Destination Wedding Planning Priorities (part 1)

When & How to Choose the Wedding Vendors

Tips by JP for your destination wedding

When, who? Start with choosing the wedding planner and the venue. Photography, Entertainment, HMUA are services that are best to book early. Food & beverage, flowers & decorations are next on the list. Final touches, extras, pre & after wedding events are the last to be arranged, as by then you will have a precise guest count and wedding budget allocation.

Wedding planning can be exciting, and overwhelming at times. Brides and grooms, or sometimes entire bridal parties are involved in the wedding research through blogs, magazines, forums, groups, and all sorts of social media. What are you searching for? How can you get your ideas and collection of information in order? With this article, we will try to make the wedding planning process as linear as possible. There is no right or wrong. Each wedding is different and you know how your perfect wedding looks like. But there are priorities that experience taught us for the best outcome of the wedding day!

WHERE DO I BEGIN?

Begin by choosing the destination.

Choose a destination meaningful to you. The destination will inspire your wedding details and the stories to share with family and friends forever. It may be a place you have visited before as a couple or a destination you always dreamed of. Greece and Italy are popular wedding destinations for a reason. The sun and light, the culture, the beauty, and hospitality make the planning process effortless and the wedding unforgettable to everyone. The multiple flight connections are a huge plus as well.

Check our top wedding destination suggestions in the Mediterranean.

I HAVE CHOSEN MY WEDDING DESTINATION. WHO OR WHAT DO I BOOK FIRST?

Book your wedding planner first.

A wedding planner with experience and local know-how can save you time and money. Booking the wedding planner in the earliest stage of the wedding planning process will lead you to the proper choices of the wedding venue & wedding vendors for starters, and make your life easier and safer by offering correct information and organization on all levels. But how do you choose the right wedding planner? Do your research online by checking local expertise, past weddings, and reviews on the wedding planning companies that stand out to you. It is important that the referrals you will take under consideration mention specific features that are meaningful to you. After you have narrowed down the choices, contact the wedding planners you liked best. Do they answer in a timely manner? Do they provide helpful information? Are they happy to video call before you book them? Let them present you the way they work. E-meeting the destination planner gives you the opportunity to see if you are a good match, as you are going to spend a significant amount of time communicating with this person. Similarly, the planner needs to inspire but firstly be inspired by you. An overall chat about your dream wedding, as well as more specific information such as the size of the wedding and the budget, are valuable initial information that will result in a targeted offer.

THE WEDDING VENUE COMES NEXT ON THE BOOKING LIST

You probably have seen some enchanting wedding venues already! But does your ideal venue stand amongst them? The wedding planner will help you choose the wedding venue that is appropriate to the wedding size and matches your aesthetic & budgetary criteria. Some points to book the venue are the services and equipment included in the rental fee; if there are special promo on or discounts in different dates/days; the hiring times and the exclusivity of the venue; the alcohol policy (mandatory open bar packages or cash bar is there a minimum consumption etc.) & the children policy (children-friendly venue, discounts on food & beverage); noise and other restriction policies and accessibility. Beautiful private villas, little palaces, wineries, restaurants, specialized wedding venues, boutique hotels, and resorts; every place has a charm of its own, making your marriage elegant and unique.

When & How to Choose the Wedding Vendors

There are vendors that can serve one wedding per day and vendors that can serve more than one event per day. And, principally, there are your priorities. We suggest that you start booking vendors from the first category, as soon as possible, so that you can have a wider choice in terms of availability.

Our golden rule of booking order is: photographer & videographer, DJ & live musician/band, Hair & makeup artist, caterer if not provided by the venue. Follows the booking of flowers & decorations, cake & sweets, extra entertainment services such as dancers, photo booth, fireworks, etc., private transportation. Last but not least, comes the booking of vendors related to pre- & post-wedding events. So, practically, the first category of vendors is best to book 2-1 year prior to the wedding. While the second category of vendors is best to book nearer in time, between 12-3 months from the wedding, leaving at the far end of the booking order the transportation which is linked to the final guest list and accommodation details.

A wedding planner recommends trusted vendors with a proven high level of services and excellent collaboration on-site. A team of professionals happy to work together functions as a whole, maximizing the chances of a perfect flow on the wedding day. These vendors must be approved by the venue in case the venue has a limited list of suppliers they work with.

In the second part, we'll meet top wedding vendors and see what you need to ask before booking them and what they need to know from you or your wedding planner in order to provide an outstanding service.

Click here for part 2

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