Beginning to feel overwhelmed with all the work required to organise the destination wedding you’ve always dreamt of? The simplest way to relieve some of that stress is to hire a specialist destination wedding planner, preferably one that is familiar with your destination.
You can hire either a planner to handle specific tasks or hand over the entire thing, leaving you to enjoy the final months before your marriage. Most planners services range from hourly consultation, half planning, day-of coordination, to full event planning and design.
Before taking on a planner here’s our 10 most asked questions:
Have you worked at my chosen destination before?
You want somebody who is familiar with your destination, knows the vendors, and can expedite your marriage license legal requirements. Plus, a wedding planner who is familiar with your destination will also know the best venues, restaurants, scenic locations for the ceremony and photos, best sunsets, and popular activities for your wedding guests. They don’t have to be based there, just familiar with the location and on site vendors.
How long have you been in business? How much experience do you have organising a wedding of our size?
Ideally, you want somebody who has been planning destination weddings for several years. Anything less and you run the risk of having someone who may not be doing this as a full-time business and may possibly not be around to complete your wedding, when the time comes.
How many weddings do you take on at the same time? Are you available to work on my preferred wedding date?
Ideally, you want your planner to concentrate on your wedding only. However, depending on the size of your wedding, this may not be realistic.
If you’re having a small wedding, your planner may only spend a few hours with you while he or she concentrates on other weddings they have. However, if your wedding is large scale, then you should ask for exclusivity on this date.
When asking about your wedding date, check with your planner if there are any festivals or if it is high season, before you book, this will determine cost and availability of venues and accommodation.. If your wedding is part of a public holiday, you might also have difficulty finding good vendors available?
Do you work alone or do you have a team? And will you be at our wedding or someone from your team?
Once you’ve built a relationship with your wedding planner, it can become difficult to have to deal with someone different on your wedding day. So it’s imperative that you ask that the planner you work with is the person who will be helping you on the day of your wedding.
If your planner should fall ill, or in the case of emergency, you should ask who the backup would be, and ask for an introduction in advance.
Do you only take on full weddings or can you be hired on an hourly, daily, weekly, job basis?
Most planners are flexible and will work with you anyway you want. If you need some guidance on the best resort/venue/location for your wedding, you can certainly consult with a reputable wedding planner, to get some direction. It may cost you for an hour or two of consultation, but you will be surprised at how many questions will get answered, saving you potentially weeks of research trying to find the same information on your own.
How much do you charge?
We all want the best services at the best price. Ask your wedding planner about the cost and the ways of payment. You really want to know every financial and payoff details. Are there any fees? What is your hourly rate? Is there a flat fee per day or per week? If I hire you for the entire wedding, do you charge a percentage? If so, what is that percentage? Does your wedding planning company accept cash or credit card? Are there any additional expenses? Ask as many questions as possible and make sure that your wedding planner has given you clear answers.
How far in advance do we need to start planning our destination wedding?
Planning a destination wedding can often take between 6 to 12 months, especially when including guests. However, unless there is a personal reason behind this decision, or your dream venue is known to be booked a long time in advance, we wouldn’t recommend planning your event too far in advance. Many destination weddings can be organised with very short notice, as long as legal requirements are met.
This past year has shown us anything is possible, we’ve got couples asking to plan a wedding in a week and many postponing plans until 2 to 3 years ahead. Go with whatever is best for you as a couple…
Can I see some of your work?
A reputable destination wedding planner will have no problems sharing past wedding successes. When asking to see their work, request events they have planned at the same destination as your wedding.
If the wedding planner is not willing to share their portfolio, then consider moving on to someone else.
What kind of services do you take on? Are there things you won’t do?
Some planners will only get involved in full service weddings whereas others prefer a limited scope, specialising in certain aspects such as helping you find a vendor. If your planner is based overseas then they won’t be much help to you finding your wedding dress. If they aren’t a travel specialist they won’t be involved with guest hotels – work out what you want from your planner and ask if they cover it.
Will you help us stay within our budget?
Make sure the planner knows your wedding budget before you hire them so they can tell you if it is realistic or not. Remember, that the destination wedding planner is the one who’s going to have to own up to the budget so you should make sure that they’re comfortable with it from the very start.
If your gut says that someone is not right for you, then move onto the next person on your list.
A destination wedding planner is someone who you are entrusting your entire wedding to, therefore you need to be comfortable with your choice from the beginning.
Now you’ve asked all the questions…
What should I do next?
Start researching planners that specialise at your chosen wedding location, or consult specialists such WeddingsAbroad.com – who have travelled the world extensively not only planning weddings but working with hotels/resorts/tourism boards advising them on their destination wedding portfolio. They now have an impressive directory of vendors worldwide to start you on your exciting destination wedding planning journey.
Don’t forget to discuss with other brides and grooms going through the same experience on our dedicated group facebook.com/groups/weddingsabroad/