My partner and I have always said that when we get married we will most definitely be eloping for our wedding. Neither of us want the stress of planning an English wedding, and that’s mainly because of the drama that comes with the guest list… ‘Should we let them bring their partners of five minutes’ or ‘they might get offended if we don’t invite XYZ’… It’s not for us. Also, we would like an outdoor wedding from start to finish, which would be nearly impossible with the ‘fantastic’ British weather we have.
So, eloping to a beautiful country with gorgeous weather is way more appealing to us for our wedding. But of course, eloping can seem so overwhelming (for me anyway, as I’m a bit of a control freak and perfectionist, and I’m sure there are Brides-to-be out there that are too!) and it gets me thinking… ‘How will I know I’ve found the right suppliers? Will the hair and makeup artist speak English? How will I get my dress to another country without it getting creased?’ and so on…
While I had the unbelievable opportunity of photographing Maisie & Murray’s stunning wedding in Italy earlier this month (you can read the blog post here), a few things became apparent that I feel are quite important to know if you are thinking of having a destination wedding.
So here are my 3 top tips to bear in mind if you are thinking of having a destination wedding…
1. Have a clear vision of what you want
I would highly recommend having a clear vision of how you want your day to look before sourcing wedding suppliers for your day. Pinterest is a fabulous tool for this. You can create a secret board for every aspect of your day if you like e.g. ceremony, table scape, decoration, dresses etc… Once you start pinning a vision will start to show through and it will become quite apparent how you would like your day to look. Perhaps florals play an important part of your day, maybe you want all of your decoration to be handmade, or maybe your planning a wedding with minimal decoration… Or it could be that you want a relaxed beach wedding, or an intimate wedding in Santorini overlooking the sea… Whatever it is, it will start to show through your Pinterest boards. From there, you can then decide on a destination.
2. Do your research
Do you have a destination in mind where you would like your wedding? This also ties in with your vision. If you envision an Italian vineyard wedding, then you may look at Tuscany or Florence. Decide on a destination then do your research. For example, you may find that there are places that offer a full wedding package with all the trimmings – a planner, photographer, florals, music etc. These sort of packages tend to be cheaper than sourcing everything individually, but you have to ask yourself if something like that would be what you really wanted. For me, it’s my worst nightmare. I would hate not having control over how my day looks, or what photographer I have, just because its the cheap and easy option. Have a think… Is there a place that is special to the two of you, perhaps you have holidayed there together or you have been on family holidays there? For our wedding I dream of it being on a secluded beach in Greece. Greece holds a very special place in my heart, as daft as this reason may sound, it’s because I worked there with a couple of girlfriends when we finished our first year of university and I have longed to return to Greece ever since. The locals are so lovely, the food is amazing, and the country is just beautiful and holds a lot of history, which I love. Once you have both decided on a destination, you can then start to source a local wedding planner whose style matches your vision…
3. Find the perfect wedding planner
In my opinion, finding the right wedding planner is crucial to the success of your destination wedding. There are many wedding planners out there that don’t have much involvement with the local suppliers and just simply turn up on the day to make sure everything runs smoothly. For me, I would want a wedding planner that has much more involvement with every aspect of the day including the run up to the wedding, not just the day itself. My experience of working alongside Julie and Emillie from My Secret Italy was fantastic and really opened my eyes to how important it is that the planner is hands on with everything, like Julie is. They help guests with their airport transfers, hotel, places to eat and visit. Julie has very close relationships with all of the locals in Santa Maria and with everyone she works with. She speaks fluent Italian so she can provide full instructions to every supplier to make sure they know what they are doing and what her client wants. They both really go out of their way to make sure everything is perfect… the decoration, florals, ceremony backdrop, everything. Julie also loves to surprise her couples which just makes the whole experience of working with My Secret Italy that bit more amazing. So, do your research, read client feedback and make sure you Skype or speak to the planner on the phone before you book with them. It’s important that you love their work but it’s equally important that you gel with them.
I do hope you found this post useful if you are thinking of having a destination wedding. I will be writing a full blog series of tips and advice for planning a destination wedding in the coming weeks… So don’t miss it!
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