Destination weddings are a dream come true for many couples, combining the joy of marriage with the excitement of traveling to a beautiful location. However, packing for a destination wedding can be a daunting task. With limited luggage space and the need to look your best, it's essential to plan and pack strategically. In this blog post, we'll provide you with the ultimate guide to packing for your destination wedding, ensuring you have everything you need while staying stylish and stress-free.
1. Research the weather and customs
Before you start packing, research the climate, local customs, and available amenities at your wedding destination. This information will help you determine what type of clothing, accessories, and essentials you'll need to pack. This is especially important in countries that have different religious beliefs. I once was in Bologna, Italy and wasn't allowed inside the church in the town's center because I was wearing shorts and a sleeveless shirt (sue me, it was 90 degrees out). Pack for the weather but also keep the patriarchy in mind.
2. Keep events in mind
Create a detailed list of all the events and activities surrounding the wedding, including the rehearsal dinner, welcome party, ceremony, reception, and any additional excursions or outings. Be honest with yourself. If you are like me and want to have photos to post later, bring clothes that will allow you to mix and match and really let every outfit feel different. We brought a steamer with us because some of the nicer things simply needed it. We didn't consider the voltage difference and our steamer gave up on us. We've since bought this one to take on our trips.
3. Pack wedding day clothes with care
Pack your wedding attire with care. Use garment bags to protect delicate fabrics and ensure they arrive in pristine condition. For brides, consider having your dress professionally steamed upon arrival to eliminate any wrinkles. Grooms should pack their suits or tuxedos in garment bags and hang them upon arrival to let any creases naturally fall out. PACK YOUR WEDDING CLOTHES IN YOUR CARRY-ON. I read one too many stories about luggage being lost and people having to find wedding clothes at the 11th hour. Nope, nope, nope. That was a no for me dawg. We packed our wedding clothes and DIY welcome bags and party favors in carry-ons so that they were on the flight with us, in my line of vision lol. We had back packs with a few days worth of clothes and toiletries too. Pro-tip, put the wedding venue (or wherever you're staying) as the address on your luggage. If it gets lost with your home address on it, that's where they'll send it once it's found.
Shoes can take up a lot of space in your luggage, so be selective. Choose comfortable yet stylish options that can be worn for multiple occasions. Pack a pair of dress shoes for formal events and comfortable walking shoes for exploring the destination. Don't forget to pack accessories such as jewelry, belts, hats, and sunglasses to complete your outfits. I put my fancier wedding shoes in these bags. They were great for storing afterwards as well.
5. Don't forget MUST HAVE toiletries
While most hotels provide basic toiletries, it's a good idea to pack your favorite products to ensure you have everything you need. For my deeply melanated brethren, don't play yourself. Pack make-up. Going anywhere not black will leave you in the lurch if you find yourself looking for some Urban Decay Stay Naked 80NN. Pack it and then when it's time to leave for the airport double check it's in your bag. Also, remember to include essentials such as sunscreen, insect repellent, medications, and any necessary travel adapters. Carry a small emergency kit with items like safety pins, band-aids, and stain remover for any unexpected mishaps. We made emergency kits like this for our guests. We found it more cost effective to make and take them, than to buy them. Do what's best for you and your budget.
6. Secure money and documents
Keep all your important documents, including passports, IDs, and travel insurance, in a secure and easily accessible place. Make digital copies of important documents and store them on your phone or in the cloud. Consider carrying a money belt or a secure pouch to keep your cash, credit cards, and valuables safe.
7. Maximize space
Maximize your luggage space by rolling your clothes instead of folding them. Use packing cubes or compression bags to keep your items organized and save space. Pack heavier items at the bottom of your suitcase to prevent wrinkles, and utilize any empty spaces, such as shoes, for smaller items or accessories. This helped me fit more options in my luggage.
Packing for a destination wedding requires careful planning and organization, but with this ultimate guide, you'll be well-prepared for your special day. By considering the destination, planning your outfits, packing essentials, and following smart packing techniques, you can ensure a stress-free and stylish experience. When your packing list is complete, share it with your guests. It's a small gesture than can really be helpful. Check out my Amazon Storefront for a list of items I took on our trip to Italy.