Your Cabo San Lucas Destination Wedding Checklist
Planning your Cabo San Lucas destination wedding
Planning a wedding anywhere is stressful. Planning a destination wedding in an exotic locale like Cabo is even more stressful. After all, a destination wedding is more than just a wedding. It's also a vacation for your guests and possibly a honeymoon for you! Fortunately, at Lifestyle Villas, we have the experience and expertise to help you create the destination wedding of your dreams.
Having a destination wedding checklist will help you stay organized and on schedule while also preserving your sanity. That's why we've created this checklist to help you keep all of those important details on track.
Lifestyle Villas' destination wedding checklist
For a less stressful process, we suggest that you start preparing at least a year prior to your Cabo wedding.
A year prior
- Set a date!
- Hire a wedding planner to help you navigate the intricacies of planning a destination wedding. We have a list of great planners that we have worked with over the years.
- Decide on the number of guests and set a budget based on that number. Don't forget to factor in travel expenses such as passports, airfare, and accommodations.
- Create a wedding website that includes all of the details of your wedding along with travel tips, information about Cabo, etc.
- Send out 'save the date' notices (including your wedding website's URL) so your guests will have the time they need to start planning their trip.
- Download these planning spreadsheets to help you keep track of your budget, RSVPs, and seating arrangements.
10 -11 months prior
- Make a vision board for your wedding. It will help you narrow down your choices to one cohesive theme. A duplicate vision board for your wedding planner will ensure you both have the same vision.
- If you can, visit Cabo to check out possible wedding venues and accommodations in person, meet with your vendors, have a food tasting, etc.
- Book your venues and accommodations in Cabo or in La Paz at our Gran Sueno Compound that sleeps 40.
- Select your wedding party members.
- Start looking for a wedding dress, keeping Cabo's sunny weather in mind.
- Since a destination wedding celebration generally lasts more than a day or two, consider adding wedding-related activities. A welcome party, group activity, or post-wedding brunch will just add to the festivities! Be sure to add these activities to your RSVP cards.
8 - 9 months prior
- Apply for passports now in case of delays. It can sometimes take months to get a passport and you don't want the lack of one to upset all of your wedding plans. Don't forget to remind all of your wedding guests, too!
- Choose your officiant for the ceremony. However, you may want to have a civil marriage ceremony in the States before you head to Cabo. Otherwise, you'll have to have blood tests and a chest x-ray done there and still have a civil ceremony. Marriages performed by clergy aren't legal in Mexico unless they're backed up by a civil ceremony.
- Double-check that your wedding planner has vendors booked for transportation within Cabo, photography, flowers, cake, entertainment, and any extra pre or post-wedding activities.
- Create your gift registry or place a notice on your wedding website that your guests' presence in Cabo is the only gift you desire.
- Purchase airline tickets now in order to get the best deals.
6 - 7 months prior
- Work with your wedding planner to finalize the menu. Update your website with the choices and ask for responses.
- Add a reminder about passports and airline tickets to your website. You should update it regularly from now on.
- Order and your wedding invitations. Include how they can find your wedding website.
- Choose dates, locations, and guest lists for your bridal shower and bachelor/bachelorette parties.
- Select your wedding dress and accessories.
4 - 5 months prior
- Check with your wedding planner about who is providing accessories such as a guest book, venue decor, cake topper, etc. If it's you, begin purchasing and packing them now.
- Work with your wedding planner on your welcome party and the rehearsal dinner.
- Finalize details with all of your vendors. Make sure you get everything in writing!
- Schedule dress fittings.
- Mail your wedding invitations.
- Shop for that special honeymoon wear. You may want beachwear also: swimsuit, cover-up, sandals, sun-protective clothing, sun hat, etc.
- Begin creating music lists for the DJ or band. Specify which songs you want to have played when. Make sure you include your favorite songs as well as songs you don't want to hear.
- Schedule at least one fun group activity. The Sea of Cortez is world-renowned for its sea life so a whale-watching boat tour or group snorkeling expedition might be a popular choice. Update your wedding website!
2 - 3 months prior
- Continue updating your website and song lists.
- Have your vaccinations updated, if needed.
- Purchase the rings. If they're engraved, proofread them!
- Have your final dress fitting including your undergarments, shoes, veil, jewelry, and any other accessories. The groom should have his wedding attire in hand, too.
- Make sure the entire bridal party has their attire!
- Purchase a special gift for each member of your wedding party plus the parents of the bride and groom.
- Order wedding favors and items for your welcome bags. If you'd like something specific to Cabo, your wedding planner can suggest something appropriate.
5 - 6 weeks prior
- Book trial and wedding day appointments with the make-up artist and hairstylist you chose on your scouting trip. If you didn't have a chance to choose earlier, ask your wedding planner for suggestions. Booking a spa day for the members of the wedding party would not go unappreciated!
- Confirm your flight details.
- Check that everyone has RSVP'ed (including menu choices).
- Write your vows and choose any readings you'd like to include. If you'll have an officiant, go over the wedding vows and readings with him/her.
- Decide who's giving the toasts and when.
- Make a packing list so you don't forget anything. Make sure you have an outfit for each event/activity (the welcome party, rehearsal dinner, post-wedding brunch, the beach, etc.) Also remember surge protectors, charging cords, and maybe a power strip.
3 - 4 weeks prior
- Assemble the welcome bags, leaving room for local trinkets or treats if desired. Including a welcome note is a nice touch.
- See if friends and family could tuck some gift bags/wedding favors in their luggage.
- Ship items you can't bring with you to your wedding planner. Make an itemized list, take date/time stamped photos, and insure the shipment.
- Confirm flight numbers and arrival times with everyone in the wedding party. Don't forget yours!
- Arrange transportation from the airport with your wedding planner.
- Finish your playlist and confirm it with the musicians. Your wedding planner should be able to help with this.
- Create a Cabo timeline with your wedding planner.
1 - 2 weeks prior
- Pick up your wedding dress.
- Arrange for a seating chart/place cards.
- Start packing. Rings, wedding attire, and anything vital to the wedding should go in your carry-on luggage.
- Ask your wedding planner about appropriate tipping amounts for everyone involved.
3 - 5 days prior
- Arrive a couple of days before your guests so you can meet with your wedding planner to make sure everything will be perfect for your big day. Arrange a time and place for delivery of your bouquet and the boutonnieres
- Have a practice hair and make-up session to make sure you'll look your best.
- Try to take a whole day for relaxing before your guests arrive. If you head to the beach, make sure to use lots of sunscreen!
1-2 days prior
- Have your wedding attire pressed or steamed to remove any travel wrinkles.
- Treat yourself to a spa day with a mani/pedi and massage!
Congratulations! You've made it through this entire checklist and now it's your special day. Relax and enjoy it!
Your magical wedding destination
Lifestyle Villas offer the perfect accommodations for you and your wedding guests. They're luxurious, customizable, and exclusively yours during your stay. Most of them even include a private pool that you won't have to share with hundreds of strangers! Many of our rental villas include a casita. Think of it as the perfect place to get ready for your wedding or even your own intimate little honeymoon bungalow afterward!
Every villa comes with a concierge who will check in with you every day to make sure all of your needs are being met. We'll arrange everything for you, including excursions, restaurant reservations, and chauffeured vehicles.
If you're considering staying with us, take these things under consideration:
- Villas are best for intimate parties of fewer than 100 guests. If your guest list runs into the hundreds, you may want to look into a resort.
- Since most of our luxury villas are located in exclusive gated communities you'll need to follow that community's rules.
- Make sure you've read and thoroughly understood the rental contract before signing it!
- Book your villas at least 3 -4 months ahead of time. If you'll need several villas or you're having a holiday wedding, it's safer to book 9 - 12 months ahead.
- All of the villas in a given area have the same exceptional quality standards and similar amenities. If you book your wedding party early enough, it's possible we can place everyone in the same community.
If you would like more information about hosting your wedding guests at Lifestyle Villas, contact us and we'll happily answer all of your questions!