The right wedding vendors can make your day smooth and stress-free. Choosing these vendors can be straightforward when you’re planning a local wedding. You browse social media for a photographer and ask your friends for catering recommendations. However, this process may be a bit trickier when you’re putting together a destination wedding.
If you aren’t physically present to plan where you’re going to tie the knot, you can use a few strategies to select the vendors that are right for you. The following are some basic tips to sift through your options. With this approach, you can find the perfect vendors and bring your wedding vision to life.
Hire a wedding planner first
Planning a wedding on your own can be overwhelming, and this is especially true for destination weddings. A wedding planner can help alleviate this stress. Do some research to find a planner who is local to your wedding location or who specializes in destination weddings. Planners will know the regional venues and local businesses that might be a good fit for you.
While you will ultimately make the final decision on these details, your wedding planner can help you narrow down potential options. Just be sure to be direct with the planner about your expectations, so you don’t have any surprises during the planning process or on the wedding day.
You might be tempted to cast a wide net and fly in the best vendors you can find. However, this adds expenses to your budget and even trickier logistics. When planning a destination wedding, it’s generally better to hire local vendors.
For example, if you’re heading to Iceland for an intimate ceremony, find an Iceland wedding photographer. The local professional will already be familiar with the region and have experience photographing in the landscape. You will also have to pay fewer travel fees. The same goes for the caterer, band, DJ, officiant, and other vendors. Your wedding planner may have connections to these local businesses to make the selection process easier for you.
Plan far in advance
You know that planning ahead is key for any wedding, but this is especially true when travel is involved. If you are heading to a popular wedding destination, you’ll want to schedule vendors before other couples do. Vendors such as caterers, craft beer distributors, photographers, and bands usually take bookings as far in advance as you need. You should also book hotel blocks and your venue as early as possible. Doing so will prevent you from stressing out closer to the wedding date and ensure that all of your plans become a reality.
Remember seasonal changes
Even when booking vendors in advance, remember that demand fluctuates with the season. So, consider this when making your schedule and budget. Certain vendors may be more expensive during high season, when they are more likely to be booked by local and out-of-town weddings. For example, if you are heading to Hawaii between December and April, you might encounter higher prices than if you were going during hurricane season. While this might not change your plans, it’s a factor to consider. Some couples will schedule their destination wedding to the off-season to cut costs. Vendors will also be in higher demand in these busy times of the year, so be sure to book before other couples do.
Planning a destination wedding doesn’t need to be a stressful process. With the right wedding planner on your team and plenty of time for research, you can have all of the details in place months in advance. The crew of vendors can then keep your wedding day on track to ensure that you cherish the memories for life.