top of page

Checklist for a 12 month destination wedding timeline

Destination weddings are such amazing experiences for the couple and their guests, but they include much more planning and details than a wedding in home town. An experienced wedding planner can help you avoid the stress and remind you of all the things that you need to think about when organizing a destination wedding so that nothing is forgotten, you don't blow your and your guests budget, as well as to have the time of your life before, during and after your wedding day.



wedding in a chapel near to water

We have considered all the aspects of a destination wedding and curated a checklist based on a 12 month timeline to help you navigate the planning and reduce the stress. 12 to 14 months is the ideal length for an engagement, but if your engagement length is shorter, our best advice is to condense the wedding schedule. If you’re getting married in six months, try to complete all the wedding-planning checklist tasks designated for month 12 to six in that very first month, and then you’ll be right on schedule with everything else.



12 months out

Determine Your Budget Before you can start anything, you have to figure out who's paying for what and determine your wedding's budget. From there, you'll want to think about what's a priority and what's not?—and start allocating funds accordingly. (A wedding planner can help you with that). And since these numbers will change as you plan, it's smart to start a detailed spreadsheet from the get-go. This will help you keep track of spending and make it easy to adjust numbers along the way. Budget planning can be booked as a single service at our wedding agency. Make a Guest List When deciding your headcount, consider your budget (guest count is the biggest budget breaker) and your venue (how many people does it fit?). Also, think about and discuss who is paying for what? From there, figure out how you're going to cut the list. If you and your partner are paying the bill, assume that you'll get 70 percent of the invites while both sets of parents will split the other 30 percent. But if mom or dad is contributing, it's the protocol to give all involved parties—your parents, your partner's parents, and you as a couple—one-third each. Next comes cutting, negotiating, and cutting some more until you reach a final number. Hire a Wedding Planner If your funds allow, now is the time to hire the manager of your big day. A wedding planner will be your right-hand person throughout the process, and they will guide you in all decisions, from selecting a venue to tracking your budget and handling all the logistics. Also, a wedding planner usually get some agency discounts and has a network of vendors, so most probably they will be able to get some discounts that you alone will not. Decide Formality and Overall Theme Now's the time to sit down and have another heart-to-heart convo with your significant other. After all, the vibe of your wedding needs to be a mutual decision between the two guests of honor. To get the conversation flowing, pour a glass of wine/water/tea and ask yourselves: What’s important to us and why? What do we value? Also, know that your venue—more on that below—is going to affect all of this. Select the Venue Choosing the venue is one of the most important decisions you'll make right now. The location affects almost everything else, from how many people you invite to what kind of flowers go on the table. You should explore your options, visit the top contenders, and ultimately select a place that fits your guest count, style, and budget. While selecting your venue, throw out that pros and cons list and trust your gut—this decision is about how you feel when you're there. Select the Caterer Your wedding is the best (and largest) dinner party of your life, but how do you feed 150 of your nearest and dearest? Well, start with hiring people you trust to deliver—whether that's the venue's in-house caterer, a preferred caterer recommended by your planner, or even your favorite taco truck. And don't be afraid to get creative with the menu. Guests will enjoy tasting your favorite cocktail just as much as Grandma's famous blueberry pie. Read our post on tips and questions to ask the caterer before booking.

11 months out

10 months out

9 months out

8 months out

7 months out

6 months out

5 months out

4 months out

3 months out

2 months out

1 month out

Final week and morning of



Contact us to guide you and help you make your destination wedding planning a dream come true!







bottom of page