17 Top Destination Wedding Packing List Items for 2021 + What NOT to Bring

our wedding in ojai
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Updated on by Lyric Fergusson

There are few things more exciting than a destination wedding! Whether your destination is tropical and relaxing or an adventurous winter wonderland, you’re sure to have an absolute blast. Our destination wedding was in Ojai, California and it was definitely the best day of our lives! It can be tricky to know what to pack for a destination wedding, regardless of if you’re in the wedding or merely attending.

We’ve created this comprehensive destination wedding packing list to help you figure out what to wear, what NOT to pack, and answers to your top FAQs.

Also, don’t forget to bring an open heart and plenty of patience in case plans change!

What to Pack for a Destination Wedding – 17 Essentials

1. Neck Wallet

HERO Neck WalletAny time you’re traveling to a foreign place, it’s essential to keep your important belongings organized and secure. Use a neck wallet to keep your passport, cash, credit cards, flight and hotel information, and other important documents easily accessible and tucked away safely beneath your shirt.

View on Amazon.com ➜

2. Gorgeous Dress

Gorgeous DressWhether you are the bride, in the bridal party, or are just attending the wedding, you can’t go wrong packing a gorgeous dress. Wear it before or after the wedding day, to the ceremony, or to the reception. This dress is inexpensive and comes in a variety of fun colors perfect for any destination wedding.

View on Amazon.com ➜

3. Universal Power Adapter

Universal Power AdapterDepending on where you’re traveling to, you will likely need to use a power adapter to plug in your electronics during your destination wedding. This handy universal power adapter works in nearly every country and comes with a lifetime warranty guarantee!

View on Amazon.com ➜

4. Jet Lag Relief Pills

Jet Lag Relief PillsIf your destination wedding is taking you across multiple time zones, you’ll likely experience some of the nasty effects of jet lag. Treat and prevent these symptoms by bringing along these natural jet lag relief pills, they really work!

View on Amazon.com ➜

5. Windproof Travel Umbrella

Windproof Travel UmbrellaDon’t get caught in the rain at your destination wedding without a windproof travel umbrella! The last thing you want is for your hair and nice clothes to be ruined in a storm. Protect yourself and your belongings by packing this in your purse or day bag. This umbrella also works great as protection from the sun.

View on Amazon.com ➜

6. TSA-approved Travel-Sized Bottles

TSA-approved Travel-Sized BottlesMake your life much easier by packing your liquid toiletries into TSA-approved travel-sized bottles like these ones. These will ensure you won’t have any problems going through security with your liquids and you’ll have just the right amount of everything you need to get you through the wedding.

View on Amazon.com ➜

7. Virtual Private Network (VPN)

virtual private networkIf your destination wedding is bringing you to a foreign country, you’ll be glad you brought a VPN when you use your laptop or phone to connect to WiFi in public places. Not only will it protect your sensitive information from potential hackers, but it will also grant you access to websites that might be blocked or censored in the host country. You can also use your VPN to get around paywalls on popular news sites that restrict your number of article views per month.

View NordVPN.com Options ➜

8. Lipstick-Sized Portable Charger

Lipstick-Sized Portable Charger You won’t want to get stuck with a dead phone or camera and miss capturing all the wedding festivities! Keep this convenient, lipstick-sized portable charger in your purse or pocket and use it to keep your devices charged while you’re on the go.

View on Amazon.com ➜

9. Packing Cubes

Packing Cubes Using packing cubes will revolutionize your whole destination wedding packing game! Use them to prevent overpacking and stay more organized than you ever thought possible. This set is amazing because it comes with separate cases for laundry and shoes and is available in a variety of fun colors

View on Amazon.com ➜

10. Mosquito Repelling Wristbands

Mosquito Repelling WristbandsIf you’re headed somewhere tropical, you’re likely to encounter plenty of bugs. Keep yourself safe from unpleasant bites and mosquito-borne illness by throwing on one of these handy mosquito repelling wristbands. They’re deet-free and will work great for the kids, too!

View on Amazon.com ➜

11. Lingerie

LingerieLingerie is essential for a destination wedding, especially if you’re the one getting married! Make your wedding night that much more special by packing some sexy lingerie. Amazon actually has a great selection that is largely affordable, too.

View on Amazon.com ➜

12. Destination Wedding Travel Insurance

Destination Wedding Travel InsuranceYou’re going to want to make sure you’re covered in case of emergency before you head off to your destination wedding. World Nomads is always our top choice for travel insurance because of their comprehensive coverage and affordable plans. We never travel without them!

View their plans at WorldNomads.com ➜

13. LifeStraw Water Bottle

LifeStraw Water BottleMake sure you stay hydrated before, during, and after your destination wedding by bringing along a reusable water bottle. We recommend this one by LifeStraw which comes with a built-in filter to purify your water in destinations where you may not be able to drink from the tap.

View on Amazon.com ➜

14. Electrolytes

ElectrolytesParticularly if you’re traveling to somewhere hot or tropical, you’ll need electrolytes to help your body absorb the water you’re drinking. Between celebratory drinks and plenty of dancing and sweating under the hot sun, you’ll be glad you have electrolytes to add to your water.

View on Amazon.com ➜

15. Waterproof Phone Case

Waterproof Phone CaseA waterproof phone case will keep your device safe during the entirety of your destination wedding. Protect your phone from dust, snow, rain, sand, and water by keeping it in this handy case, which even allows you to use your phone while in the water at the beach or pool!

View on Amazon.com ➜

16. Swimsuit Cover Up

Swimsuit Cover UpRegardless of your destination, you’re likely to encounter a pool, beach, or hot tub at some point during your destination wedding trip. Come prepared with a trendy cover up like this one, which can easily be tossed on over your swimsuit, wet or dry.

View on Amazon.com ➜

17. Rash Guard for Women and Men

Rash GuardIf you’re going to a tropical destination like Hawaii or Mexico, you’ll definitely want a long-sleeved rash guard to protect you from the intense sun. You don’t want to look like a tomato before the big day!

View on Amazon.com ➜

Other Destination Wedding Packing List Items Not to Forget


What to Wear to a Destination Wedding

Be sure to do a bit of research about your destination before your trip so you can prepare to dress for the weather and the season wherever you’re headed. Also make note of the destination wedding’s dress code, which could range from casual to black tie to themed! No matter where your wedding is located, it’s wise to pack at least one or two nice outfits for wedding events, nice dinners, or nights out on the town before or after the wedding.

What Should WOMEN Wear to a Destination Wedding? – (Click to expand)

Below is a sample women’s clothing list. (All items link to Amazon.com for your convenience).

For a destination wedding, women should dress for the weather in the location you’re traveling to. Regardless of where you’re headed, you’ll likely want to pack a few nice dresses and outfits for the wedding ceremony, reception, rehearsal dinner, and nights out in the destination before and after the wedding. Beyond the wedding-related events, women will likely want to opt for casual, comfortable clothing that suits their location.

What Should MEN Wear to a Destination Wedding? – (Click to expand)

Below is a sample men’s clothing list. (All items link to Amazon.com for your convenience).

Men should dress for the weather when attending a destination wedding. Regardless of the location, men should bring a few nicer outfits and a suit or tuxedo to attend the wedding-related events and activities, as well as for nights out in the destination before and after the wedding. Also be sure to bring casual, comfortable clothing to wear during the rest of your trip to make the most of your vacation!

How to dress for different activities at a destination wedding – (Click to expand)

Beaches – If your destination wedding is located in a beachy or tropical destination, bring out your sundresses, shorts, tank tops, swimsuit cover ups, rash guards, and bikinis and prepare for some fun in the sun! Don’t forget to pack some sunscreen, sunglasses, and a trendy sun hat in your beach bag too.

Hiking and Adventure Activities – In your free time, you may have the chance to do some hiking and exploring in your destination. Be prepared with comfortable athletic clothing, a baseball cap, sturdy sandals or good hiking shoes. You may also want to bring a swimsuit if your activities involve getting wet!

Wedding-Related Events – Depending on the type of wedding, the destination, and the venue, you’ll want to make sure you’re dressed appropriately for all wedding events. Unless you’re attending a themed wedding, you’ll likely want to opt for a nice dress or suit, perhaps even a tuxedo or cocktail dress depending on the event.

Nights Out – Be prepared to enjoy a nice dinner or night out on the town before or after the wedding festivities during your destination wedding trip. Wear comfortable, stylish shoes, a nice top and jeans, or maybe a trendy dress or skirt. Be sure to dress for the weather wherever you’re headed!

Winter Sports Activities – If you’re traveling to a cold weather destination, you’ll want to be prepared to participate in some fun winter sports activities like skiing, snowboarding, sledding, and ice skating. Wear your warmest wool socks, winter boots, warm hat and gloves, and coziest sweater to make the most of your trip!


What NOT to bring to a destination wedding

1) 🚫 DON’T PACK a bulky towel: Instead, opt for a lightweight, compact microfiber travel towel, that dries quickly and can easily be tossed into a beach bag or daypack. This can be used as a beach towel, a bath towel, or used during a waterfall hike or adventure excursion. You’ll be glad you packed this instead of a heavy, wet bath towel!

3) 🚫 DON’T TAKE expensive jewelry or electronics: Only pack the absolute necessities for your destination wedding, as you don’t want to risk your favorite necklace or expensive laptop getting lost, stolen, or broken during your trip. Pack what you’ll need for the wedding but nothing more!

5) 🚫 DON’T BRING too much stuff: The last thing you need at a destination wedding is to be bogged down by heavy, overstuffed luggage that makes it hard to move around from place to place. We recommend using
packing cubes to keep yourself organized and avoid overpacking.

2) 🚫 DON’T BRING a hairdryer: It’s likely that wherever you’re staying will have a hairdryer you can use that is properly suited to your destination. Voltage converters are unreliable and you may end up frying your electronics or even causing the fuse in your hotel room to blow if you try to use your dryer from home.

4) 🚫 DON’T PACK full-sized liquids: You may have a hard time going through security at the airport or risk your full-sized liquids exploding all over your luggage if you pack them in your bag. Instead, fill these mTSA-approved travel sized bottles with the liquids you’ll need for your trip so you won’t have to worry about a thing!

6) 🚫 DON’T TAKE uncomfortable shoes: Nothing will ruin your destination wedding experience faster than uncomfortable shoes! Only bring shoes that are broken in and proven comfortable so you can have the most enjoyable trip possible.

What clothing should I NOT wear to a destination wedding? – (Click to expand)

Don’t wear clothing that doesn’t correspond with the weather in your destination! Do some research ahead of time to figure out what you’ll need. If you’re traveling to a traditionally more conservative destination, like India or the Middle East, avoid showing too much skin in public and consider bringing a lightweight shawl to cover your shoulders and head if necessary.

FAQs for Going to a Destination Wedding

    1. When should I book my flights and accommodations for my trip?

    It’s wise to book your flights and accommodations as soon as possible in order to ensure availability at the best rates. Flights are typically available to book up to 11 months in advance of your trip, though hotels and resorts will likely be available earlier.

    2. How many people should I invite to my destination wedding?

    It’s often understood that by choosing a destination wedding, you accept that only the people who you truly want to be there will show up. Getting away from work and saving up the necessary funds can be difficult for people, so it’s better to keep a destination wedding on the smaller side to accommodate the people you truly want to come. Many people opt for a small destination wedding and then do a larger party or reception back home afterwards.

    3. Should I still get the couple a gift even if I’m attending their destination wedding?

    Yes, but you don’t need to bring it to the destination! Many couples will say that no gifts are necessary as your presence at the wedding will be more than enough for them. That said, it is still typically customary to get the couple a wedding gift and give it to them either before you leave or after you come back.

    4. Do I need to pay for my own trip or will it be taken care of by the couple?

    As with any wedding, you will be responsible for getting to and from the destination and your accommodations while there. The couple will pay for the reception, ceremony, and wedding-related activities during your trip, but you should be prepared to pay for everything else yourself.

    5. Am I allowed to stay outside the hotel or resort selected?

    Some couples will book alternative accommodations for guests if their hotel or resort venue is very high-end, but if they don’t, you should ask the couple if they would mind you staying somewhere a bit more within your budget. If they’re counting on your attendance for a special wedding group package, you’ll definitely need to run your plans by the couple before booking.

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