How to Pack for Your Destination Wedding

An airplane in the sky leaving two hearts as smoke trails, signifying a destination wedding.

In planning a wedding, there is so much to think about and many details to attend to. If you’re having a destination wedding, that list will likely seem even longer and more daunting. One thing that couples forget about leading up to their destination wedding is the task of packing for the wedding trip itself. Packing for any time away can be a long and arduous task, but it’s particularly important in preparation for your wedding that you not forget anything completely necessary to making the day a success. We’ve rounded up must-pack destination wedding items that commonly go forgotten by couples below.

Nail Kit

Brides don’t want to let their nails look ratty on the day of their wedding, and grooms likely don’t, either. With all those close-up ring shots, who can blame them! To avoid any nail mishaps, make sure to pack a nail kit with a file, nail cutters, cuticle cutters, nail polish remover, and touch-up polish, just in case. This is a small item that frequently goes forgotten.

Sewing Kit

Another kit to pack for your big day is a sewing kit. You never know who may need it, whether it’s the bride or groom themselves over the course of the wedding trip or a wedding party member, it’s good to have this on hand, just in case. This little and inexpensive item takes up barely any room in your suitcase, so don’t skip it.


Okay, you’re probably thinking that this is a no-brainer. But especially when it comes to brides, it’s likely that you have particular undergarments picked out to accompany your wedding dress. You definitely don’t want to forget these as they’re an important part to your day-of look.

Getting Ready Attire

A bride wearing a robe as she's getting her hair and makeup done for her wedding.

Brides frequently like to have a pre-coordinated outfit to get ready for their wedding in, such a pajama set or silk robe. This is an item that can easily be forgotten, so make sure it gets into your bag. Grooms might not have as particular of an outfit to get ready in, but should still make sure they have something comfortable yet presentable to get ready in for the big day. After all, the photographer will likely be present for some “getting ready” photos.

Appropriate Documents

You’ll want to ensure that you have your IDs and passports with you (if needed) for your travel, but you’ll also want to ensure that you have any necessary documents to get your marriage license. When you’re having a destination wedding, look up how to do this well before your wedding to ensure that you’re completely ready for that important part of the process and that you don’t leave any critical documents at home. If you’ve already acquired your marriage license, take care to make sure that gets packed.

Tip Envelopes

Something that you can bring with you to make your life a bit easier on the day of is to pre-address tip envelopes and have the cash doled out for vendors inside them. Label them for whoever they’re intended for and then ask someone from the wedding party to hold on to them once you get to your destination and hand them out the day of.

Copies of Contracts

On the more “business” side of things, you’ll want to have a hard copy folder of copies of vendor contracts for everyone you’re working with for your wedding. Chances are, you won’t even need these! But if you do, it’s nice to have them readily on hand.

Wedding Bands

A pair of gold and silver wedding bands at a destination wedding against two sea urchins.

Since you’re not yet used to wearing them, it can be easy to forget to pack the wedding bands for your destination wedding. However, these are quite the important item for the big day. Put your wedding bags somewhere safe in your carry-on so that you have them as you exchange your vows.

Day-of Gifts and Cards

It’s likely that you’ll have some gifts and cards to give out the day of your wedding, whether it’s for your groom, bridesmaids, parents, or anyone else playing a big role in the day and in your life. Write out the cards ahead of time and make sure the gifts are wrapped and ready to go. Put them in your suitcase so they’re ready to be gifted.

Photography Extras

You may want to bring certain “props” to give to your wedding photographer to use in taking detail photos of your big day. This could include extra sets of your wedding invitations, a ring box, a ring dish, a special wedding dress hanger, or anything else that fits your photo vision for that day. Make sure you pack and organize all of these ahead of time to ensure they’re ready to hand over to your photographer that day.

The weeks and days leading up to your departure for your destination wedding are undoubtedly exciting, busy, and maybe a bit nerve-wracking. To avoid forgetting any important items, pack your bag in advance and use this list as a guide to ensure you’re well prepared for every situation on one of the best trips of your life!

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