Five Tips For Planning a Stress-Free Destination Wedding

Beach wedding ceremony decorations

There is something magical about a destination wedding, whether it’s the smell of the fresh salt air or the memories of your first vacation together. As magical as a destination wedding can seem, it can also feel overwhelming and stressful if not appropriately planned. That’s why I’m sharing our top five tips for planning a stress-free destination wedding and how the Shelby Peaden Events team can help you!

Five Tips For Planning a Stress-Free Destination Wedding


When planning a destination wedding, choosing a location that has meaning to you as a couple is important. It may be a place you often visited during childhood, the first place you and your fiancé went on vacation, or your favorite place to get away for a long weekend. When planning the location, also consider the proximity to where most of your guests are coming from. Further locations typically come with higher travel bills and greater travel time required. As a result, this will affect your guest count.

Guest List

If you want a big and elaborate wedding, then a hometown wedding may be the best option for you. Don’t get me wrong; you can still plan for a big, elaborate, stress-free destination wedding. However, there is a certain charm in having a small and intimate group of family and friends you can spend quality time with during your trip. Invite only the essential people, and those that truly want to be there to celebrate you will make an effort. In addition, keeping the guest list somewhat low-key allows space in your budget for more customization and intimate details.

Plan in advance

It may seem silly to say, but the more details you plan in advance, the higher the chances are that you will have a stress-free destination wedding (having a kick-ass destination wedding planner like myself doesn’t hurt as well!).

In the past few years, destination weddings have become increasingly popular. Some resorts are booking 12-18 months in advance. So, with that being said, we recommend that you put down your deposit as soon as you’ve decided on your destination wedding venue. To avoid further stress, we recommend you confirm your destination wedding planner and venue before hiring your vendor team. Your wedding planner will then research and find the best vendors for you and your vision. 


When it comes to planning a stress free destination wedding, communication is key! Clear and concise communication with your planner, vendor team, and guests will help ensure everything goes smoothly.

We always advise our couples to set up a wedding website. On this website, you can share essential information about the airport, transportation, accommodations, etc. We also love to share a high-level itinerary of the weekend for guests as a reference point and to avoid additional questions. You can also include this itinerary in your invitation suite or even in a welcome bag given to guests when they first arrive.

Prioritize Fun!

Whether you tie the knot in Tuscany, on the beaches of Florida, or at a stunning ranch in Wyoming, remember to have fun! 

Not only is this trip your wedding, but it is a vacation too. So, spend some quality time with your guests or plan additional group activities over the weekend. We love it when our couples transform their destination wedding into a series of events for all guests to enjoy!

Our favorite destination wedding weekend itinerary looks something like this. Start the weekend off on Thursday evening with a welcome beach bonfire party. Then on Friday, after your rehearsal dinner, invite all of your guests for a Sips & Sweets party where you serve desserts and cocktails. Saturday is reserved for the wedding, the main event. Then close out the weekend on Sunday morning with a farewell brunch. If you have more time than this, you can plan a boat day, beach day, horseback riding, yoga, shopping trips, fishing excursions, etc. The sky is the limit!

Our Destination Wedding Venue Bucket List 

  1. Blackberry Farm, Tennessee 
  2. Snake River Ranch, Wyoming
  3. Devil’s Thumb Ranch, Colorado
  4. Montage Palmetto Bluff, South Carolina 
  5. Old Edward’s Inn, North Carolina 

No matter the location of your wedding, we want to help ensure you have a stress-free experience and can enjoy every moment of your trip! Our team will help you find the perfect destination wedding venue and vendors to bring your dream wedding to life. So if you are looking for help planning a stress-free destination wedding, we’d love to hear from you!

Beach wedding ceremony decorations

bride and groom holding hands at beach wedding ceremony
Brides back walking on beach


Photography | Paul Johnson Photo
Wedding Planning | Shelby Peaden Events
Florals & Decor | Myrtie Blue
Invitations | Plume
Ceremony Music | Top Hat Live

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