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Packing for Your Destination Wedding | Checklist + Advice

Planning a wedding is an exciting time, and now you’ve combined it with planning an unforgettable trip as well! Talk about multitasking at its finest! Even if you’re a frequent flyer, packing may be one of your least favorite parts about traveling (though you have to admit, it’s better than unpacking!), and now you’re packing for your wedding day too! As an avid traveler and wedding photographer, I wanted to put together some helpful tips and advice for my destination couples!

This will be one of the times when you’ll have to check in luggage. Depending on your airline and if you’re a mileage plan member, your first one or two checked bags may be complimentary. I see many couples board with their wedding apparel as their carry-on item. Ask your airline about traveling with it, and they may be able to store it in the first/business class coat closet. You may also want to consider having a completely separate and specific suitcase for your honeymoon to avoid having to pack again after arriving at your first destination. I’d recommend having an itemized list of what each bag contains to help keep track of everything as well. If repacking is one of your maid of honor’s duties, this might prove especially helpful!

Mexico Destination Wedding Photographer

Even if you happen to forget something, there’s a good chance a family member, friend, or the resort has you covered. Give yourself plenty of time to pack so you can double-check everything and alleviate stress. Depending upon your destination, venue, and their mail’s reliability, you may inquire with them about mailing certain things (such as wedding decorations) in advance. Having a planner is an invaluable resource, and they’ll keep everything organized so you can focus on enjoying your day and your season of engagement.

Here’s CHP’s list to help you pull everything together for your destination wedding:


  • Garment bags for wedding attire (your clothes probably already came in one, but they may not be the most durable)
  • Travel size steamer
  • Rehearsal dinner outfit
  • Getting ready outfit (PJ’s, robe, slippers, etc.)
  • Shoes (formal shoes + dancing shoes)
  • Jewelry + accessories (necklace, earrings, cuff links, tie, etc.)
  • Wedding bands + ring boxes


  • Passports + visas
  • All paperwork needed to make everything legal 
  • Vow books/love letters
  • Phone and other electronic’s chargers + adapters
  • Wedding gifts to each other, parents, and wedding party
  • Wedding day emergency kit (needle and thread, safety pins, fashion tape, etc.)
  • Makeup bag/toiletries/perfume/cologne
  • Snacks + hydration multipliers
  • Swimwear
  • Sun protection
  • Coat or jacket
  • Small pillow/eye mask for the flight
  • Books or magazines for the flight

Put your most necessary items in your carry-on or personal item. Depending upon the flight’s capacity, they may require all carry-on items to be checked when boarding if the overhead bins are full. It’s especially the case if your luggage has wheels, so one of you may want to have a backpack or tote, so you’re able to keep your most important things or your person at all times.

After counting down for months, I hope you have uncontainable joy when it finally becomes time to pack! It might feel surreal but pause for a second and soak it in that it’s actually happening! I can’t wait to celebrate with you at the destination of your dreams!

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