Plan a stress-free destination wedding

Getting married can feel like you and the love of your life are beginning a whole new adventure! And maybe you want to start that chapter elsewhere. You might have met while hiking in Europe, or you took your first holiday together in New York, and you’d like to revisit that place full of happy, magical memories for this special occasion. Go for it!

Destination weddings, whether you’re surrounded by loved ones or choosing to elope, just the two of you, can be incredibly romantic and fun. But they come with a list of things to consider that you wouldn’t necessarily have to think about if you were getting married in your hometown.

Coordinated destination wedding

Planning a wedding, no matter the number of guests, is a lot of work, and even more so when that wedding is abroad. Check these items off your planning list and feel the stress melt off your shoulders.

Wedding insurance

If you’ve chosen to have a large wedding abroad instead of at home, wedding insurance is a must. If things go wrong at home, it’s easier to fix things, rearrange things, and speak with people. Put a sea or ocean between you and the problem and things get much trickier. Wedding insurance from a reputable broker is highly advised.

Travel insurance

In the case of a wedding abroad, no matter the size, travel insurance should be on your shopping list. Apart from the risk of flight alterations and cancellations, missing luggage is always a fear and you may find yourself travelling with precious cargo, like rings and an expensive wedding dress.

Wedding coordinator

At home you’d most likely plan your wedding with your venue’s wedding coordinator, so why not do the same with a destination wedding? It’s really important to find a wedding coordinator you trust, since in the planning stages they’ll be so far away. Try not to communicate only via email. Call and video conference with them instead and build a rapport and a trusting relationship with them. This is a lot of responsibility you’re entrusting them with and it’s important you feel comfortable doing so.


Even if you’re having a super quick ceremony carried out by ‘Elvis’, you’ll want your big day to be special and part of that lies in preparation and creating as stress-free a trip as you can.

Book with a travel agent

We’d advise booking a package with a travel agent. Even if it’s just you and the love of your life there’s still a lot to consider when travelling. A travel agent can figure out your flights, accommodation, travel insurance (see below), and maybe even the ceremony and dinner booking for you too.

Travel insurance

Travel insurance is a must, not only for flight alterations or accommodation cancellations but also for precious possessions, as you may find yourself travelling with expensive rings and attire.

Things to keep in mind

Steamer at the hotel

No matter if you’re having a large gathering, an intimate service of just family, or a private ceremony, just the two of you, you may still want to wear the dress or suit of your dreams. When booking accommodation ask about a steamer available in the hotel for any dresses or suits you may be travelling with – no matter how well you pack them, there’s always the risk of wrinkles. If you find yourself in a pinch, hang the clothes up in the bathroom, while you have a hot shower – the shower steam may just do the trick!

Time of travel

Pay attention to the time of year at your destination. Those gorgeous photos you saw may have been taken in Summer but it may not be as warm and sunny, even in late Spring! Do a little research and ask your travel agent too.

Destination status

Keep up-to-date on the major headlines at your destination, especially closer to your wedding date. The world changes day by day and the last thing you want is to head into a widespread health crisis or divisive political situation.

Health check

This is another reason travel insurance is a must. If you’re unwell in the lead up to an at-home wedding, you might be able to get back on your feet in time or for that one day. But with a destination wedding, you have to recover earlier, be well enough to fly, and capable of enjoying a long weekend, a week-long celebration, maybe two. Mind yourself, eat your veggies and get your Vitamin C!

Now that those boxes are ticked, check out our full wedding planning checklist!

Pam Ryan
WeddingDates Contributors
A true family wedding at Shamrock Lodge Hotel

Real Wedding: Doireann & Ian's true family wedding at Shamrock Lodge Hotel.