If there was one day most women dream about their entire lives, it has to be their wedding day. And what could be more of a fairytale brought to life than a destination wedding in Cyprus?
A destination wedding takes copious amounts of preparation, planning, and scheduling from thousands of miles away, across a language barrier to boot.
So if you’re looking to plan your dream day from afar, here is the ultimate destination wedding checklist to help you along the way…
A Monthly Breakdown of a Destination Wedding Checklist
Before you begin to panic about the sheer amount of preparation involved in a destination wedding, it’s important to divide your time accordingly.
A wedding, even if it’s being hosted in your home town, should ideally be planned 12-months before the big day.
Pro tip: give yourself 12-16 months to plan a destination wedding from start to finish. Here’s how to breakdown your wedding checklist by month:
12 Months Prior to the Big Day
First and foremost, you’ll need to sit down with your husband-to-be and discuss your wedding budget and where the funds will be coming from.
Your initial budget should include major wedding day fundamentals:
- Venue hire
- Catering cost per head
- Bridal party accommodation
- Family member accommodation at wedding destination
- Travel visas
- Wedding gown
- Bridesmaids and groomsmen attire
- A photographer/videographer
- Honeymoon expenses
Secondly, you should draw up a draft of your guest list as this will directly impact your overall wedding budget.
After this, you’ll then need to determine the best time of year to get married in Cyprus i.e. seasons and weather patterns. As well as any travel visas or vaccinations which are required.
Important fundamentals to tackle:
- Secure your wedding venue and set your actual wedding date
- Researching marriage license options in Cyprus
- Determine whether you’ll have a civil ceremony in your home country, before your wedding
- Begin the paperwork for any necessary travel visas – at least 6 months before the ceremony
- Hire a wedding planner- a seasoned professional will help you manage the process and could assist with language barriers
- Book your flights and accommodation with a travel agent for discounted travel package rates
- Take out wedding insurance or ask whether your venue provides some form of cover (in case!)
Finally, don’t forget to book your honeymoon flights and reserve your honeymoon suite.
9 Months Prior to the Big Day
Once you’ve secured all the major fundamentals, the real work begins.
At this point, it’s time to choose your bridal party. Ensure they’re all fit to travel and have valid passports.
After this, it’s time to send out save-the-dates to all your wedding guests. It’s super important to send these out as early as possible for a destination wedding. Why? Because it gives your guests the time to budget and plan for travel.
Other important details include:
- Create your wedding website with all necessary travel information: directions, local maps, addresses and registry details
- Create a gift registry – however, let your guests know that they’re presence at your wedding is a gift in itself
- If you’ve only made a preliminary booking of your air tickets, now is the time to book and pay in full
- Work with your wedding planner to find local vendors in the region- remember Skype is great for consultations!
- Choose your wedding dress, tux, and bridal party attire
To help your guests out, look at booking out a block of accommodation at a nearby hotel and you could secure a discounted rate.
It’s completely optional whether you’ll pay for your guest’s accommodation or not. But just remember, it’s never really ”expected” for a destination wedding!
6 Months Prior to the Big Day
Once you’ve hit the 6-month mark, this is where planning begins to get a little more nitty-gritty.
A great way to take some pressure off all your planning duties is to schedule a fun engagement photo shoot. This is just a little reminder of why you’re marrying your better half and the sentiment behind marriage.
At this stage, you should also begin working with your wedding planner and caterer for your menu.
Bear in mind that if you use a local caterer, you may not get a taste of the food beforehand, at all. This is where a trustworthy wedding planner is essential.
You’ll also need to look at booking a venue for your rehearsal dinner and a pre-wedding welcome party for all your guests to get into the spirit.
Schedule these important tasks in too:
- Book a wedding dress fitting and organize your bridal party attire- don’t forget flower girls and ring bearers
- Work with your wedding planner on creating official wedding invites and send those out to guests as soon as possible
- Determine your bridal shower and bachelorette guest lists and send those on to your bridal party for planning
- Ask your partner to look at his bachelor party guest list as well and send that on to the groomsmen
When it comes to destination weddings, safety in a foreign country is important.
Make sure to pre-book wedding day transportation to and from your wedding venue for your guests. Organize a shuttle bus to get them to and from your venue safe and sound.
3 Months Prior to the Big Day
It’s around this time that your guests should begin sending in their RSVPs. So, it’s important to establish a system for recording their meal choices and any food allergies.
You can ask them to do this on your wedding website when they RSVP by giving them meal options to choose from.
At the 3-month mark, you and your partner should also be looking at wedding rings and other wedding accessories. For the bride, this includes wedding shoes, a veil, and bridal party gifts, and undergarments.
For the groom, it’s time to choose groomsman accessories, gifts, and his own wedding shoes and other accessories.
Since you want to throw a memorable wedding, it’s also a good time to start booking recreational activities for you and your guests. This could include something like a group boating trip, a snorkeling trip or candlelit dinner.
You’ll also need to order your wedding favours and welcome bags for your guests and get any required travel vaccinations.
The Last Few Weeks
In the last 3-4 weeks before your wedding some final tasks include:
- Sorting all necessary travel documentation: visas, birth certificates, passports, vaccinations, and legal marriage documents
- Picking up your wedding gown and any final alterations
- Confirming flight numbers, landing times, and transportation details for all bridal party and family members
- Finalizing your wedding day seating arrangements i.e. your seating chart
- Organizing a bridal emergency kit packed with necessities you’ll need for the big day
- Check the weather report and making contingency plans if needed
- Pack for your wedding and honeymoon
- Organize all necessary skin care i.e. pre-wedding facial, eyebrow and eyelash maintenance, etc.
There’s no sugar-coating it- the last few weeks leading up to your destination wedding are a little stressful. But this is where you lean on the expertise of your wedding planner and support of family and friends.
Plan Your Destination Wedding With The Mosaica Villas
Now that you have a clearer understanding of a destination wedding checklist, The Mosaica Villas would be happy to host your dream wedding.
Based in the picturesque region of Limassol, Cyprus, our luxury villas are ideal for large or small wedding parties.
For a beautiful, peaceful, and private destination wedding, take a look at our Cyprus wedding villas here.