Your Destination Wedding Timeline: From Engaged to the Big Day

A destination wedding is such a special and unique event for all involved. As a couple, you get to choose somewhere personal and different to share your love. For guests, it’s an added adventure to what will already be a memorable event. However, there is a lot to consider and it’s important to get your timing right. As a destination wedding planner in Ireland for over 20 years, we’ve compiled a helpful destination wedding timeline to take you from engaged to your big day!  

Newly Engaged: 12+ Months  

Photographer: Claire Studio Brown

Congratulations! You’re newly engaged and eager to start wedding planning. You decide it will be a destination wedding, but now you need to think more specifically about the type of location. Do you dream of getting married in an old Irish castle or on the grounds of a stunning country manor? 

Think about your guest list and budget at this point to ensure you know your numbers before getting more into the planning process.  

Now is a great time to contact us at Dream Irish Wedding to help you to narrow down your dream location, navigate your budget and provide you with an expert, on-the-ground partnership to bring your wedding day together.  

Photographer: Under the Veil Weddings

Planning Underway: 11-12 Months 

Photographer: Story of Eve

At this stage, you will have secured your venue and have begun to finalise your list of preferred vendors. Working with a Wedding Planner on the ground ensures that you have access to the very best local suppliers. We know who can help you bring your vision to life and make your Dream Irish Wedding a reality!

You will need to be sure of what the legal requirements are in your chosen destination. For example, in Ireland, you should factor in time for a face-to-face meeting with the registrar as part of the process. We will advise you on the legal requirements for marrying in Ireland to ensure you won’t miss a step.

When it comes to a destination wedding, you will want to give your guests enough notice to make travel arrangements. Now would be the right time to create a wedding website. You can send Save the Dates that link back to your website. This is a great way to ensure your guests have all the travel and accommodation information they need to plan ahead of time.

Photographer: Dermot Culhane

Halfway There: 6 Months

Photographer: Nicola Webster

We’re halfway through your destination wedding timeline. Your vendors are confirming the details of your dream day. You have finalised the concept and style of your wedding.

If you have the opportunity, now would be a great time to visit your chosen venue. You can take this time to finalise details such as your wedding menu, flowers, decor and all the logistics of your dream day! Being on the ground will allow you to see the day and celebration coming together.

As you’re planning a destination wedding, it’s acceptable to send wedding invitations at the 6 month mark. With your wedding website already live, you can give your guests the option to RSVP via your website or send the traditional card.

Photographer: Nicola Webster

Final Stages: 1 month 

Photographer: Christina Brosnan

We come to the final weeks of your destination wedding timeline. Packing and preparing for travel will be at the top of your mind. Ensure all dress and suit fittings are complete. Collect your wedding rings, and if you have an engagement ring, you can also leave this with your jeweller to be polished.  

At this stage, you will have your number of guests confirmed. This will allow you to finalise your table plan to provide it to the venue.

You will also complete a final run-through of details and the order of events. At Dream Irish Wedding, we will do this online with you before you make your journey. We work closely with you to ensure your vision is being brought to life. It’s your day after all!

Photographer: Christina Brosnan

Happily Ever After Awaits: The Week Of 

Photographer: Claire Studio Brown

Having a day of timeline or order of events will help to keep your day in order. If you’re organising the day yourself, it’s important to call each vendor to confirm logistics. Follow up on email to ensure they have all the details they need for the day. At Dream Irish Wedding, we will coordinate every last detail with each vendor to ensure your dream day happens exactly as you envision.

This week, you arrive at your wedding destination and confirm any final details or changes on site. Don’t forget to have a ceremony rehearsal the night before with your wedding party. This is a chance for you to walk through the ceremony with your wedding party. If you have engaged us as your wedding planner, we will host a ceremony rehearsal outside of the church as most officiants will not be available to do a run-through the day before with you. The rehearsal will help calm nerves and ensure your wedding party knows the flow of the ceremony.

Most importantly, enjoy every second of your wedding day! 

Take a moment with your partner on the day to look around and soak in the reality of your dream day come to life! 

Photographer: Nicola Webster

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