I might be a little crazy, but it’s hearing the word wedding and I get stressed out… I might not be the one getting married, but with many friends around the world and a couple of them choosing destination weddings, I get to pack my things for traveling to a wedding every once in a while. And well, there are many different things you need to pack for a wedding that wouldn’t go into your ordinary luggage.
Thinking about this while packing for a wedding, some weeks ago, I decided to ask a couple of blogging friends about their tips and tricks on packing when you are attending a destination wedding. Here is what I learned from them on how to pack for a wedding without going nuts:
Prioritize the wedding stuff
I don’t get easily stressed while packing for my travels. Long ago, I got to the conclusion that you can find almost anything anywhere you go and most of the time you didn’t even need it. But when it comes to a wedding you cannot rely on that.
Kim Betasso, a creative entrepreneur who thoroughly enjoys crafting and DIY projects, gave me a great piece of advice on this:
“When I’ve traveled to destination weddings, one of the most important things to remember is bring your wedding necessities. Dresses, shoes, jewelry, etc. Almost everything else can be purchased if you forget it. Forgot the shampoo? No problem, every corner store will sell shampoo. Forgot your wedding shoes that the bride ordered 6 months ago? Now you’re in trouble!
If you do happen to forget something important, remember there is always next day air shipping and most things can be shipped for under $100.”
All in 1 single piece of luggage: make a list
Low cost airlines have made flying cheaper, but they are a nightmare for weddings: there’s the extra cost for luggage and you still risk having your bag delivered thousands of miles away from the wedding: no suit, no shoes, no nothing. So if you are travelling to a wedding on a low cost flight, you better optimize your packaging and get it all in your hand luggage.
Inma, from the photo and travel blog A World to Travel, says it clearly:
“It is possible to carry in your hand luggage everything you need to be travelling for months in places so different as the Nordic countries and the Middle East, and still be ready for parties, conventions, adventure travel and even snow activities. And there are many advantages to it, from not paying the extra checked-in bag to not risking your luggage ending thousands of km. from your destination. Plus you´ll exit the arrivals area without having to wait for your luggage.
It seems almost impossible, but it can be done, you just need to stick to a list of basics and take advantage of all the experience she has travelling around the world.
“You need patience, time and experience to do that, but ou can take a look at my list with the essentials that always travel with me. How? stick to the basics and high quality, but there’s more to it”
So, if you are asking yourselves, what to pack? Take a look at all you can get inside a single piece of had luggage. You might get inspired.
Carry it all with you (or on top of you)
Yes, you tried to get everything inside your hand luggage, but your dress or your suit will might wrinkle. Or it just won’t fit on a single carry-on. It’s a tricky thing.
When I met Katja and Denys from ViajamosJuntos, I knew they were bold and adventurous. I just didn’t imagine how innovative they could be in terms of packaging and saving. Here’s what they told me about getting everything in the plane without checking-in extra luggage:
“When Ryanair still limited your hand luggage to one single piece of luggage, we decided to go for a 2-month trip that would take us through such diverse countries as Iceland (+12 different max. temperatures), Poland, Ukraine, Belarus and Montenegro, including 1 week at the beach and a wedding at Kyiv. How to pack it all?
Very easy: just before boarding, we put our wedding clothes on and our backpacks on the shoulder. Not only did we get everything we needed in, but we encouraged everybody else waiting to board the plane and we distracted the flight attendants, who didn’t know how to react. Once inside the plane, we had to get to the emergency exit seats. And after the flight took off, we went to the bathroom, changed our clothes, took our collapsible hangers and suit bags out, packed our wedding clothes and hanged them in the seat in front of us.
Of course, we left the plain with several extra pieces of hand luggage and the flight attendants amazed once again. But this time they almost admired us: how you can put imagination to the test when there’s a need!”
Don’t be afraid of wrinkles
Yes, you are still thinking about wrinkles and clothing and how you cannot pack all you need in one single bag or put your stilettos just to get in you ryanair flight and save some pennies. Well, Patricia Mirasol, a certified renal nurse and lifestyle writer you will find at ideacrib, has some word of advice:
“Most hotels rooms have irons which you can use to give your clothes a fresh press. Hang your clothes with delicate fabrics as soon as you get to your destination. You can roll up ties so they don’t wrinkle and sandwich clothes with delicate fabrics in between other garments. And you can also hang it in the bathroom and let the shower steam it a little if needed.”
Also, if there is something that is bad with stains, you can wrap it in soft paper before you put it in your bag. And if you need to protect your headdress, you can also use a box. It will protect the headdress and you can always put something else in the box with it.
Mix and Match your clothes
Here is another great tip from Patricia Mirasol if you are looking to optimize your luggage space without leaving anything important behind:
“Know what type of weather to expect in your destination so you can pack accordingly. Bring clothes that can be mixed and matched and color code your shoes (you only need 1-3 pairs for a weeklong holiday) with your outfits.”
Here is a great example on how to do this from María at Maruxainaysumochila, the worldwide backpacker and music lover:
“A trip of a couple of days in Italy for a wedding suddenly became a one-month trip around the country, a week in London and a music festival. So backpacking was, well… complicated. My sister is a fashion victim, so she helped me out with the outfit: a dress that wouldn’t get wrinkles and that used a minimum portion of my backpack. It was a summer wedding, so the wedding shawl replaced all other jackets and we made room for the shoes by choosing a pair of sandals that would adapt to the backpack contents and matched my other outfits.
It was worse when I had to fit everything on my way back, I am in love with italian flea markets and I ended packing an extra bag with all the treasures I found in them.”
If anything goes wrong: improvise
Well, if anything could go wrong… You got your fascinator lost, your heels never made it to your luggage and have no time to get them delivered before the wedding. Ouch! Just don’t panic.
Improvise. You could make things with the items you have at your hotel room. For example, this easy paper flower pins from Papelisimo for a suit or even to decorate your hairdo (the post is in Spanish, but there’s a video in youtube you can easily follow without need of subtitles).
You can also choose a different pair of shoes, if you’ve color coded them like Patricia and María recommended just above. And remember: less is usually more in terms of style, so thank Murphy for losing all of those extras you didn’t need and enjoy the wedding.
Use the web: rent, book and go local
And here goes my personal advice. When you think you can’t cope with all the packing and the planning, use the web. There are plenty of places to rent a fascinator, to book a makeup artist or even to rent a dress that will be delivered at the place of the wedding. Just do a little research on which services will be available at your destination and plan in advance.
Also, you should talk to other invitees, they are probably needing the same things you do. Booking as a group will usually be way cheaper than going solo. And if you don’t know anybody there, just ask the bride, she probably did her own research when choosing the place of the wedding.
Did we miss anything? Do you have other tips? Leave a comment below and I’ll add them to the post.