Sun, Sea and Destination Weddings, Nov 21st 2016
With more and more couples opting to leave the rain and cloud behind in search of sunnier and scenery to seal their wedding deal, we thought it was timely to share Bumble Event’s top tips for planning your destination wedding.
This year we’ve been lucky enough to have covered weddings in beautiful San Antonio Ibiza, the chic shores of Marbella in Spain and the romantic & breath-taking Tuscany in Italy. So, get a glass of wine, grab a notepad and pen and get comfy because we have some real planning gems to share with you.
- Venue picking. Don’t just follow your heart! When falling in love with the magical castle on the cliff edge, do consider how your guests will get there. How accessible is it for the less mobile. Is there sufficient parking, does it have accommodation on site and is it close to transport? Choose your venue from the perspective of the guest experience.
- Most venues have wedding planners attached to them. Speak to the planners ahead of booking the venue to ensure your vision is aligned and you feel confident that the planner can deliver. This is particularly important as it’s likely you won’t be in the country regularly and the planner will primarily work on your behalf. IF you can afford to then seek the help of a planner here in the UK to stay on top of all the coordination and planning that is required. We’ve had feedback from a number of brides who have been less that happy with the wedding venues planner.
- Research the food options and ensure you are catering arrangements such as food packages and pricing. Tasters are always useful ahead of booking. There is less flexibility with food options with destination wedding venues so absolutely understand this BEFORE determining you must have the venue. People want good food, a good drink and a good dance so don’t disappoint on any of these points.
- The DJ! What is a wedding reception without the music? If you are marrying in Europe then it’s very feasible to fly your favourite DJ out with you without breaking the bank. This way you can be sure to have the dance floor popping. If the venue has a preferred DJ then ask for a link to their material online. You should also ask guests for their favourite song and send the list to the DJ beforehand so that you can be assured of some crowd pleasers on the night.
- Check out any local customs or country specific vendor regulations so that there are no unexpected surprises around payments, duties on the day etc. You don’t want to assume the caterer is supplying all the staff to set up the venue and they believe something else. Ensure your wedding planner has good English or get a good translator!
- Pull together a detailed wedding website so that guests can have all the information on location, accommodation, dress code and anything else they need to know. Again, you are asking people to up root and come celebrate with you so make it as easy for them as possible. You can use the website to get guests excited about your plans and some sites are interactive with guests being able to RSVP and select meal options.
- Send your invites out early so guests have time to plan! In fact, ideally send out a save the date a year before or as soon as you decide. Don’t assume people have nothing doing.
- Plan guest activity for the whole weekend; drinks and finger food or a full on bbq are always popular as are pamper days for the ladies. Give the guests information about the local area and factor in some free time for them to explore.
- Read ALL of your contracts 3 times over. A good wedding planner will do this for you BUT this is your day so make sure you know what the contracts say and if not happy, query and clarify until you are satisfied. Be explicit about your requirements and expectations so that everyone is on the same page.
- ENJOY! The reason you have opted for a faraway place is to make your day something magical for you and your lucky guests. Whilst planning a wedding can be stressful, it is also so fulfilling. Enjoy the visits whilst venue searching, the food and champagne tasting (sign me up!), cake tasting, choosing flowers and oh, did I say cake tasting.
Good luck and don’t forget to share your tips with us!