Image by Marine Blanchard Photographie
Destination wedding planning: Should you book a local or a destination wedding planner/photographer/etc?
Tying the knot in an exotic or romantic destination far from home is a dream come true for many couples. However, destination wedding planning comes with many extra tasks that can lead to a significant amount of stress and headache. When you see photographs of these foreign celebrations, everything looks like a fairytale. But what you don’t see is the ‘behind-the-scenes,’ so hiring someone to help you during the planning process to make your event run smoothly is essential.
Many couples believe hiring a local wedding planner or photographer will resolve all their issues. While this may be the case sometimes, you cannot really rely on someone who you do not know. Choosing people to be involved in your planning process is hard because you need someone you trust.
Therefore, before you pick your wedding planner or photographer, let’s look at the things you need to consider first. You do not want to mess up your big day, so it is wise to explore all of your options!
Image by Henrique Seruca
Do you really need a wedding planner?
Having someone help you manage all of the tasks in the lead-up to the big day is a good idea. Because hosting a wedding without the right assistance can be overwhelming, after all, you will be dealing with unfamiliar territory, and trying to communicate with vendors and your venue from a different time zone will be stressful and time-consuming. So, let an expert handle all the communicating and organizing so that you’re shielded from the stress.
But that does not necessarily need to be a wedding planner. If you have a tight budget, why not consider a coordinator? These individuals will focus on the logistic of your big day only and not the entire planning process. The wedding coordinator is on-hand to ensure everything runs perfectly the day you say your “I do’s.” And, they are more cost-effective!
Local wedding planner vs destination wedding planner?
If you have decided on a destination wedding, you are probably wondering whether you need to hire a local or a destination wedding planner. The truth is, you can do it with either of them, and your celebration will still run smoothly!
If you do not have the time to deal with all tasks of destination wedding planning, then you need to book a wedding planner. A destination wedding planner will definitely have more experience in organizing a destination nuptial, while a local one will be more familiarized with the local venues, vendors, etc.
Nonetheless, you have to bear in mind that the person you will trust with your big day needs to be someone you feel comfortable with. They need to listen to you and understand you, so they can deliver exactly what you want.
Therefore, you should go with a wedding planner that suits your needs, someone who feels like a close friend. The same goes for your photographer!
You can also consider hiring a wedding travel agent who will deal with the traveling expenses for everyone and find you the best discounts. However, have in mind that some advisors in the States offer their services for free because they make a commission from the sales they make; but most of the higher-end travel advisors in Europe charge quite a high admin fee.
Did these tips help? We hope they did because we want you to have a magical celebration. Destination wedding planning can be easy only if you know the right way to do it. If you need advice for your special day, do not hesitate to contact us. We are here to help you create the wedding you deserve!
There have been many instances where couples seem to have forgotten about their wedding stationery details. If you want to avoid this from happening, there is a thing that we like to propose in all cases – it is creating a simple checklist that will help you stick to everything that needs to be done.
Now, this is especially important when it comes to planning the perfect destination wedding. It is always a smart move to start working on a stationery checklist and get the most out of it. After all, you will need to know about all the details you need to complete for your wedding. Whether we are talking about the RSVPs, the timeline of invitations, or anything else connected to your special day, what you need is some assistance on the subject.
Image by Elsie Love Photography
But worry not, we are here to assist you! Figuring out which ones are the essentials and managing to get them in time is crucial. How to stay on budget, and which pieces are the most practical – these are just a portion of the questions you will be faced with when organizing your dream event. So keep on reading to be informed, ready on time, and pull off everything flawlessly!
Destination wedding stationery timeline
Before anything, you need to know when to have everything prepared and ready. This is where the right timeline will aid you. In essence, when it comes to your destination wedding invitations, you need to send them at least 12 weeks in advance, which means they have to be printed and ready at least 13 weeks before the wedding day. This is because you want to inform your loved ones in a timely manner, allow them to decide, and send you the RSVP. In addition, you should expect your destination wedding RSVPs 4-6 weeks before your wedding and lock down your final guest list.
When do you need to send out the save the dates?
Once you decide to focus on your wedding stationery and invitation suite, an important bit is the save-the-date cards. Now, there is a certain etiquette while doing this. Simply follow these two rules and you will get everything right:
The right timing is everything! When it comes to sending these cards, you need to do that right after you have chosen your wedding venue – about six to eight months before your big day.
What should you include?
Besides the date, you should also include the exact location of your wedding. This means that you should not only list the city, but also the venue. In this way, your guests will have more precise info, allowing them to clear their schedules and plan their travel arrangements. It poses as a courtesy that you are thinking about your guests too after all. This would mean a lot for them because they can also find a place where they could spend a few nights while your wedding celebration is in full swing. Furthermore, this allows cushion time to look for some alternatives on how to get to the destination that you have chosen.
Image by Laura Jayne Photography
The day of printing – what is included?
The printing day can be a stressful time for all couples that are in the middle of organizing a wedding, especially if you aren’t sure whether you have included everything. There are no strict rules here, as the destination wedding stationery requirements include deciding on what you feel represents you the most as a couple.
Design-wise, before going to print, you always have the liberty of going out and browsing the internet for inspirations connected to your wedding stationery. Naturally, after an extensive period of browsing, you should be able to narrow down your choices and make your final pick. After that, the only thing that remains is the printing process.
Depending on your preferences, you can include as many or as few stationery items as you want. They can also serve as part of your decor, complementing your overall theme. From the menu to the table numbers and seating plan, below we have included all the essentials that you can choose and print:
– The wedding ceremony program – it includes all the necessary information for the ceremony and how will it unfold. It is a wonderful piece that can also serve as a keepsake for your guests.
– Table numbers – depending on your preferences, you can also print the table numbers. This can save you and your guests a lot of time during the seating. They will easily find their place when they know which table number they have to follow.
– Name cards – Another important element of your wedding stationery are the name cards. Having a name card for each of your wedding guests will allow them to easily find their seats, along with the table numbers.
– Seating plan – once again, this all boils down to the preferences of the couple. Having a seating plan handy is always a good option. Your loved ones will be able to see where they will be seated upon entry and not wander around.
Image by Kindred Wedding Photography
– Menu – anyone would appreciate having a course list available to them, plus, this will be a wonderful addition to tie the whole wedding stationery theme.
Image by Elsie Love Photography
– Thank you notes – even after your destination wedding, you would want to thank your guests for taking the time to be a part of it. The thank you notes are an excellent way to achieve that in a polite and simple way. They are the final thing to be included on your printing day.
Hope this wedding stationery guide has provided you with all the information you need to organize your destination celebration. Feel free to include everything that feels right for your story and vision!
Finally, if you feel like you are dealing with this alone, and you need some outside help, note that you can contact us at any time! Send us an email and get yourself professional help when it comes to planning your destination wedding.
Featured Stationery by Bonny and Clyde Wedding Boutique
When you decide to have a destination wedding, the planning process shifts toward a more intimate setting. You will notice that the focus of attention is you and the location! The beauty of having a wedding in a dreamy destination provides you with the freedom to browse through many options and to create that magical feeling of enjoying a celebration with your closest people.
Since you are looking at getting married in a different country, one thing you need to have in mind is that you will not be present to overlook the planning process. Emails, Zoom calls, and your smartphone are going to become your best friends. The process of destination wedding planning is always a lengthy one. If you need some pointers that will guide you through the way, you have come to the right place! We are providing you with a simple guide on how to organize your wedding abroad.
– Choose the season
When it comes to planning a destination wedding, the first thing you need to keep in mind is how to choose the season. There is such a thing called high, low, and shoulder season. This means that depending on the season, rates for the venues and all the vendors fluctuate. The most sought-after season to get married in Europe is usually spring and summer.
Image by Craig Williams
In this case, there is another thing for you to be mindful of. August is a time in Europe when most vendors take some time off. This is also the time when the most popular locations in Europe are overwhelmed with tourists. It is incredibly hot, especially if you are looking into planning a wedding in Italy, Spain, and Greece. Consider it as a tip for a month that you should avoid getting married.
Since there must also be a specific budget that you would like to stick to, one of the best seasons to get married in Europe is spring and fall. The weather is nice – it is not too hot, all the vendors are available at your disposal, and your dream European destination wedding venue will not cost you as much.
– Check availability
Once you have decided on the destination of your dreams, the first thing you need to do is check for venue availability. Have several options while you are waiting for a response from the chosen place. In essence, waiting only for one venue’s response can lead to running out of options.
Take as an example the Greek islands. Many of the venues are incredibly busy during the summer months and take a lot longer to respond, but surprisingly, often it is after October and in the winter time when their response can take even longer! During the off-season, some Greek island venues would take weeks or even months to respond as the islands are usually closed down. So, we would recommend reaching out to several, instead of waiting for an answer from one. Opting for one choice will only waste your time and prolong your destination wedding planning. We recommend you choose a few different places and try to contact all of them at once. It will not only save you some time but will also give you a feel of how the vendors communicate and what to expect from them.
Cycladic Gem Villa Image by @Julie_Jules_p
– Go the extra mile
When you are planning a wonderful destination wedding, think about visiting the venue. Some couples find it difficult to organize everything remotely, and this is a step that eases the process significantly. This will allow you to scout out venues in person, check for rehearsal dinner spots, and have meetings with most of your potential vendors.
Having tete-a-tete communication is always the best option. It might be challenging to make multiple trips so you can get everything in order, but if you can do this at least once, you will make your entire destination wedding planning a lot easier!
– Get some help
As the wedding date approaches, it is completely normal for you to have jitters. But, if those jitters develop into a feeling of uneasiness and nervousness, then it might be time for you to start looking into getting some help. A destination wedding planner is the best way to get everything done without feeling overwhelmed.
They are professionals that will tend to all of your needs and wishes, contact vendors, and get the information back to you in the fastest manner. Whether you are looking for a hair and make-up vendor or you are looking into booking a band that will be in charge of the reception entertainment, a destination wedding planner is a solution you did not know you needed! From seamless step-by-step guidance to tailoring the perfect day to reflect your preferences, a professional will help you pull off a magical experience for all.
Image by Breindahl Films
– Get your documents
Remember, planning a destination wedding means that you should also take care of all the documents needed to do this. That being said, it is best to start with your passport! Both of you, as well as all your guests, need to own a valid passport so they would be able to get to the location.
The second thing is a marriage license. Getting married in Europe means that you might have to fill in some documents so you can meet the local marriage requirements. In some instances, you may even have to provide documents such as letters of intent, proof of residency, medical certificates, and birth certificates. Trust the process and carefully follow it. Make the proper research before starting to collect the documents – this is a step that will ease your process of making your marriage legal.
Another option is to tie the knot at home and host a symbolic ceremony at your European destination wedding venue. This will help you avoid a lot of headaches during the process of obtaining all the necessary documents.
We can only hope that you will take this destination wedding guide as a starting point in creating your magical day! After all, you can see that, with good organization, the planning process will go smoothly. So, all you need to do is have a list of things you need to do and stick to it.
And of course, if you require any help, feel free to schedule a call with us! As destination wedding planners, we will be happy to help you plan your dream day in Europe!