Virginia Edelson of Bluebird Productions recommends Hiring a planner. "Hire a planner who either knows the location well or specializes in destination weddings. They will be able to help you sort through the options of local vendors, best area activities and venues. They will also have knowledge of fun “insider” information to make your wedding or event even more personalized and custom."
Planner Jamie Bohlin at Cape Cod Celebrations says Hire a Local Wedding Planner! "Now I know I am self promoting here, but planning a destination wedding can be a full-time job, and most likely the bride has her own full-time job where she actually gets paid! Planners will help you by being the main point person for vendors, assist you with your time line, come up with new creative ideas and be in charge of the set-up and details the weekend of your wedding. Planners also have huge vendor lists and can assist you in finding the perfect setting for your ceremony, a photographer that fits your style, a florist that will work with your budget and so much more. Photography: Lara Kimmerer
Emma Petievich also agrees with Tip #3.. Hire a Planner! They will help with iffy weather and uncomfortable family situations. "The on-site venue coordinator is not enough! Many destination venues will sell their "planning services" as part of the package. They promise to refer local vendors, assist with decor details, running the show, etc. suggesting that no additional coordination will be needed. When all is said and done, it is imperative that you have one person that can oversee all the parts and pieces of your event from invitations & travel to welcome bags, layouts and seating assignments, decor management, rehearsal dinner, photo shot lists, planning the after party, and the list goes on...as an example (from a wedding I planned in Sayulita, Mexico last weekend), if you need to implement a last minute rain plan, you want someone that knows the key players: someone that can help rework the seating chart when the new space demands 8 tables instead of 10 (without accidentally putting the divorced parents next to each other!). Photo: Nancy Neil
Virginia Edelson of Bluebird Productions encourages her clients to create an experience. "Your guests are likely traveling from all over and have not experienced the destination. Be sure to orient your guests to the various amenities and activities the location has to offer. Plan some fun activities for them to maximize their time!"
Emma Petievich says roll with the punches. "When planning a destination event, some things are bound to get lost in translation (even when language is not a barrier!). Someone will miss their flight. Someone will lose their luggage. And even the most organized bride will forget something. Above all, remember to enjoy every moment. Smile in every photo. Laugh a TON. Hug everyone that made the trek to join you, and have a blast!" Photo: Samuel Lippke
Amy Abbot Events really recommends that her clients Send Save the dates as early as possible! "AND send the actual invites 90 days before with RSVPS 60 days prior to the event. Allowing guests time to save and plan for your wedding weekend . Often it evolves into a longer stay for guests and they are able to make a vacation of it. When booking your room block and rates, make sure that the rate is good 3 days before and 3 days after the wedding date. Photo: Sarah Richardson Photography