Planning from Afar: Why Your Wedding Planner Doesn’t Need to Be Based in Your Wedding Location

If we’ve learned anything from recent times, it’s that human connection is important. Thankfully, technology has made it exponentially easier to remain connected despite the “new normal” of COVID-19 induced social distancing. We can jump on a call anytime, anywhere, with anyone in the world. So why shouldn’t the same mindset apply when it comes to finding the perfect wedding planner?

You might be confined to your home at the moment. But you still have a whole world of talented individuals at your fingertips. As you begin your search for the perfect planning partner, don’t be afraid to look a bit beyond your own backyard. The truth is that the best talent isn’t always local—and the same absolutely applies for couples planning a destination wedding.

Lead the search for a wedding planner with your vision, not your location


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Planning: Julian Leaver Events | Photos: Jasmine Star Photography | Venue: Querencia Club

If you’re planning a destination wedding, your first instinct might be to Google wedding planners, florists, photographers, and other vendors based in your locale of choice. On occasion, this might prove to be the right decision. But remember that your ultimate goal should be to source vendors who are a perfect match for your vision and aesthetic—NOT just your location.

When you book a planner solely because they’re based in your wedding destination, you run the risk of having their vision imposed onto your wedding. While this is certainly not always the case, it can be easy for planners in popular destination wedding locales to slip into a “this is how it’s always done” mindset that results in cookie-cutter events. You deserve to work with a wedding planner who will approach your destination with fresh eyes and offer you a customized experience. 


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Here’s a quick Do and Don’t to help you spot the difference between these approaches:

Do: Look for an experienced wedding planner who has developed streamlined processes and systems, yet emphasizes the importance of personalized planning.

Don’t: Hire a wedding planner who seems intent on cramming your unique story and ideas into a formulaic, one-size-fits-all approach.

Bottom line: Your wedding should be about you. A wedding planner should never try to talk you into working with a preselected set of vendors, or doing things in a certain way, for the sake of their own convenience. Find someone who is willing (and excited!) to coordinate unique partnerships that will result in a custom-tailored event reflective of your style and story. 

Hiring a wedding planner located outside of your destination can save you time…and money


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Maybe you think that hiring a planner who isn’t based in your hometown or destination wedding location isn’t practical. 

What if I told you that, thanks to technology, hiring a long-distance wedding planner could actually save you time…and maybe even a little money?

Enter Zoom

This video conferencing tool has become an integral part of our daily lives due to social distancing, and it’s also an extremely helpful wedding planning tool! Zoom is the perfect way to tackle important wedding planning tasks without them becoming an ordeal. In between the driving, the waiting, the chatting, and the return trip, it’s all too easy for an in-person meeting about something as simple as going over your design board to end up eating away hours of your workday. A Zoom meeting, on the other hand, is convenient. You can hop on a call, collaborate with your wedding planner, and immediately go back to your prior tasks as soon as it concludes. Maintaining your work/life/wedding planning balance has never been easier!


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Another essential bit of technology that I utilize is Aisle Planner. You heard it here first: Wedding planning notebooks and binders are a thing of the past. Whether my clients are located near or far, this robust planning tool allows us to collaborate and organize every detail of their wedding, from budget to guest list to seating charts. Other important decision-makers, like mom and dad, can also be given access to certain sections of the planning portal depending on each client’s wishes.

These are just a few of the ways that working with a remote wedding planner can save you time. But what about money?

Whether you are planning a destination wedding or are simply looking to source talent outside your local area, the right planner will be willing and able to meet up with you at key points throughout the planning process. At least three site visits will be required. Up first: the scouting trip. During your scouting trip, you and your planner will get a feel for your locale, meet with potential vendors, look into accommodations, and decide on the perfect venue for your ceremony and reception. The second visit is reserved for tastings and finalizing details. The third trip is to execute the actual wedding weekend. 



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Are there costs associated with flying in your wedding planner for these three visits? Yes. However, if your planner is equipped with the right industry relationships and adept at managing negotiations, these costs can easily be offset. You may even find that you save a little money in the process!

As a wedding planner with worldwide experience and vendor connections, I am often able to book hotels at a commissionable rate—meaning that, because I have the potential to book a large number of accommodations, hotels are willing to lower their prices any time I act as the booking agent. Stewarding your budget well is a pillar of my business, and offsetting travel costs is one of the ways I am able to accomplish this. 

Travel in Action: Becky and Jeff


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Becky knew when she got engaged that I was her wedding planner of choice, and soon we were boarding a plane to scout venues in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico. Cabo holds a special place in Becky’s heart—her family owns a home there and she has been visiting since she was a young girl. During our initial trip, I listened as Becky shared her vision for her Cabo wedding. I also paid close attention to the way she experienced the locale throughout our trip. These observations ultimately became the touchstone for my design process. 




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Following this trip, every decision we made was based on Becky’s impressions and reactions—not a pre-existing idea of what a destination wedding in Cabo “should” be like. By approaching the creative process from an authentic place, I became the advocate this couple needed to make their wedding dreams come true.

Are you thinking about hiring a planner for your destination wedding? Maybe you’re marrying in the city where you live, but looking to source talent remotely? Get in touch today to begin your planning journey…WITHOUT leaving home. Let’s get started, friend.

Thanks for reading, friend.

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