Many couples dream of a destination wedding but worry about the logistics of planning a wedding in another country. There are many things to take into consideration but one non-negotiable is to hire a destination wedding planner. You have a choice. Either select a ‘destination planner’ from your own area. Or enlist the services of an experienced planner based at the actual destination of the wedding. Although there are pros and cons to both options, it is ideal to have the planner close to your venue. You may prefer to use someone you know or were referred to by a friend. That makes sense for most weddings. But is illogical if your planner has never been to the country where you are getting married. The logistics involved when planning a wedding in another country is tremendous and local planners aren’t always equipped for it.
The Appeal of Destination Weddings
Destination weddings have become increasingly popular with couples all over the world. Especially couples who want to combine travel with their special day. Getting married abroad is an exciting way to have a memorable celebration with an intimate group of close family and friends. Having a wedding ceremony far from home can be a wonderful experience for all those involved. However, with all the aspects that go into planning a wedding, adding a distant destination to the mix can seem daunting. In order to keep the appeal of the romantic destination wedding, you need a professional wedding planner. But how do you know if the wedding planner you choose is reputable if you have never met? Wedaways can connect you with the best wedding planners in the destination of your choice. These professionals have years of experience planning weddings in their destination and a proven track record.
Reasons to Hire a Destination Wedding Planner
There are plenty of reasons to opt for an expert planner based at your wedding destination. However, the biggest reason is your piece of mind. Planning a wedding can be stressful, regardless of how effective your support team is. There is a lot less guesswork involved when working with someone who is physically at the locale. The experienced planner will already have a vetted list of vendors for you to choose from. This means less research for you and more time spent on actually making progress with the organization. Besides, this you can rest assured your planner speaks the local language as this can sometimes be the biggest challenge. Let’s delve deeper into all the different advantages of hiring a destination wedding planner:
Knowledge of the Area
A destination wedding planner at the locale of your wedding has insider knowledge. No amount of research will give you all the information they already have about their area. Use this to your advantage. Let them serve as your personal directory of recommendations. They know all the best attractions, restaurants, activities and accommodations in the area. Share this information with your guests to make their lives easier while traveling to your destination. Once you and your guests arrive, you won’t want to research where to go or what to do in between the festivities. Besides planning the actual ceremony and reception, your planner will even be able to plan the wedding weekend. With their local knowledge, they can help you craft the perfect wedding weekend schedule to amaze your guests.
Hiring a destination wedding planner can help you save a significant amount of money. A destination wedding can definitely get pricey but with the right planner, you can save. Although your special day is definitely worth the expense, a wedding planner can help keep costs down. Unfortunately, some wedding vendors tend to increase their price for clients from out of town. However, a local wedding planner will know exactly how much services should cost. When using their contacts they may even be able to secure exclusive discounts for you. If you select a Wedaways approved wedding planner at your destination, you will likely secure even better deals. These include the possibility of room upgrades and pampering treatments at your venue.
Connections to Local Vendors
Your destination wedding planner knows people. But most importantly, they know the right people. As a foreigner, you won’t have any connections to the vendors in your dream destination. By enlisting the services of a local planner, you are also making use of their established network of connections. With plenty of experience in the industry, your planner can expertly make suggestions for vendors in the area. After all, their job is to ensure your wedding is as successful as possible. Therefore, their suggestions will only be the best of the best.
Experience of What Works
Although an in-person visit or two to your destination or venue is recommended, it is not necessary with a local planner. An experienced planner will know whether you need a permit for your beach wedding. They will know the rules for bonfires in the area or how to get permission for a ceremony at a historic site or landmark. With all their experience they will know of any possible issues at your venue or what you can’t do on a certain property. Basically, any problems have already been assessed and can easily be worked around if needed.
What to Consider Before Hiring a Destination Wedding Planner
Now that you know all the advantages of having a planner at your destination, you may be excited to choose one. Honestly, there will be many wedding planners in the area to select from, but find someone that is right for you and your partner. Many exclusive wedding venues tend to have their own wedding planner as well. When selecting a destination wedding venue through Wedaways, we will be able to connect you with a planner that has experience with that specific venue. Therefore, we suggest that you pick your destination first, choose your dream venue second and then search for your local wedding planner. Consider the following matters before you hire a wedding planner:
Determine Your Budget
It may seem like researching a wedding planner should be your first task, but determining your budget is the real first step. This is the truth regardless of whether you are having a destination wedding or a local one. First, you should research the average cost of weddings in your dream destination. If this number fits your budget then you can proceed. Remember to include other costs such as flights and accommodation as well. Be realistic when it comes to your budget and take into considerations that costs may fluctuate depending on exchange rates.
Do Your Research
Once you hire a wedding planner, they will do most of the research when it comes to the finer details of your wedding. But before this, you should do your own research as well. Start with researching the logistics and legality of getting married in a foreign country. Spend some time reading reviews of your desired wedding venue as well. Finally, reach out to the team at a bespoke company like Wedaways to help you connect with a wedding planner at your destination. Being referred to a wedding planner from a respectable agency will save you a lot of time on research.
When it comes to destination weddings the biggest obstacle can be language. Ideally, you will want to hire a wedding planner who speaks both the local language and your language very well. Communication is an important factor between you and your planner. You don’t want to be disappointed because of misunderstandings caused by the language barrier. It is likely that you have a very clear vision of what you want for your wedding. Therefore, you need to be able to communicate this to the person who is supposed to make it happen.
Have a Video Chat
Flying to the destination to meet with potential wedding planners may not be in your budget. Luckily, technology makes it easier than ever to communicate face-to-face despite the distance. It is crucial to schedule a video chat via your platform of choice before paying your deposit. This allows you to speak with your planner in advance and determine if it will be a good fit. You need to feel comfortable with the planner before hiring them. Before the call, make a list of important questions that you want to ask. The answers will help you learn more about them and they can learn more about your requirements.
Be Available During the Planning Phase
Although your planner will be in charge of all the arrangements, they will still need your input at times. Most destination wedding planners will try their best to work around your schedule. This includes taking time zone differences into consideration. You will definitely have their full attention during your wedding weekend but should be considerate of their hours during the planning stage. This means you may need to be flexible about being available at certain times. Planning a wedding takes a lot of effort and you need to be hands-on about certain things.
Trust Your Wedding Planner
This is easier said than done for many couples – even with a local wedding planner. When you select someone who is familiar with your destination they will have insights that can’t be found online. Their knowledge of the area, weather, venue, vendors and more surpasses your own. Experienced professionals would have executed plenty of successful weddings. This means when they suggest a change it is usually for an excellent reason. We suggest being flexible and open to the ideas and recommendations of your wedding planner. You have hired them for their expertise after all.
*Monica & Estelle of Haute Weddings are in the header image.