The Stress-Free Wedding Checklist Every Couple Needs
While engagements and the days leading up to the wedding are an exciting time for couples, the wedding planning process can also be extremely stressful. From budgeting and ring selections to finalizing the decor and invitations, there are endless things to cover. And when it comes to planning a Caribbean destination wedding there’s even more to tackle on the wedding checklist, including travel arrangements, finding a wedding venue, and gathering all necessary documents.
Thankfully, Sandals® Resorts and Beaches® Resorts offer a variety of tools and wedding checklist touch points to make sure your wedding planning process is as seamless as possible. Below, we’ll dive into Sandals and Beaches wedding checklist “musts” that will keep you starry-eyed and celebrating throughout the entire planning process!
Wedding Checklist Step 1: Give yourself time!
With so many tasks to take care of, it can all seem a bit overwhelming. The important thing to keep in mind is that not everything has to be done at once. The wedding planning timeline can be broken up in a way that is easy to manage and complete. For example the bigger aspects of planning should be done as far in advance as possible. These include choosing a wedding date, selecting a venue, and securing the DJ, caterer, and photographer. In order to confirm your guests’ availability, think one year out.
Next up would be finalizing the guest list and deciding on a theme or color palette to work with. With the color scheme in place, you can create custom save-the-dates to send to your guests in a timely manner. It’s recommended to give guests at least 10 months notice, especially for a destination wedding. This will give them plenty of time to request time off, book flights, and make travel plans. After that, you can decide on decor items, bridesmaid dress colors, and more exciting details in the coming months.
Staying organized is also key for successful wedding planning. Start by making a list of all the remaining tasks and then distribute them onto a calendar. This will help you stay on top of everything and avoid feeling overwhelmed should any last-minute to-do’s pop up!
Sandals and Beaches 5 steps to the altar
If you’re not sure where to start on a wedding checklist, Sandals and Beaches created an online wedding planner with 5 simple steps to make sure you stay on top of the essentials and eliminate stress. The planner includes:
1. Find your ideal resort and book your stay
The best part of all 18 Luxury Included® Sandals and Beaches resorts is that each has a unique personality. Whether it’s the family-friendly nature of Beaches Turks & Caicos or the laid-back energy of Sandals Emerald Bay, you’ll be able to find a resort that best fits your couple style.
Plus, all resorts boast breathtaking wedding venue locations! From Over-the-Water Serenity Chapels in Jamaica and Saint Lucia to a Sky Terrace rooftop at Sandals Royal Barbados, there’s no shortage of dreamy backdrops to choose from.
Want to make sure everything is shaping up correctly for the big day? With Sandals and Beaches Test Drive Your Wedding, you can! This exclusive offer allows brides and grooms to jet set to paradise and get a sneak preview of their wedding. Couples can stay up to three nights — enough time to walk through venues, sample 5-Star Global Gourmet™ dining, and meet the wedding planner.
2. Be inspired
Celebrating your destination wedding in the heart of the Caribbean calls for a little extra inspiration. Whether you decide to start from scratch or choose from one of 10 wedding inspirations, the sky’s the limit at Sandals and Beaches!
Because the majority of the wedding planning will take place from a distance, Sandals and Beaches offer an interactive wedding inspirations planner and Virtual Wedding Design Experience.
With the interactive wedding inspirations planner, you can preview all the decor, themes, and color palettes available on resort. This will give you a better sense of your personal wedding style. From there, you can choose a variety of elements from the Sandals and Beaches inventory where you can get creative by mixing and matching!
For a closer, more personalized look at the decor elements available, the Virtual Wedding Design Experience is a perfect fit! In the video chat session, you’ll speak with your wedding planner face-to-face and explore all your options. Not only does this give you a better visual of decor, add-ons, and ceremony and reception locations; it also fosters a better connection with your wedding planner who will be your go-to on your special day!
3. Leave the details to your personal Wedding Entourage
Sandals and Beaches destination weddings include a personal Wedding Entourage to help you plan, prep, and perfect your big day. They’ll assist with all questions and requests during the planning process and ensure your wedding vision comes to life.
4. Gather and finalize all necessary documents
The required documentation for a Caribbean destination wedding can be confusing, which is why Sandals and Beaches have compiled a breakdown of the necessary forms for each island. Some resorts require a certain length of “residency” — the length of time you’ve been on the island — prior to saying your vows. Despite the varying details for each island, your wedding entourage will be with you every step of the way. From marriage license fees to legal name change papers, they’ll answer your questions and help you complete everything on time!
Speaking of name changes, Sandals and Beaches have also teamed up with HitchSwitch® Name Change Service — a simple, three-step process for changing your last name (if you choose to do so!)
5. Review your wedding checklist and get ready for happily forever after
For peace of mind before you depart for paradise, be sure you have the following in order:
- Travel and wedding documents
- Flight confirmations
- Up-to-date passports
- Wedding necessities
Celebrate your newlywed status by taking time to unwind
There’s no better way to celebrate your newlywed status — and treat yourself after months of planning — than with relaxation and luxury. At Sandals and Beaches, you can enjoy Red Lane® Spa services, featuring a menu of tropical-inspired, add-on* treatments for individuals or couples.
If you want to take the R&R one step further, why not head straight to a Luxury Included® Sandals Honeymoon? Whether you want to stay a few extra nights on the same island or Honeymoon Hop to another one of Sandals six idyllic islands — you’ll have no trouble finding an adults-only oasis filled with romance and luxury.
To kick your honeymoon in paradise up a notch, Sandals also presents a collection of exceptional Love Nest® Suites, including Beachfront and Garden Rondovals, SkyPool Suites, and Over-the-Water Bungalows and Villas. All Love Nest® Suites are complete with butler service, a private patio or balcony, 24-hour room service, a fully stocked bar, and more!
Dive into luxury — and a stress-free wedding planning experience
Despite the long to-do list that comes with “I do’s,” Sandals and Beaches believe in making the wedding planning process as stress-free, efficient, and fun as possible. So, wherever you choose to stay and whatever the size of your wedding — be it an intimate gathering at Sandals or a grand affair with the whole family at Beaches — following the wedding checklist and tools above will help you stay calm and collected all the way through to your big day.
*Available at an additional cost.
**Featured photo credit: Finding Light Photography