Don’t Forget the Passport: Preparing for your destination wedding


By Megan Velez,

The date has been set, the arrangements made and now the RSVP’s are starting to pour in. The beauty of having a destination wedding is that a destination wedding specialist can assist you with many of the logistics. There will be, however, a few things you and your partner will have to handle on your own.

So what should you officially add to your to do list?

The Not-So-Pretty Stuff

Before pulling out your suitcases, devote an afternoon to consolidating all necessary documentation into a single file (perhaps a pretty folder to brighten up this step!). Check in with your destination wedding specialist to determine what you’ll need in addition to your passport – if you’re getting legally married on site, certain places may require birth certificates or, if you’ve been married before, proof of dissolution of the previous marriage (whether divorce decrees or death certificates).

Include photocopies of all important documents in the file, as well as vendor contracts, reservation information, insurance policies, and even your vows (hey, they’re just as important!). Additionally, you may need to arrive early to the location if you plan to marry legally at the wedding so research this well in advance of making your reservations to avoid having to change anything later.

What to Bring

With all of the paperwork behind you, it’s time to get packing. For many, the wedding gown is the most important item to transport, so include it in your carry-on list. Reach out to your airline to discuss the possibilities for delicate carry-ons – you may be allowed to hang it up in an onboard coat closet.

In a separate carry-on bag, pack all of your flight essentials (including that fun novel you’ve been saving!), as well as anything you’ll need immediately on the other side – such as the file of documents you created. Keep it as light as possible, as you won’t want to disembark the plane in paradise while heaving an overstuffed bag and your wedding dress.

For checked luggage, you’ll want to sit down and make a list of every event planned for your celebration abroad, as well as what clothes you’ll need to wear. Planning an early morning mountain trek? Be sure to pack accordingly! Include toiletries and sunblock as well, as their prices tend to increase in tourist areas and on-site resort stores.

Another List?

That’s right – this time, it’s your guest list you’ll want to have on hand. Luckily, with the help of your RSVPs, this should be quite a cinch. As you’re compiling your guest list, do remember that some friends and family members may not be able to attend due to budgetary reasons or other obligations. Don’t take it personally – if anything, set a date to meet up when you return back home! Gather a list of those who aren’t attending while you’re at it and consider getting each of them a souvenir as a kind token. You could also Facetime with close family members just prior to the ceremony so they can have their own official “sneak peek.” More resorts are also offering livestreaming options so your loved ones can feel like they are right there with you. Nothing says ‘wish you were here’ like a thoughtful gesture!

There are a few extra considerations when preparing for your Big Day away from home but we promise you, the efforts will be well worth it!

Megan Velez is the Vice President of Product at, the world’s leading destination wedding and romantic travel planning company. has worked with over 20,000 couples and half a million guests to plan dream destination weddings. For more information, visit