Okay, so you’ve gotten engaged and now you’re planning your destination wedding. How soon do you start packing for a wedding that is several months in the future? Start packing yesterday.
I tell all my new clients that as soon as they hire me they should set up two boxes in an unobtrusive location in their house. If you live in New York, it’s probably impossible to do that, but try. It’s worth the effort. Mark one box to “ship” and one box to “pack” and drop things in them accordingly as we plan your wedding. If you’re like most brides, about two months out you’ll have a stack of boxes marked “ship” to send to me.
You’ll also have a better idea of how much luggage space you’re going to need for your personal stuff. You can box some up and send it to me to have waiting here for you when you arrive if you don’t think it’s all going to fit. I don’t even pretend that I think you should skinny down your packing for a destination wedding if you’re the bride. Bring everything you think you’re going to need. And then bring two of some of those things. Remember, Vieques Island and other small Caribbean islands don’t necessarily have the same brands of products that you’re used to at home. And there’s no department store here with a Mac counter. If you’re going to want or need it, you have to bring it with you.
Now I know it isn’t practical to pack most items for yourself months in advance, but you can start your packing list right away (I’m a huge fan of lists). Whenever you think of something, put it on the list. Keep a list for your groom too. Review the list a month before your wedding and make a shopping list of anything you need to pick up.
Some brides like to have a whole new wardrobe for their wedding weekends. That’s great! But remember to shop in the right season for your wedding. If you’re having a winter destination wedding, you need to shop in the summer or fall for it. That’s stuff you can toss in the “pack” box months in advance and then freshen it up and iron it or whatever before you formally pack everything.
When you get your headpiece or veil from the bridal shop, when you buy the barrettes you want to wear in your hair, when you get the shoes to go with your dress — all of these things should go directly into the pack box. Do you really want to have to go hunting everywhere for these things when you’re trying to get packed? Playing that “I know it’s in there somewhere” game with the back of your closet is stress you don’t need at that point in the game.
Make sure you know the rules about how much luggage you can bring on the small airplane to the little island where you’re getting married. I know that the airlines that serve Vieques claim to have a 25 pound weight limit, but they don’t follow that. However, if you show up with 200 lbs of luggage, you’re likely to get charge an additional fee by the pound. It’s your wedding and you may not care. But at the same time, you might save some money by shipping things to me ahead of time instead of paying by the pound at the counter.
I have a big wedding tomorrow. Megan Conner and Jason Humphries will tie the knot on Sun Bay beach at 4:30 in the afternoon. It’s going to be beautiful, and there’s going to be a fabulous guitar trio at the ceremony. The wedding reception is at Evamer, a gorgeous property on the north side of the island. The bridal couple has chosen a great menu and the band will play all night. I’m so excited.
Today we had a kick-ass beach party at Red Beach, catered by a fantastic CIA chef. The guests were positively inhaling the food and everybody had a blast! Tonight the rehearsal dinner was at this neat restaurant with a jungle-like atmosphere on the interior of the island. It sort of feels like having dinner in a very upscale tree house.
I need to go double-check all of my lists now so I can get to bed. Gotta be there at 10 am to meet the rental company and decorate the reception tent with white lights. I’ll tell you all about how it went on Sunday.
Happy Wedding Planning! Isn’t it about time you called me to start planning your Caribbean destination wedding on Vieques Island?