Destination weddings are on the rise, especially now that most of the globe has opened up again. Couples are ready to fly on the wings of love and have their friends and family join them in lovely locations.
And we’re here for it! From the mountains of Aspen to the olive groves of Tuscany, there’s no place we won’t plan a dream wedding.
But we also know everything that’s involved in planning those dream weddings. Whether you’re working with a planner or going solo, there are a few things in particular that you must keep in mind. These will ensure a memorable and enjoyable experience for you and your guests.
- Choose Your Destination With Intention
Most couples we work with have some sort of tie to their destination. Maybe it’s somewhere they’ve traveled, somewhere they have a home or a place they spent time as a child.
This is not to say you can’t choose a location you have no ties to, but your celebration takes on another layer of meaning when you do. So ask yourself why you’re choosing a particular destination. What’s meaningful or important about it to you and your partner? What makes this place interesting, and how can you highlight those elements?
If you’re all about the stunning views, look for venues surrounded by the natural beauty. If you’re a foodie and want to share your love of the location’s cuisine, curate your menu with that mission in mind. And if you want to give your guests a taste of the local culture, consider how you can create an itinerary that allows time for excursions or for people to explore on their own.
- Make No Assumptions
The wedding world may be welcoming couples with open arms again, but that doesn’t mean that things look the same. What used to hold true in terms of pricing, availability of vendors, and how things might have worked in the past may no longer be.
For example, let’s say you know someone who got married in Tuscany, and you’re itching to replicate pieces of their vision. So, you’ve chosen Italy too. It shouldn’t be that hard, right?
Here’s the thing – your friend got married in an off month on a Wednesday in 2019. You’re looking to book a Saturday in peak season on the Amalfi Coast. One of these things is not like the other. And, in fact, every event is so specific (no matter the date or location) that you can’t assume what works for one couple will work for you – in the way you want it to.
And along those lines, you can’t assume that because one thing fits your criteria, everything else will too. Here’s what we mean. You’ve found a hotel restaurant you love, so you book the venue adjacent to the hotel and assume that the food, service, and tabletop items will be the same as the restaurants. But it turns out they’re not.
Yes, friends, this happens! And at a great cost to couples. You can’t go into things blindly, and you must ask more questions than you think is necessary. If you’re unsure what questions to ask, now’s the time to book a wedding planner!
The key takeaway is to assume nothing, remain flexible, ask questions, and trust the professionals to help you along the way.
- Stitch Your Destination into the Details
Our couples love working with local vendors and incorporating the destination into their wedding. And we’re honored to work with artisans all over the world.
For a San Miguel wedding, we brought in a florist from the states who matched our couple in personality and vibe. But we went on a separate site visit to a historic village in the mountains outside of Oaxaca where gorgeous red clay pots are made and purchased authentic place items for the wedding.
Then, we visited another group of potters who are famous for their black pottery and bought several items for the rehearsal dinner.
It’s about bringing in these small details and the intentionality of it all that highlights a locale and really brings a space to life.
For a destination wedding, having a planner who has already built relationships with local vendors is beneficial. We can express your visions to them and make sure everything gets adequately translated.
As wedding planners, we handle many things, so you don’t have to. The three things we listed here are just the beginning. Creating a memorable destination wedding takes months of preparation and mindful decision-making. But it can definitely be a joyful process when you have the right team in place. We’re here to help!