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We booked our wedding date of May 31, 2008 in the beginning of April. I'm figuring that we don't have to worry about the flowers, food, decorations until at least mid summer.


I plan on talking to a TA this month. And we've ordered our STD's and are waiting for them to come in.


How far in advance did everyone get moving on everything? Those wedding timelines don't seem all that helpful for the DW.

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I think that just bumping things up on those timelines is the best policy. Like sending out invites earlier than 6 weeks etc.

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I know - the normal wedding timelines are so off from a DW! I think Tammy even has a list on the non-forum part (just bestdestinationwedding.com), that could probably guide you best. My wedding is May 9th, I'm hoping to have as much as possible planned as early as possible so that the glitches can be worked out, and hopefully then I'll have more time for DIY projects. I'm hoping to have everything completely in place by end of February, which will give me two months to do all my projects etc. Just a heads up - I'm not sure if this applies to your resort, but Tammy(host) did say that Dreams Cabo books up in October!!! Ahh that's like 7 months early!! So, I will have my invites out in a month or two and RSVP by September. I'm not sure Jamaica is like. You might want to check with a TA or your resort on this though.

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I just sent out my save the date's last week, and my wedding is in April 2008. I sent them so early because I want as many people as possible to be able to come, and this way people can budget for a trip next year. But other than that...I'm glad you posted this because I'd love to know the DW timeline as well! smile159.gif

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If I could do it all over again and had unlimited time to do everything this is the timeline I would use:


1 year prior: Book venue

1 year prior: Research coordinators (if you're using one of course)

1 year prior: Research photographers and start contacting them for availability and rates.

1 year prior: make sure passports are in order

11 - 10 months: Book photographer

10 months: Research and book musicians or DJ

10 months out: Build website

9 months: mail STDs (listing youre website)

9 months: Start trying on dresses

7 months: buy and order dress & veil

6 months: Pick your colors

6 months: Start researching color combinations, flowers, decorations, set-ups, etc.

6 months: make honeymoon plans

6 months: Book "other" vendors: videographer, cake-maker, transportation

6 months: If you are doing a rehearsal or welcome dinner - research possible locations & menus

5 months: Book welcome dinner location

5 months: order invitations

5 months: Start planning flowers and decorations

4 months: select favors (or start making them/ordering them)

3 - 4 months: finalize travel plans (or earlier if you are going someplace that is hard to reach)

3 months: mail invites - make sure you set you RSVP date prior to having to give headcounts, etc.

3 months: Final flower, decoration and menu choices

3 months: select and order groom's attire

2 months: prepare and finalize ceremony if you are creating your own

2 months: buy shoes, jewelry, etc.

2 months: dress fittings

1 month: Build day-of timeline

1 month: build responsibility lists

1 month: order/buy small details like guestbook, pens, small decorative items, other needed attire

2 weeks: Headcount to caterer

1 week: pack

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honestly with a bit of adjustment I find that the checklist on The Knot to be very helpful.


The only things I think are major changes are:


Send out STDs 9 months before'

Mail your invites 2 to 2 -1/2 months prior to event (rather than 6 weeks).


I think that as long as you are sending out STDs there is no reason to send out your invites any earlier. In fact I think it's a bad idea to send out invites too early - a lot of people don't know if they can really attend until they get closer to the event. If you mail your invites out too early people will toss then aside and then forget to mail them back when the due date actually comes around.

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Talk to your wc at Rose Hall, they are known for their beautiful weddings, so it should be a pretty no stresser event. I wanted to get married at Rose Hall also, but my partner is from Jamaica,and his family wanted to go to another country. We are heading to Jamaica twice in 2008. One for a friends wedding at the Ruins, and then for Evertons family reunion 3 months later. I am getting married in August, and I am just sending my formal invites this week, my std went out in feb. The photographer you should confirm asap, unless your going with the resort photographer. All else can probably be arranged with the resort.


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Here's what Tammy has on the non-forum part:


Destination Wedding Countdown Checklist


Below is a timeline to help your wedding planning go smoothly. You can adjust it to suit your needs.


12 Months or more

Cut out pictures and articles that inspire you. Keep them organized in a binder. Martha Stewart has a great binder that has pockets to keep photos, cards of vendors, swatches, etc.

Start looking at bridal magazines and look for local bridal faire to attent. This is a great way to meet wedding vendors and see their work first hand

This is the hard part. Set a realistic budget.

Start on your guest list. Invite those that you want to spend your wedding with. Destination weddings are smaller more intimate affairs so do not feel guilty about not inviting your coworkers that you barely know. Be prepared that some of the guests you invite at the wedding may not be able to come for financial or logistical reasons.

If you plan on getting married out of the country, be sure to check the laws to make sure your marriage is recognized in the states. If it is a larger wedding, you may want to look into hiring a wedding coordinator who specializes in destination weddings.

Start researching different locations for a destination wedding. Things to consider: travel time, seasons/weather (you do not want to have your wedding during hurricane season), cost of accomodations, etc.

Choose a wedding date and start working on Save The Date Cards.

If you are planning a wedding at a resort or place you have never been before, negotiate a site visit. Some resorts even offer a free site visit or at least a reduced rate.


Determine your budget

Considerations: airfare, hotel, document processing, meals, transportation, activities. Don't forget the all important wedding items such as attire, photographer, flowers, ceremony fee, etc. If you are having friends or family, you must consider if they can afford the expense of the trip.



Make sure the wedding day is not during the local hurricane season or wet months? How many people do you want to be there...just you and your future spouse? Friends? Family? Are you also planning on honeymooning there or somewhere else?


8-10 months prior

If you can make a wedding planning trip it will be really helpful to meet with local vendors like: florist, baker, photographer, etc.

During the site visit would also be a great time to take your chosen photographer for a test run. Maybe take some engagement pics on the beach for your Save The Date Cards.

Create wedding website with travel information and FAQs for your family and friends.

Contact a travel agent specializing in Destination Wedding to help negotiate a lower room rate and block your rooms.

Decide if you wnt a legal or symbolic ceremony. If you would like to get legally married outside the US, be sure to verify the local marriage residency requirements.

Start looking for wedding invitations.


Research the marriage requirements

It may be as simple as going to the local courthouse to sign a marriage license, or it may be as complicated as having to be a resident. There are destination wedding coordinators who will handle the entire license processing for you. If you are planning on having a legal ceremony in Mexico, it does require a blood test.


Wedding Theme

You may want to decide early on what colors or theme you would like. Make sure the bouquet you dreamed of will work at your destination wedding. A lot of flowers can be shipped in if not grown locally but make sure in advance.



Book your reservations early! Many resorts and hotels are booked months in advance, especially during peak travel seasons.

If your group is larger, you may want to consider blocking rooms for your guests.


6-7 Months prior

Start looking for your wedding dress. Some dresses can take 4-5 months to make.

Start looking for the groom and groomsman attire.

Order groom and groomsmen attire. Take into consideration that linen suits are seasonal and may only be available to purchase in the spring.

Shop for wedding rings and jewelry for your big day.


3-4 Months prior

Finalize your wedding invitations and mail them out.

Start ordering items for Out Of Town Bags or wedding favors.

Start working on your wedding ceremony. Consider writing your own vows to make the day more personalized.


1 Month prior

Release any unnecessary rooms

Finalize all wedding day itineraries

Confirm travel arrangements with the hotel/resort


2-3 Weeks prior

Make sure you confirm and re-confirm EVERYTHING with your vendors before the wedding


3-4 Days prior

Arrive at your destination.

If you plan on using a local styilist for your hair and make-up, do a test run with your veil or hairpiece.

If you are having a legal ceremony finalize all the local requirements to make it legitimate.

Meet with the hotel events coordinator or your wedding coordinator to go over the final details.

Have a welcome dinner in lieu of a rehearsel dinner to thank all your guests who have travelled so far to share this event with you.

Relax, you're

Contact a travel agent specializing in Destination Wedding to help negotiate a lower room rate and block your rooms. on vacation!


Residency requirements

Once you arrive at your destination, how many days do you have to wait in order to get married?


The day of

Be sure to eat a bit and keep hydrated.

Enjoy your special day. You deserve every bit of happiness that comes with it!

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I wish I had sent the invitations sooner than I did. I booked as a group in order to get the discounted rate and the every 21st person pays only the taxes. By doing this I was given 10 days from the time she reserved the rooms to the time I had to have deposits and full names for everyone going. It was a nightmare because I had only mailed the invites the day before. So the day they are getting them I am calling saying you have only a couple days to decide to lock in at those particular rates and guarantee a spot on the plane. I now have a few more couples wanting to come and it will just cost them a couple hundred more than what everyone else paid. I sent them almost 7 months before the date.

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