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How to Pack for a Destination Wedding

Wedding ceremony in the redwoods

Packing for a destination wedding can feel like a daunting task—balancing style with practicality, choosing outfits for multiple events while keeping your luggage light. But don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. Check out this week’s YouTube video below, and read on for my top tips for stress-free packing that won’t compromise your style or lead to excess baggage fees.

The Golden Rules

  • Start Big: As with any trip, you want to begin by considering the big things, like weather and climate, and any events or activities you have planned. In this case, that’s the wedding.
  • Think in Palettes: When packing, work with a color palette. This ensures anything can go with anything, giving you a variety of outfit options.
  • Go Capsule: Adopt the principles of a capsule wardrobe, bringing minimal pieces that all or mostly work together (a color palette helps with this!).

Event Outfit Planning

  • Wedding Attire: Most important: be respectful of the dress code! Then, whether you have something in your closet or you need to buy a new dress, think about the colors and what other items you already have that coordinate. Not only will this make packing easier, but it’s also a more sustainable way to shop.
  • Rehearsal Dinner and Other Events: Whenever possible, try to choose coordinating tops and bottoms that can be combined with other pieces and worn at other times during the trip, rather than one-off items. Matching sets are great for this, since they can be worn separately with other pieces, or together for more of a statement-making outfit.
  • Accessories: These are key for packing light. Choose accessories that go with various outfits. Shoes, for instance, take up a lot of space, so select ones that are versatile and pair with multiple outfits.

Packing for the Rest of the Trip

  • Layer Up on Top: If you’ll be experiencing different climates, think layers. Pack items you can wear together to give you warmth when needed without overstuffing your suitcase.
  • For Bottoms, Keep it Simple: Pack versatile bottoms like jeans and a pair of casual black pants that you can wear on the plane (or if you have a wedding hangover and just want to be comfy). These can be paired with different tops to create multiple outfits.
  • Versatile Shoes: Limit your shoe count. Bring a pair of heels for the events, a comfortable sandal for casual wear, and possibly a sporty pair for walking around a city or if you anticipate activities or hikes. My New Balance 574s go with me on every trip (affiliate link).

Remember, the trick to efficient packing is reusability. The more an item can be worn or paired with other outfits, the less you’ll need to pack. Follow these tips and take on wedding season like a pro!