Destination Wedding - what you need to know & where to start
So you decided to have a European Destination Wedding, what now?
Where to start and what to consider - I'll unpack it all here.
Planning your destination wedding can get a little overwhelming. There are so many beautiful places to choose from. There will be many decisions ahead of you, so how not to let the pressure and stress get to you? Try to have as much fun as possible! Sit down with your fiancé, or invite a bunch of girlfriends (great occasion to announce your bridesmaids' list!), pop a bottle of something bubbly, and get down to it!
So here are the key things to consider when you are about to embark on the journey of planning your destination wedding:
1. There is no such thing as "too early to plan" in the world of destination weddings.
There is a reason why it is advised to start the planning process a year (or more) in advance, and that reason is, the best spots and professionals fill their calendars very quickly. With many weddings being postponed due to COVID-19, the next years might be even trickier when it comes to booking that gorgeous place you saw on Instagram.
Do you have an eye on a particular hotel? Is there a videographer you dream of working at your wedding? The sooner you fix the date and venue, the sooner you can book your chosen vendors.
2. Set your criteria and list all the musts.
My advice is to set at least five criteria for your big day. Imagine your wedding day. What do you see? Is it by the sea, in a romantic garden or perhaps in a lavish hotel? Indoor or outdoor? Formal, lied back, or somewhere in between? Think of the atmosphere, colors or even smells. Do you have any particular date or season in mind? If you have always been drawn to a particular country, region or town - even better! Write it all down.
3. Get online! Get inspired!
Don't limit yourself to bridal websites and magazines. Blogs, Pinterest, Instagram are some of the best sources of ideas and inspiration. Following interior design and travel accounts can lead you to discover some truly spectacular locations you never knew existed!
4. Keep an open mind and (try to) be flexible.
Your dream venue is not available? High season prices are out of your budget? Maybe it’s a blessing in disguise! Try to be flexible. If you have few more days-off to spare I encourage you to look at weekday dates - a great way to save some money, as many venues offer special deals to fill their calendars!
5. Visit the are and potential venues.
Seeing the venue in person can play a huge role in the decision making process. Sometimes the pictures on the website just don't give the place justice and you risk overlooking a place that could be magical in real life. Less common is the opposite issue, when pictures online show the venue at its finest... that was 15 years ago. Visiting the venue in person can save you a lot of headache!
Pro tip: If you start planning early enough, you can combine looking for a venue with a holiday in a year or two before your planned wedding. Imagine - the two of you touring the most charming Tuscan villas in search for the wedding venue. Killing two birds with one stone? Yes please!
If you don't necessarily have the time to visit the place in person there are few things you can do.
- Look for photos of real weddings that took place at the venue you are considering, in the past year. It will help you understand better what can be done there.
- Ask the venue manager to give you an online tour and send you additional pictures from all angles possible.
- Send your destination wedding planner to scout the venues for you. A professional planner will understand your style, and know what to look for in a venue to see its true potential. Unlike the venue manager, the planner will be there to represent your interest, and ask all the tough questions to leave no room for surprises later on. You might be thinking - Ok, but sending my planner there is an additional cost. True, but can you really put a price tag on professionalism and peace of mind?
6. Hire a professional destination wedding planner!
It's as simple as that - a professional can guide you through the whole process of finding and choosing the right location as well as recommending vendors that fit your style and budget. An experienced wedding planner will be a guide and trusted friend you can rely on to bring your dream wedding vision to life.
7. Always, and I mean ALWAYS, get insurance
If living in the times of global pandemic has taught us anything is to always have insurance. As much as both wedding professionals and many scientists remain optimistic about the year 2021, none of us can predict the future. Is that a reason to ditch your dreams about a destination wedding? Absolutely no! But reviewing all the contracts and having COVID-19 or global pandemic clause in them is a must, that can save you a lot of money and headache later.
Now, are you ready to start planning?
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All Things Beautiful