Destination wedding planner extraordinaire and star of TLC's "Wedding Island," Sandy Malone, shares some very helpful information on packing for your destination wedding on today's blog!
Have you started packing for your destination wedding? Even if you’re getting married six or more months from now, you should have already started. No, I’m not kidding. Think of how stressed you get packing for a vacation or business trip at the last minute – this is YOUR BIG DAY. You should start packing the day that you start planning.
First, you need to get out two boxes (eventually you’ll need more). Label one “things to pack” and label one “things to ship.” Find a nice safe place for them (not in the back of some closet where the cat has been known to divest herself of hair balls, please).
Second, you should sit down and start an actual packing list for your wedding week. You’re probably clearer-headed the farther out you are from your wedding. Put EVERYTHING on that list and keep it going as you plan your wedding. Makeup, perfume, headpiece, back-up CDs in case the DJ screws up, wedding gown emergency kit (chalk, Shout wipes, diaper pins, etc.), extra razor blades. Put everything on there. You can always erase it later and laugh about what must have been going through your head when you put it on the list.
Third, as you start acquiring things for your wedding, put them in the appropriate boxes. Yes, you’ll pack everything into suitcases and shipping boxes later. But start using those boxes from day one. You aren’t going to (or shouldn’t) wear the lipstick you’ve chosen until the day of. Into the box. Same with special scents (perfume, bath gel, body lotion, etc.) that you can’t wear til that weekend or you’ll spoil the whole point of making them the smells that remind your spouse of the day you married for the rest of your lives.
When the time to pack and ship comes – you should REALLY start packing a month prior to your departure – almost everything will be sorted out exactly where it needs to go. That’s the time to do that drugstore run for the travel-sized things on your list, force your fiancé to get the new shoes (oh yes, your future spouse’s stuff going into these boxes too), and go through that packing list again to add and delete what’s become more important and totally unnecessary as your planning progressed.
Tip: Tackle the “to be shipped” items six or more weeks out so that you can mail them the cheapest, slowest way possible to your destination (that advice DOES NOT APPLY to actual wedding gowns – dresses go via overnight delivery ONLY).
In the month prior to your wedding, you may have a bridal shower (at least one) and a bachelorette party to attend, as well as finishing up any DIY things you couldn’t resist. It took three bridesmaids to help me finish dipping in chocolate the 700 homemade buckeye candies for my hometown reception in DC a week after my destination wedding. Although I’d hand-painted ornaments for destination guests as favors with plenty of lead time, each needed to be carefully wrapped, tied with ribbon and then packed carefully in shipping boxes with as much bubble wrap as content. These things take time.
You are about to get married, and your head will be scrambled. If you follow my advice here, you won’t be hunting for the beautiful hair pins you purchased the weekend you got engaged eight months later when you actually need them. They’ll be in your “things to pack” box waiting for you. No stressing.
Sandy Malone is the star of TLC’s “Wedding Island” reality show and FOX’s “Bodas Increibles.” She has almost 500 weddings of destination wedding experienced and is a regular blogger for The Huffington Post and Brides. To learn more visit www.WeddingsinVieques.com or www.SandyMaloneWeddings.com and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SandyMaloneWIV