Now that you're well into planning your destination wedding, you've probably come to realize that save-the-dates and invitations aren't the only paper goods you'll need to purchase for your big day. You'll also need to think about items like escort cards, seating charts, dinners menus, and event signage. While these day-of paper goods are essential in terms of providing guests with important information, they can also infuse a bit of personality into your celebration. "From a welcome note in your guest's hotel room and the ceremony programs explaining the meaning of your family's traditions to the escort carts guiding them to their tables and menus detailing the intricacies of your food selections, the inclusion of these details really allow you to communicate with your guests and create a more intimate setting where they feel more connected to you as a couple," says Shannon Gail, owner of Shannon Gail Events.
But when you're planning a destination wedding, figuring out how to get your day-of paper goods to your venue can be tricky, especially if a plane ride is involved. "Transporting these items to your wedding location isn't as straightforward as a venue that's only a car ride away—it requires time and planning to say the least," explains Alison Szleifer, co-founder of Two Kindred Event Planners. "You have to plan to order and receive these items with enough time to transport them to your destination yourself, or to ship them directly to your wedding venue." Similarly, she points out that things like size and weight matter. "You may opt for a smaller size or lighter paper weight for your ceremony program when you know it's part of your own packing list and taking up valuable space in your luggage," she adds. To help make this task less daunting, wedding planners share some of the best tips for getting your paper goods to your locale with ease.
Valarie Falvey, founder and owner of Kirkbrides Wedding Planning & Design, suggests searching Instagram or one of the numerous wedding planning websites for reviews of printers that are local to your wedding destination. This will help guide you towards a professional whom you can trust to print these items just before your big day. "If your venue has a planner on site, or if you are hiring one, lean on them for tasks such as this in order to get the job done," she says. "The last thing you want to worry about among traveling and remembering you have everything you need from home is if your menus are being printed properly!"
Pack Them in Your Suitcase
You can easily bring paper items with you when you travel to your wedding destination (or delegate this task to a helpful bridesmaid). "Our clients do this all the time and there are usually no hiccups, just be prepared to pay taxes and duties on items if your suitcase is searched," says Candice Dowling Coppola, owner and creative director at A Jubilee Event. "Most tourist destinations understand that these items are for a wedding and not resale, so they usually don't bother you." If you don't have room in your own luggage and no one else is able to fit your day-of items into theirs, you may want to consider checking an additional suitcase with all of your goods—crushing delicate paper goods beneath your clothes is never a good idea.
In some instances, shipping your paper items (and any other décor) to your destination isn't all that difficult or expensive. In fact, you might find that it's more affordable than the cost of an additional checked bag. "You'll want to check with your local wedding planner about the protocol in shipping and what would be the safest, most secure and affordable way," says Coppola. "If shipping to another country, you may have to pay duties and taxes."