Thanks to my days touring and weekends on the road visiting my handsome man friend in Clare, I’ve never quite got out of the habit of living out of a suitcase. I’d like to think I know a thing or two about packing my bags and most of the time, I’m the blonde swanning by the Ryanair stewardess with a big smirk on my face. But what about packing for a destination wedding? It’s a task and not one that should be taken on at the last minute. You have to be super organised as excitement in the run up to your destination wedding will take over and it will be very easy to forget some important items, items that you might find hard to get in the hilltop village in France hosting your wedding celebrations. To help you and make packing for your destination wedding a breeze, we have put together this FAB guide and checklist for you to use as your bible in the run up to departure day.
It’s a good idea to gradually start making a check-list of specific items to be packed months in advance of your destination wedding. We recommend starting with obvious items such as passports and wedding attire and as the days move on, you can start adding items to the list as you think of them. Whether you write them down in a diary, email them to yourself or create an excel spread sheet, find a way to prepare your check-list that is practical to you and becomes routine and don’t be afraid to get into the detail. We have prepared this check list especially for you to make sure that packing for a destination wedding is a piece of cake. Use this as a starting point and add additional items to the end if you need to!
THE WEDDING DRESS
Packing and travelling with your wedding dress is a high priority, so we decided to dedicate an entirely separate post to help you get the dress there and we will share this with you tomorrow. Please check back with us then to get our top tips on packing the wedding dress.
When packing, you need to keep the size and weight restrictions of your bags in mind. The last thing you want to have to do before jetting off is root through your bags in front of everyone at the airport and decide there and then what you can afford to bin, just because you have gone over the 20kg weight limit. Pack your bags a week in advance, get the measuring tape out and definitely get yourself a small portable luggage scales. Bring the tape and scales with you so that you know what size suitcases you are bringing home with you too.
Use suitcases and bags that are lightweight and I’d personally recommend the cases that have four wheels! Vacuum sealed travel bags are also great if you are short on space. Just make sure that the hotel you are staying in has a vacuum so that you can repack on your way home and an iron / steamer for getting out the wrinkles! Don’t be fooled by them also, just because they have created more space in your suitcase, doesn’t mean that they have reduced the weight too! I’ve got caught once or twice like this.
Luggage Tags from Ann Taintor
In my personal experience, I found that rolling my clothes left me with more space and less ironing. Packing shoes head to toe and placing smaller items in bags into the shoe also gained me some extra room. Bear in mind that you might have additional items coming home with you, like gifts (we will address this again) or bits and pieces you will have picked up abroad.
If you want more space, then go travel size. All pharmacies sell travel friendly toiletries but as a follow on from the point above, ensure that all cosmetics that you are bringing on board are in line with airport regulations. To save you some hassle at the airport, be prepared and have your carry on liquids bagged and sealed, ready for when you reach the security gate. Hotels and resorts will generally provide you with essentials such as shampoos and body lotions if you are stuck and you could always check whether they supply a hairdryer in the room, it will be one less item to worry about.
Another option is to prepare a box or two to ship to your destination. If you are planning on doing a lot of DIY or need to find a way of getting your table numbers, centre pieces, candle holders and other bits and pieces to the venue, then you might be better off shipping them depending on how much available space you have. Any items that you might not need to bring home with you (but will take up space on the way over) might be best transported this way. Just make sure that you are given a delivery date and go with a reputable courier company.
Check, double check and triple check that you have all necessary documents with you. Many of basic documents you will need are on our check list but bear in mind, if you are having a legal ceremony you will need to bring additional paperwork such as your birth certificate with you. It’s best to check with your wedding planner / local authorities before you leave and obtain a list of these documents to make packing them easier. Pack all originals on your person, in handbags and inner jacket pockets or as my mother would suggest, in your shoe! Keep photocopies in your checked luggage and send a scanned copy of everything to your own email address – just incase. I’ve had my passport disappear while away and truest, it was painful.
Not being familiar with an area or fluent in the foreign language requires you to pack an emergency kit. Prepare for the worst and have a medical bag packed with prescribed medication, pain killers and items like antiseptic creams, band aids, insect repellent, aloe vera for sunburns and other behind the counter medicines for you and your guests. A good pharmacist will be able to put together a medical kit for you and explain what each box is for and the general conditions for use, just make ure you don’t leave home without it. At best, you won’t have to use it but you will be so thankful for it if you or one of your guests falls ill and can’t get to a doctor in time.
Apart from medical emergencies, pack baby powder or white chalk to absorb stains on the wedding dress that can then be wiped clean and some clear nail polish for fallen sequins.
Packing can sometimes feel like a chore but the key is to start early and stay organised. Be diligent and delegate. Make your partner responsible for specific items and tick everything off your list as you pack. We promise, a happy couple at the airport is a well prepared couple – why cause unnecessary stress last minute? Happy planning peeps!