Pack Like a Pro: Your Complete Destination Wedding Packing List

By  Tommy Peske
Updated on 02/02/24
Pack Like a Pro: Your Complete Destination Wedding Packing List

Pack Like a Pro: Your Complete Destination Wedding Packing List

By  Tommy Peske
Updated on 02/02/24

Part of the Wedding

Pack Like a Pro: Your Complete Destination Wedding Packing List

By  Tommy Peske
Updated on 02/02/24

A destination wedding is a unique and magical experience, blending love, adventure, and the thrill of exploring new horizons. But, before you say “I do” in a breathtaking location far from home, there’s one crucial thing you need to master: packing! 

Preparing for a destination wedding requires careful planning to ensure you have everything for the event and your stay sorted. While knowing what to pack for a destination wedding can feel overwhelming, our ultimate packing checklist will help ensure you have everything you need.

(Still in the early stages of wedding planning? Start planning your destination wedding with this helpful guide.)



Pack Like a Pro: Your Complete Destination Wedding Packing List
For a destination wedding, you’ll likely need various clothing items, such as… 

Formal Attire

Of course, you need your wedding day attire: dress or suit, shoes, and any undergarments you’d like or need (don’t forget that special wedding night lingerie!). 

  • For brides, remember the veil and garter. 
  • For grooms, remember the tie and cufflinks. 

You will also want additional formal outfits for pre-wedding events, such as the rehearsal dinner or other occasions. Consider a dress shirt and khakis and/or a semi-formal dress.

Accessories and Jewelry

Remember to bring your everyday jewelry for your semi-formal outfits and any other jewelry you plan to wear for the wedding day. Also, remember belts, ties, or other accessories that complement your outfits, like hats or scarves.

Other Clothing and Essentials

Of course, you won’t just be attending wedding activities that require formal attire. You’re going to have downtime, as well as the honeymoon. 

Include comfortable clothing for activities before and after the wedding. This should include:

  • Swimwear: If your destination includes a beach or pool, pack swimwear and beach accessories.
  • Shoes: Bring a variety of shoes suitable for different occasions and activities.
  • Undergarments and socks: Pack an adequate supply of undergarments and socks.

Beauty and Personal Care

  • Makeup and skincare: Bring your essential cosmetics, skincare items, and toiletries, including sunscreen and aloe vera. Remember your toothbrush. 
  • Hair care and tools: Pack a comb/brush, hair gel, and/or hair spray. Remember any necessary hair tools like a curling iron, straightener, and/or hairdryer (though you can also call ahead to the hotel to ensure they have these or ask the vendors helping you get ready with hair and makeup to bring them).
  • Medications: Carry any prescription medications you require, along with a small first aid kit.

Other toiletries you may want to pack include:

  • Nail polish/remover
  • Tweezers 
  • Nail clippers
  • Razors and shaving cream
  • Insect repellent

Travel Documents and Other Paperwork

Pack Like a Pro: Your Complete Destination Wedding Packing List, Travel Documents
Travel documents are crucial, particularly if you’re legally marrying in your destination. You’ll need your…

  • Passport/ID: Ensure you have your passport or identification card.
  • Visa/Travel Permits: Check if you need any visas or travel permits for your destination. 
  • Tickets and itineraries: Keep all your travel tickets and itineraries printed and organized in one place.
  • Hotel reservations: Carry confirmation details for your accommodations.


Our electronics are essential, and it’s important not to forget to bring chargers (and possibly adapters, depending on where you’re traveling).

If planning to bring a camera in addition to your phone, make sure you have chargers (or extra batteries), and consider a second memory card.

Miscellaneous Items

Consider packing…

  • A travel-sized sewing kit: It can be handy for quick fixes or alterations.
  • Entertainment: Pack books, magazines, or other entertainment for travel or downtime.

Remember to check the weather forecast for your destination as well to determine if you need additional items like umbrellas or jackets. It’s also a good idea to create a destination wedding checklist and double-check everything before you depart to ensure you have everything. 

Destination Wedding Must-Haves: Things to Pack in Your Carry-On

Destination Wedding Carry On Packing List
Ensure you have all the destination wedding must-haves in your carry-on, just in case your checked luggage is lost. This, of course, includes all your travel documents, as well as anything you need for your wedding day. Pack…

  • Wedding attire
  • Wedding shoes 
  • Wedding accessories 
  • Wedding rings
  • Wedding vows (both a physical and digital copy)
  • Travel-sized beauty essentials
  • Medications
  • Electronics and chargers

What Not to Bring: Destination Wedding Packing List

Destination Wedding Packing List what not to bring
While there’s a lot to remember when packing for destination weddings, you also don’t want to over-pack. Here are a few things you should consider leaving behind:

  • Unnecessary valuables: While bringing your wedding rings and other jewelry you plan to wear is essential, it’s best to leave behind expensive or sentimental items that could be lost or damaged. 
  • Bulky wedding decorations: Unless you really want to bring something from home, it’s best to avoid packing decorations. 
  • Excessive clothing options: While it’s important to have outfit choices for different wedding related events, try to limit what you bring. Consider versatile pieces that can be mixed and matched, reducing the overall number of garments and saving space in your luggage. 
  • Too many toiletries: While it’s crucial to have your essential toiletries, such as skincare and personal care items, avoid overpacking in this category. 
  • Irons or clothing steaming devices: Most hotels provide ironing facilities or garment steaming services. 

Additionally, ask guests to send wedding gifts to your home or give them to you once you’ve returned from your honeymoon . You don’t want to pay for extra luggage to get those gifts home from your destination.

Remember, the key is to pack efficiently and focus on essential items. By leaving unnecessary items behind, you’ll have more space in your luggage and a less stressful travel experience.

Destination Wedding Packing Checklist

Creating a destination wedding packing checklist can be really helpful when it comes to destination wedding packing, but rest assured that, even if you forget something, you likely can buy it at your destination. Focus on the essentials for the wedding day and try not to stress too much.

Destination Wedding Packing List: FAQs

What Does the Wedding Party Pack for a Destination Wedding?

If you’re in the wedding party for a destination wedding, your packing list will likely be similar to that of the bride and/or groom. You will need your formal attire for the wedding day, another formal outfit, and casual clothing, as well as personal items and toiletries. 

Do You Bring Your Own Decor to a Destination Wedding? 

Some couples do bring their own decor to their destination weddings, but make sure you compare the cost of doing so with the cost of having your wedding venue provide the decor. If you bring the decor items on the plane with you, for example, you may need to pay for an extra bag, or if you ship the items ahead of time, that also comes with a cost. 

Should You Ship Items to Your Destination Wedding Venue? 

There is a risk the items could get lost in transit, but the same could be said about any checked bags you take on a plane or any package you ship. You’ll have to decide whether or not this is a risk you want to take.

Are Guests Expected to Bring a Gift for a Destination Wedding? 

Unless the couple specifies no wedding gift necessary, guests traditionally still give a gift at a destination wedding. However, many guests opt for giving cash or gift cards or giving the couple their gift before the wedding rather than bringing a gift with them in their luggage. 

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