10. Hire a Travel Agent

Hiring a travel agent who if familiar with planning destination weddings will save you the headache and your guests money.  As all of your guests will liaise with your dedicated agent, a group discount typically is offered. Your representative likely has  a relationship with the venue, expediting the planning process.  An experienced agent will help take the hassle out of planning and help you find the right location based on your interests and criteria!

9. Hair & Makeup

Many venues conveniently offer hair and makeup on-site.  Ensure that you get a makeup trial before the wedding and have a backup plan in the event that you are not satisfied.  If possible, try to get pictures of previous clients to get an idea of the hair and makeup artist’s style.  Bring pictures to show the style you are looking for.  Remember to pick a hairstyle that is suitable for the weather at your destination and be aware that makeup may also need to be altered to suit the climate.

8. Transporting your Dress

If you are flying, ask your airline before boarding if they have room to store your dress in the cabin closet (never put your dress in checked baggage!).  While this isn’t always an option, it doesn’t hurt to ask!  If the airline is unable to accommodate, inquire about getting on with the first group of passengers so that you can carefully lay your dress on top of your luggage so it won’t get buried.  If all else fails, pack along a portable handheld steamer (test on discreet area of dress before steaming) or ensure that your hotel offers this service for a nominal fee.

7. Booking a Photographer

It is common for venues to have on-site photographers.  It is important that you view the photographers work prior to committing.  If the resident photographer is not your first choice, you can always hire an off-site photographer to snap your photos.  When hiring an outside vendor, check the resort policies before committing (see Resort Fees below).  It is also important to consider the time of day you are getting married.  If you are getting married in a different time zone, speak with your photographer ahead of time to make sure that your photos will be taken at an ideal time of day.

6. Resort Fees

Before hiring outside vendors, inquire about resort fees!  Resort fees require that anyone not staying at the resort purchase a “day pass” which can range anywhere from a hundred to hundreds of dollars.  Be sure to be honest and upfront with the venue about who you have hired as the last thing you want is your vendors to be denied access the day of your wedding!

5. Medical Requirements

Be aware that different countries have varying requirements when it comes to tying the knot.  In many cases, a blood test or health records will be required.  Ensure that you are familiar with the process and have all important documentation with you when you travel. Although most venues will assist in arranging any medical exams or tests, confirm that this is the case beforehand.

4. Too Much Sunshine

Too much of a good thing can turn south real quick!  If you are getting married at a sunny destination be aware that those halter straps on your bathing suit will create tan lines that will not compliment your strapless gown and getting a sunburn will not bode well with the camera lens.  While you want to enjoy the weather and photo editing can fix some blemishes, try to stay mindful of the sun’s rays.

3. Wedding Decor

Many brides feel the need to pack suitcases full of decor to the venue and don’t end up using the majority of it upon arrival.  Try to work with the natural beauty of the venue and know that most resorts have decorations that you can rent for a fee.  Well it is important to bring meaningful decorations of your own, try not to go overboard.

2. Playing Music & Audio

Bring music you want to play at your wedding on your phone or tablet.  Put different groups of music (processional song, first dance etc.) in different folders so that the individual controlling the music can easily identify when the correct music is to be played. Pack along your own audio jack and anything else you may require if the resort does not supply these items.  If you will need a microphone or projector communicate this to the venue ahead of time.

1. Passport & Travel

Your single most important item!  Although making sure that your passport is valid may seem obvious, sometimes it is more than just checking that your expiry date is well into the future.  Some countries require that your passport not expire within 6 months of travel or more!  Do your research to ensure that you are meeting all travel requirements.