Wedding planners you’ve probably seen it all. The late bridal party arrivals, the hungover groomsmen looking for someone who actually knows how to do a bow tie, yeah we know! But have your skills been put to the test at a destination wedding? Add some spice to your portfolio in 2017 into new horizons and take your wedding expertise nationally. Collaborate with vendors around the world and attract destination wedding clients.
Traveling the world to plan weddings on the beaches of the Bahamas or on top of a mountain in Aspen sounds too good to be true, right? Well it’s not, as long as you know what to expect! Today technology has now more than ever allowed wedding consultants and vendors to do what they love best all across the world.
Where to Start
First things first, research.
RESEARCH RESEARCH RESEARCH!
Reading every magazine there is out there regarding travel and destination weddings will open your eyes to new trends, but visiting destinations will give you authentic knowledge you can share with your clients.
“You can’t be all things to all people,” says Candice Coppola of Connecticut-based Jubilee Events, who works frequently in Barbados. “It’s best to choose a few select locations and make yourself an expert in those regions. Your business will grow slowly, but eventually, you can see a rapid increase in your referrals for destination weddings.”
What to Remember
- Laws, regulations, contracts- they will all follow you no matter where you go!
Every country has different laws, so it is important you take the time to research far in advance. Many places require outside vendors to get a work permit, which may take up to three months to process. When working with U.S. vendors, it is important that they have proper documentation to work and bring equipment.
- Respect and understand the local vendors.
It’s important to remember that things work differently all around the world. Express your respect and gratitude and be open minded to a different style of planning.
- Language and communication barrier-patience is key.
While communicating virtually can already be a hassle, throw in a destination where English may not be the primary language. Use Skype and other messaging apps to communicate worldwide and find a translator when needed.
Create an Authentic Destination Wedding
Start off by taking the “top tourist” spots off your client’s’ itinerary. If you are unfamiliar with the location, communicate with shop owners, resort staff and locals to find out where the hidden gems are in town. Once you have planned a handful of destination weddings, you will notice a trend in location choice. Use this to your advantage. Become an expert on local foods to better understand the flavors of many cultures and be able to confidently advise clients to add authentic cuisine to their menu. Keep the “local” culture present with entertainment as well. Bring in local talent to capture the essence of the location.
2017 Destination Trends
When you put the excessive planning aside, a destination wedding is not too far from magical. This year is shaping up to be a year to remember for the adventurous couples out there. It is filled with new customized celebration goodies as well as exciting locations.
- Hire local vendors– Wedding experts often have vendors who work with them nationally but also opt to work with local flower shops and chefs. While this gives the celebration an authentic touch, it also keeps the budget on track.
- Jungle Weddings– Skip the beach and head inland! Adventurous couples are seeking out unique spots like “Mahinui Rainforest” for a fresh take on destination “I do’s”
- Quant and private– Out with the resorts and in with the private estates. The extra planning and organization needed when working with smaller hotels will be worth the private and customized experience.
- Custom maps– What’s worse than being somewhere unfamiliar and not knowing where to grab a bite to eat? Many couples are including custom maps for their guests which suggest things to do and places to go.
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