You’re getting married and a hometown wedding just won’t do. Whether you envision your nuptials taking place in a neighboring state or a country an ocean away, you’ll probably want to have a destination wedding planner on board to help you with all the details.
A destination wedding planner helps put everything together and ensure things run smoothly on the big day. Plus, they can stand in for you when you can’t travel to your wedding destination, overseeing all aspects of preparation so you don’t have to worry about how things are going.
This all sounds wonderful, of course, but be sure to cover your bases before hiring a planner for your destination wedding. Here are six things to think about before signing on the dotted line.
1. Know Your Budget
When it comes to delineating your wedding budget, you can’t be shy. You’ll have to start by asking who’s covering what — and, if your parents or future in-laws are chipping in, find out how much they want to contribute. Add that to the amount you’re willing to pay. Once you’re sure the total is enough to cover a ceremony and reception in your dream location, then you can start planning.
This step must come before you hire a planner. You might find you don’t have the funds to hire a helper. If not, you might want to consider a new destination or go it alone. But if money is there, it’s the best money you’ll spend!
2. Read the Reviews
You’re working in a city or country far from your hometown, so you might not have the luxury of meeting multiple planners and gauging their abilities in person. Instead, head online and search for reviews of their services from other couples who have said “I do” under their direction. Of course, you’ll want someone with a full slate of positive feedback, but if there are some moderate experiences described, ask the planner about it. They might have an explanation that assuages any lingering doubt.
3. See if You Gel
It’s important to speak on the phone and, later, video chat with your potential planner and describe what you want out of your big day. Or meet in person if you’re proximity permits. Most brides and grooms will feel a connection to the right person, and this is vital. One of your destination wedding planner’s main tasks will be to fight for your vision and make you feel confident about your choices, so you have to make sure you find someone who understands it.
To that end, be sure the person you spoke to initially — you know, the planner who you clicked with — is the one who will oversee your big day. Some larger destination wedding planning firms have a different person fielding phone calls than the one who will work on your nuptials. Before you sign any contract, make clear who it is you want as your planner.
4. Be Ready to Rely on Their Knowledge
Yes, you will come into the wedding planning process with a vision of what you want on your big day. While your planner will do their best to make your dreams a reality, they will also have to be realistic with you when necessary.
You will have to rely on your destination wedding planner’s knowledge not only of the venue itself, but also of the destination. They’ll know just how many people can fit into the ceremony space and they’ll be able to tell you if you can or can’t redecorate it to your specifications. It might be frustrating and you might think about calling someone else for a second opinion, but you’ll eventually have to rely on the knowledge of the person you’ve chosen. If you don’t trust them, then you’ve skipped step three on this list.
5. Forward Destination-Related Questions
Another great benefit to having a destination wedding planner on your team is that they can be a point person for your guests too. Destination wedding planners know that both the bridal party and the attendees will probably be coming from out of town, so they’re ready to help your guests with any questions they have. Those queries could include hotel recommendations, travel tips to and from the wedding site, flight options and more. In other words, you won’t have to worry about making these recommendations to your guests, which will take even more of a weight off your shoulders. Just communicate with your planner early about this. Some companies include this service while others do not. Get clear on what’s expected from all sides.
6. Make Sure You Can Communicate Clearly
Now that you’ve read all the above considerations and benefits of a destination wedding planner, you know why it’s also vital to select a planner who speaks the same language as you. Without a language barrier, there won’t be any miscommunication in what you want for your big day. It also ensures your planner can help your guests, who are likely to be coming from the same country — with the same native language — as you.
7. Put Your Wedding Together
With all these considerations taken to heart, you can be confident in choosing the right destination wedding planner. Then, all you have left to do is put together the ceremony and reception you’ve envisioned for so long. Thankfully, you have the right person in your corner to help make it a reality!