their secret? We think it’s probably the packing list. (Either that or their ever-deepening love and respect for each other.)
If you’ve made it this far—to the packing—then you’re in the home stretch before your wedding. You’ve booked venues and caterers, flights and hotel blocks (*cough* read this if you haven’t yet *cough*), and it’s time to pack those bags.
To help ensure your wedding success as the gateway to a lifetime of coupled bliss (and just because we care,) we’ve assembled the all-time, foolproof destination wedding packing list. Print it out, pack it, double and triple-check it, then beg your best friend to run through it with you one last time.
- Your passports
- Any additional travel paperwork, visas, plane tickets, copies of hotel reservations, etc.
- Copies of both of your birth certificates
- A simple travel outfit, preferably one you can wear there and back
- Trip insurance (please do not chance it on this of all days)
- A copy of your passport left at home with a friend, just in case
For the Big Event:
- Your marriage license (or proof of marriage if you had the legal ceremony at home)
- Wedding bands
- Copies of your itinerary and any important vendor contacts
- Cards or gifts for your soon-to-be-spouse
- Your vows or anything you need to write them out
- Any decorations you’re not shipping ahead or getting there
- A copy of your wedding invitation for your photographer to take photos of (trust us, you’ll want this!)
- Your wedding dress or suit. Make sure you carry this on the plane with you! There is no need to tempt the evil spirits of lost luggage with your wedding outfit. You can carry garment bags onto the plane and lay them on top of luggage in the overhead compartment.
- Depending on where you’re staying, you might want a portable steamer or iron
- Any special robes or clothes for getting ready
- All your accessories
The best way to make sure you have everything you need is to run through the day once and pretend to get ready and write down everything you reach for. Do you need special undergarments? Cuff links or jewelry that you don’t normally wear? Write it all down so you don’t miss anything. A list to get you started:
- Wedding Shoes
- Jewelry, watches, or cuff links
- Hair accessories
- Belt, socks, and pocket square
- Bag or clutch
- Hairstyling tools
- Toiletries or anything you need to shave
Depending on where you’re traveling, it might be hard to get your hands on things you’re used to. The classic wedding day emergency kit takes on a whole new meaning when there isn’t a drugstore in sight. We recommend preparing a bag with first aid supplies, toiletries, and small essentials. This not only makes sure you have everything you need for the day, but it will also fill the gaps for any forgetful guests. Here’s our packing list for the perfect emergency kit:
- Advil or Tylenol
- Granola bars
- Bug spray
- Aloe vera
- Lip balm
- Safety pins
- Dry shampoo
- Gum or mints
- Lint roller
- Hand sanitizer
- Sewing kit
- Hand cream
- Bobby pins
- Static guard
- Stain stick
- Dress tape
- Phone chargers
- Dental Floss
For the Rest of the Trip:
Are you going directly on your honeymoon? We’re going to assume yes. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Vacation clothes (anything you own that’s even related to linen)
- A few fancier outfits for dinners
- Sun hat
- If you’re going to be hiking or exploring, sneakers or hiking shoes and long pants
- Any maps or travel information
A few other things to think about as you gear up for your day…
- Consider asking guests to send their gifts to your home or just bring cards, so you (and they) are not carting blenders and toasters around.
- Write thank-you notes and prepare tips for your vendors on the plane ride over so they’re ready to go. (Though keep in mind, if you’re traveling to a country with a different currency, your tips to those vendors should be in cash and in their currency.)
- Make sure to communicate to your guests any quirks of the place you’re traveling to— these could include bringing passports, applying for visas, things they won’t be able to find that they should bring with them, or any health concerns.
- Mentally prepare for something to go wrong. Make sure you have enough wiggle room (emotionally, financially, and temporally) to deal with missed flights, forgotten things, or unexpected inconveniences. It might happen, it might not happen, but it will be okay either way!
Communicating with the hotel directly is the best way to get a good deal on a hotel block, and get exactly what you need in a wedding weekend home base. When you communicate directly with the hotel, you can be clear about which rooms you need to make all your guests happy.
To see all your hotel options in one place with the option to book directly at loyalty member prices, look no further than roomkey.com. And don’t forget to share your hotel booking secrets with your wedding guests as well.
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