Aug 2, 2023 | Without category | 0 comments

Picture this: exchanging vows against a backdrop of a sun-soaked beach or perhaps in a centuries-old castle nestled in the heart of a captivating Spanish city. The allure of destination weddings is undeniable. However, weaving the magic that creates a flawless destination wedding requires thoughtful planning, especially when it comes to time. So, let’s delve into the ideal timeline for a destination wedding.


Understanding Destination Wedding Planning

Destination weddings are a unique blend of vacation and celebration, which adds layers of complexity to the wedding planning process. From selecting the perfect locale to coordinating with vendors overseas, every aspect requires careful consideration. More than that, the journey to the aisle should be as enjoyable as the day itself.

Bride and Mother of the Bride getting ready at a destination wedding

12 to 18 Months Before: Early Planning Stages

This stage is all about building strong foundations for your wedding. Finalise your budget, bearing in mind that travel and accommodation costs can quickly escalate. Decide on the destination and venue, envisioning how your chosen locale will align with your wedding theme. This is also the time to hire a wedding planner, if desired. Their expertise in navigating the intricacies of destination weddings is invaluable.
I would suggest hiring a wedding planner before securing a venue, as she’ll probably know more spots than the ones found via the internet. Having determined the location or area it’s fine to begin the research.


9 to 12 Months Before: Booking and Preparation

It’s time to bring your wedding vision to life. Book your dream venue (sometimes 12 months in advance in Barcelona is too short to book some popular venues, so please keep this in mind!) and begin to secure vendors – from florists that will create enchanting centrepieces to photographers who’ll capture your precious moments. Send out ‘save the dates’ to give your guests ample time to arrange their travel. Also, kick off your dress shopping and groom’s attire as well – remember, the climate of your destination should influence your attire choice.

Stationery for a mediterranean destination wedding

6 to 9 Months Before: Focusing on Details

At this stage, the skeleton of your wedding day is set. Now, focus on adding the flesh. Finalise your menu, pick out stunning floral arrangements and coordinate travel and accommodation details for your guests. Now is also the time to plan your honeymoon.


3 to 6 Months Before: Invitations and Legalities

As your special day draws closer, mail out your wedding invitations. This is also a crucial time to consider the legal aspects of a destination wedding. Laws and customs can vary significantly from one location to another, so research thoroughly or consult with a professional to ensure a smooth ceremony. It is also the moment to choose and order the Wedding bands. Around 4 months before you can also decide on the decor and table setting specifications as the majority of your guests invited should have confirmed their attendance.


1 to 3 Months Before: Finalising Plans

Now it’s all about fine-tuning and making sure everything runs like clockwork. Confirm all details with your vendors, order your wedding favours (to have enough time for the shipping if there is one and also to prepare the details, packaging, …) and send out a detailed wedding timeline to your guests. Don’t forget to schedule your final dress fitting!
Add some self-care treatments in this period for your indulgence and include the hen party at least 3-4 weeks in advance to the wedding (just in case).

Last-minute preparation for a destination wedding

Few Weeks to Days Before: Last Minute Preparations

As you approach the home stretch, it’s time for a final walkthrough with your planner or coordinator. Welcome your guests as they arrive and organise a rehearsal dinner. Remember, this is a time of celebration – take deep breaths and enjoy these moments.


Wedding Day: Relax and Enjoy

Your meticulous planning has led you to this day. Trust in your preparation, lean on your coordinator or planner, and most importantly, savour every moment of your special day. And don’t forget to have breakfast! We don’t want a bride blacking out along the aisle ;).


After the Wedding: Post-wedding Tasks

Even after your unforgettable day, a few tasks remain (if there aren’t any additional side events such as sightseeing or activities planned for your guest after the celebration, a post wedding brunch to recover from the party, etc.). Send out thoughtful thank-you notes (in some weddings the couple decide to include them with the escort cards, for instance) to your guests and handle vendor reviews and payments. And, of course, take steps to preserve your wedding dress as a beautiful keepsake of your day.


Creating a memorable destination wedding involves spinning numerous plates simultaneously. An optimal timeline is your roadmap, guiding you towards the ultimate goal: a wedding day that’s a reflection of your unique love story.

Planning your dream destination wedding? We at Make It Happen BCN are dedicated to turning your wedding fantasies into reality.

Feel free to reach out at [email protected] or call us at 0034 608 569 002 to start your journey towards your perfect day.


Talk to you soon, weddingmates!
Hugs and kisses.

Photo Credits:
Feature Image & image 2, 3 and 4: Natalie J Weddings

If you are considering planning a destination wedding or elopement in Spain, Make It Happen BCN are here to help. A dedicated and experienced wedding and events planning service based in Barcelona. Talk to meFollow us on Instagram for more inspiration every week.


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I am Natalia, your luxury wedding planner in Barcelona, a down-to-earth girl who has one distinctive quirk: I love weddings. We will work side-by-side. I will listen to you and offer you the help you need, whether the details of your dream wedding are already set in stone, or you need a comprehensive plan for the event.