Preparing for a destination wedding road trip involves careful planning and organization to ensure a smooth and fun journey. We road tripped over 25 hours for our wedding in Olympic National Park so we have personal experience with this! As avid travelers we’ve nailed down the art of traveling by car so this guide will help your travels go smoothly.
Want to know my number one tip for having the best wedding road trip? Don’t sweat the small stuff. Things WILL go wrong. Your partner may get off onto the wrong highway or maybe you’ll realize you forgot something at home. Let it roll off your shoulders so you can truly embrace the beginning of the best adventure of your life!
Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you prepare:
Plan your route, including the stops you’ll make along the way. Note the estimated travel time between each destination and any interesting landmarks or attractions you want to visit. Try to overestimate for stop times and traffic so you’ll be pleasantly surprised by a shorter travel day!
If you’ve hired vendors for your elopement (photographer, officiant, etc.), confirm details with them a few days before the trip. Ensure everyone is on the same page regarding meeting times and locations. I always have a two week out phone call with all of our couples to ensure we are on the same page! I also send over a helpful packing list that you can mark off to make sure you don’t forget your elopement day essentials!
Schedule a maintenance check for your car before the trip. Ensure that the tires are in good condition, fluids are topped up, and the brakes are working properly. Don’t forget to check the spare tire. I like to go a step further and plan out gas stations if I know I’m driving through an area that is sparse!
*If you are driving to Arizona make sure you take my gas station tip as the northern part of the state is very rural desert with less gas station options!
Create a packing list that includes everything you need for the journey, wedding ceremony, and celebration. Pack items in an organized manner to make it easy to find what you need when you need it. Check the weather forecast for the duration of your trip. Pack accordingly, considering both wedding attire and casual clothes. Be prepared for unexpected weather changes. Don’t forget any decor you plan on bringing!
Make reservations for accommodations along your route, especially if you’re traveling during peak seasons. Keep confirmation details handy, and consider choosing lodging that offers amenities for a comfortable stay.
Ensure you have all necessary documents for the trip, including your driver’s license, car registration, insurance, any required permits, and legal documents for your marriage license application.
Put together an emergency kit with essentials like a first aid kit, basic tools, a spare tire, jumper cables, flashlight, and any necessary medications. This kit can be a lifesaver in unexpected situations.
Share your travel plans with family or friends who may need to know your whereabouts. Provide them with your itinerary, accommodation details, and contact information.
While planning is crucial, it’s also essential to stay flexible. Unexpected situations can arise, so be prepared to adapt your plans as needed.
Remember that this road trip is not just about the destination but the journey itself. Enjoy the adventure, make memories, and savor the moments leading up to your special day.
By following these steps, you’ll be well-prepared for your wedding road trip and can focus on celebrating your love in a unique and memorable way.
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Hello!! We are the Wilder West Team! We are a husband and wife photo video team based in sunny Sedona, Arizona. Caitlyn is the lead photographer and your personal elopement guide aka elopement wizard, question-answerer, location scouter, and designated hype woman. Chad is the lead videographer who you can expect to supply all the dad jokes, carrier of the Mary Poppins backpack, and mountain goat to get all the rad shots! We’ve been lucky enough to call this place our home for the past 5 years, going on 100+ adventures with couples from all over the world.
We’d love to show you around our home & help you plan your dream Arizona elopement experience.
We believe that all couples deserve to have an adventurous and meaningful wedding experience that reflects them and their love. Let’s work together to design your “best day” from start to finish. We can’t wait to hear all about what you are dreaming for your elopement experience so we can work together to make it happen seamlessly and care free.