I absolutely love destination weddings but they do take a lot more planning. Hiring a wedding planner is an absolute must if you want to get married abroad.
I am thrilled to introduce Katie Stocks, a destination wedding planner at The Events Designers to give her advice on why it is so important to have a planner.
The Events Designers is a bespoke wedding planning company based who specialise in creating beautifully designed and perfectly executed weddings all across the U.K and Europe.
We adore destination weddings and we love planning international destination weddings, but boy does a destination wedding involve a lot more planning. There are additional factors to consider such as: travel arrangements, supplier and guest logistics and sourcing wedding suppliers as well as all the other wedding admin, aka wedmin.
Whether you are recently engaged and thinking about hosting a destination wedding or busy finalising your wedding plans, hold fire and read through our top 5 destination wedding planning elements to consider.
First things first, how easy it is to get to your wedding location? Many of your guests will be travelling from all across the country, even further afield from other countries. Check if direct flights are available for the majority of wedding guests. You want to make the travelling as easy as possible for guests! Other factors to consider if the transfer time to your wedding venue or area. Will you arrange transport to and from the airport, or are guests expecting to make their own way? Also check travel costs, legal requirements and if visas are required, in many cases it will depend on guest’s country of origin.
As always, the timing of your wedding weekend is key! Consider and research the best time of year to suit your wedding plans. Check the climate. Will it be too hot? Is it likely to rain? The questions are endless. If possible, visit the country and area approximately 1-year prior to the wedding date – ideally within the same couple of weeks. This way you can get a feel for the weather and let guests know what to expect so they can dress appropriately.
Some guests will turn the trip into a holiday and we would highly recommend sending your save the dates 12 – 18 months in advance of your wedding. Give your guests plenty of notice, the more notice the better with regards to destination weddings.
Local Suppliers vs International Suppliers
Many U.K wedding suppliers will travel for your big day. However, extra travel expenses will need to be taken into account when booking your wedding suppliers. These travel expenses could incur: airport parking, insurance, flights, accommodation and in some cases meal allowances.
Confirm your wedding budget as soon as possible. Good suppliers, especially Photographers, Videographers, Wedding Planners and Caterers can get booked way in advance – sometimes up to 2 years in advance. If you have your heart set on a particular supplier, get them booked a.s.a.p.
Find a Wedding Venue that works for you! Discuss if you would like all guests to be hosted within the wedding venue, if so how soon before and after the wedding? If not, check local accommodation including availability, pricing and special requirements for any guests travelling with children or disabled guests.
When hosting a destination wedding, we always advise hosting a few events alongside the wedding day. Perhaps a rehearsal dinner, welcome party or fun activity followed by a post-wedding brunch, a perfect way to cure the hangovers and say goodbye to all guests.
Make guests feel special and welcome, after all they have no doubt taken holiday, travelled far to be with you on your wedding day and contributed to travel and accommodation costs.
Planning a destination wedding does take a significant amount of time to plan, design and style. Wedding Planners can provide an invaluable support for your destination wedding! There are many options available with regards to hiring a Wedding Planner. We personally would recommend hiring a U.K based Wedding Planner who knows your wedding location. You will need more support within the U.K than the destination of where you are hosting your wedding. But please, ask your Wedding Planner if they know the area well. Most Wedding Planners will offer a ‘recce’ site-visit so they visit the area, meet with suppliers, meet the venue management and get a feel for the location. This is key and is something that must be factored into the costs.
Wedding Planners have a wealth of knowledge and many offer destination wedding services. Wedding Planners will help create a truly beautiful and memorable wedding weekend. They do the dreaded research, provide contacts and recommendations, offer guidance throughout the whole wedding planning process, finalise all wedding plans, manage guest liaison and much more. In the U.K the average wedding takes 250 hours to plan, yes 250 hours! A destination wedding can take significantly longer depending on your knowledge of the location, contacts and complexity of wedding.
Please feel free to get in touch and to discuss your destination wedding. We love talking all things weddings can cannot wait to travel more of the world.
Thank you Katie for providing some excellent advice.
For some of my recent destination weddings check out Georgia & Adam’s Dubai wedding and Mykela & Dan’s Ravello wedding.