Endless Caribbean - The Caribbean Destination Wedding Checklist
Caribbean, Weddings and Honeymoons

The Caribbean Destination Wedding Checklist

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Are you planning a wedding in the Caribbean? The Caribbean Destination Wedding Checklist will help you get everything that you need well in advance of your wedding event.

Planning a wedding takes a lot of work. An overseas wedding requires another level of readiness and it means that you have to be organised and prepared for everything. If you’re getting married in the Caribbean, there is no reason why you cannot have a stress-free wedding. If your budget has been set and you know exactly what you want, then you can start planning. You may have to hire a wedding planner to assist with arrangements in the destination.

Caribbean destination weddings are very similar to local weddings. They require coordination of wedding locations, wedding attire, reception locations, timing of the wedding, announcements and stationery, caterers, photographers and of course, ensuring that your guests have somewhere to stay. The Caribbean Destination Wedding Checklist aims to make sure that you cross these items off your to-do list, long before you set foot on your plane to the Caribbean.

Caribbean Destination Wedding Checklist

The challenge with many existing destination wedding checklists is that they often assume that you have a lot more than 12 months to the wedding day. However, some couples may decide to get married as soon as possible, thus giving them very little time to get all of their wedding details in order. The Caribbean Destination Wedding Checklist below outlines all of the items that should be on your to destination wedding to-do list.

    1. Celebrate your engagement
    2. Choose a Caribbean destination for your wedding
    3. Create a wedding budget
    4. Research wedding requirements
    5. Look for a wedding venue
    6. Research destination wedding packages
    7. Hire a destination wedding planner
    8. Select a date for the wedding
    9. Select your wedding party
    10. Compile a tentative guest list
    11. Decide on the type of ceremony
    12. Review vendors
    13. Create a gift registry
    14. Finalise the guest list
    15. Send out wedding invitations
    16. Purchase your wedding attire
    17. Purchase wedding rings
    18. Confirm details with the wedding planner
    19. Book your vendors and pay deposits
    20. Plan activities for guests
    21. Purchase your airline tickets
    22. Book your hotel accommodation
    23. Book wedding day services
    24. Create wedding vows
    25. Get married

Celebrate Your Engagement

Getting engaged is an exciting moment that signals a change in your life. Many couples choose to celebrate this moment with photo sessions, engagement parties, and engagement announcements.

Choose a Caribbean Destination for your Wedding

Deciding where you want to get married involves many factors. The time you get married may be impacted be seasonally high or low fares and accommodation. For example, you should consider seasonal weather (e.g. Atlantic hurricane season); and destination holiday seasons (e.g. Crop Over in Barbados).

Create a Wedding Budget

The amount of money that you have to spend will dictate the type of wedding that you will have. When creating your budget, make a note of all of your potential expenses and the amount of money that you can allocate to the entire wedding.

Research Wedding Requirements

Marriage requirements vary throughout the Caribbean. It is important that you research marriage licenses, residency requirements, medical testing and any other stipulations that are required for marriages.

Look for a Wedding Venue

Finding the perfect wedding venue in the Caribbean depends on the type of setting you want for your big day. There are several types of wedding venues in the Caribbean which include beaches, historic churches, hotels and resorts, historic sites, restaurants, tropical gardens, boats, and the courthouse.

Research Destination Wedding Packages

Many resorts in the Caribbean provide Caribbean destination wedding packages. These packages usually include everything that you need for your wedding. Depending on where you choose to get married, packages may include the services of a dedicated wedding planner.

Hire a Destination Wedding Planner

If you are planning a destination wedding on your own, you should think about hiring a wedding planner to assist with you pre and post wedding activities. The wedding planner can will help you to coordinate all of the pre-wedding activities, so that you do not feel too flustered in the time leading up to the wedding.

Select a Date for the Wedding

When you select a tentative date for the wedding, you have to consult with the wedding venue to confirm that it is available. Selecting a date as early as possible means that you will have a bit more time to finalise everything on your list.

Select your Wedding Party

Spare a few moments and decide who you want in your wedding party. Close friends and family will be on the top of this list. By asking them early in your wedding planning process gives everyone enough time to learn about their role in the wedding.

Compile a Tentative Guest List

By compiling a rough guest list, you will have an idea of how many people will be attending and the potential costs. It will also allow you see if your potential venue can accommodate your guests.

Decide on the Type of Ceremony

There are many types of wedding ceremonies that you can choose for your wedding. Examples include religious ceremonies; inter-faith ceremonies; civil ceremonies; non-denominational ceremonies; multi-cultural ceremonies; and spiritual ceremonies.

Review Vendors

If you are working with a wedding planner, they will have a list of vendors that provide services you may need for your wedding. You should look into florists, caterers, entertainment, bakers, photographers, videographers, hair stylists, makeup artists and decorators.

Create a Gift Registry

Creating a gift registry for a Caribbean destination wedding is up to you. You may decide to forego the gift list, request cash or ask for donations to a special cause. Alternatively, some couples also decide not to have a guest registry and are content with their guests participating in the wedding ceremony.

Registering for your Wedding from Home

Finalise the Guest List

When you finalise your guest list, you should be sure that it is a list of people you want to share your day with. The earlier you can finalise this list, the better it is, because your guests will need time to make travel plans, create travel budgets and get ready for travel.

Send out Wedding Invitations

After you have confirmed your guest list, it is time to send out wedding invitations or save-the-date cards. Invitations should contain as much information about your destination wedding as possible. Remember to include the destination; the venue; the date; the time; RSVP deadline date; and meal choices.

Purchase your Wedding Attire

Be mindful that your wedding attire may be determined by the style of ceremony. Finding the right wedding dress or tuxedo can be a long process. If you are purchasing custom-made outfits, ensure that you have enough lead time to have them made.

Purchase Wedding Rings

When you are choosing wedding rings, make sure that you are content with them. These are designed to be timeless and long-lasting pieces and it makes sense to be certain that you are happy with them.

Confirm Details with the Wedding Planner

At this stage, you are just confirming that all details for the wedding are in order. This is one of the benefits of having a destination-based wedding planner. They will perform all wedding related tasks, so that when you arrive, all of the details are in order.

Book your Vendors and Pay Deposits

Now that you have finalised the details, you should book and pay for the services. The wedding planner will assist with this.

Plan Activities for Guests

Although your guests are primarily travelling for your wedding ceremony, you can also plan a few activities or events. Before the wedding, you can have a wedding dinner, a bridal shower, bachelor and bachelorette parties, a rehearsal dinner and wedding party luncheon. After the wedding, you can coordinate beach activities and sightseeing.

Purchase Your Airline Tickets

Remember to purchase your airline tickets well in advance of your travel date. Depending on where you go, airline ticket prices to the Caribbean increase as the travel date nears. If you have time, scour travel deal websites and low fare ticket blogs.

Book your Hotel Accommodation

It is important to book your hotel accommodation as soon as possible. If you are travelling with a large party and staying at the same location, you should contact the hotel to reserve rooms. Some hotels may offer special rates for large bookings.

Book Wedding Day Services

Don’t forget to book the services that you will need on your wedding day. Suggestions include hairstylists, make-up artists, wedding dress fitter, and barbers.

Create Wedding Vows

Writing your wedding vows is a memorable personal touch for your day. Choose a few heartfelt words that describe what your feel about your significant other.

Get Married

After you have completed all of these steps, it means that it’s time to get married! This is a significant step in your life, that will be one of the most memorable. You will be leaving your home for the final time as single people. And when you return, you will be one, ready to live a life of togetherness and partnership.

Destination Wedding Resources

Take a look at these resources for more information on planning a destination wedding:

Martha Stewart: The Ultimate Destination Wedding Checklist
My Wedding: The Ultimate Destination Wedding Checklist
Hitch Bird: The Full Destination Wedding Checklist 
Wedsites: The Ultimate Destination Wedding Planning Checklist
Here Comes the Guide: The Ultimate Destination Wedding Checklist

Congrats on your nuptials and see you when you get to the Caribbean!

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