Best Advice for Destination Weddings

Best Advice for Destination Weddings

By | August 07, 2010

Well thank you very much Travel + Leisure! Those who know Charleston, SC already know how blissfully romantic the city is, and we are quite thrilled that Charleston, SC is officially the second most romantic city in the United States. So, now you are a very lucky bride to be with a destination wedding to plan and our sweet Charleston is beckoning you to pack your bags. Some of our favorite Wedding Row darlings have a bit of advice for you and of course we added in a dash of photographic inspiration courtesy Susan Dean Photography.

The lovely Candice from Yoj Events helps destination brides everyday plan their swanky weddings and has some words of wisdom…

{Your Getting Married Where?! So your hometown of Timbuktu, no offense Timbuktu, is not knocking your socks off as a wedding destination and your fiance doesn’t have much to show for a special spot near home for your wedding? Easy….run away!

Rules for the perfect getaway day:
1. Have help!  You need to have someone on the ground in your area doing the work for you.  A venue that looks great on paper, could be next to something crazy or have issues only a local would know.  On the flip side, there may be something perfect for you, that isn’t something you would find.  Many planners make special accommodations for out-of-town clients, so ask what services they offer to keep a bride when she is not local involved and how destination planning is different.

2. Talk to friends AND strangers.  We all rely heavily on the ones we love for advice, but a vendor who suits them may not be your style, so always ask for a reference list and ask specifically for destination brides.

3. To visit or no to visit:  Should you hire someone you trust, you may be able to stay away.  If you are the hands on type, plane one two to trips in for tastings and final walkthroughs.  It is not uncommon for many destination brides to never see or try anything beforehand.  Also, don’t plan interview and meeting trips over weekends. Saturdays are like Mondays in wedding world, and you will not be able to have tastings, etc on the busy days.  Tuesdays through Thursdays are always best.

4.  God Bless the Internet:  Ask for proposals including design sketches and layouts in email.  Create a separate email account just for your wedding, and maybe even one more account for all the junk stuff.  Bridal shows, wedding guides, etc can overwhelm an inbox.

5. Limit DIY:  Remember, projects are fun, but shipping is not.  Anything you create at home will be on you to remember to pack and transport to the final destination.  When you travel to your wedding, keep this motto, “OUTSOURCE.”

A destination wedding can be an amazing retreat for everyone involved, but the key is to select people you trust and let them do their jobs.}

Charletson Weddings

Samantha From Wild Dunes Resort suggests:

{Keep it simple! Destination weddings can seem harder to plan because of the distance but that does not have hold true if you keep your planning and personal items simple and true to you.  Don’t sweat the small stuff, as they say!

One can easily get caught up with all the wedding materials out there these days, as there is the ability to personalize anything and everything, and then bring it with you.  Choose a few personal items that speak to your vision and your heart.  Everyone is there to celebrate your love and your commitment and won’t miss the little extras.  Besides, traveling light and keeping things easy will leave you with less to worry about and more time to enjoy yourself!}

Charletson Wedding

Francesca from Newton Farms Catering encourages you to…

{Consider the month! Most out of town brides have never visited Charleston in July or August and are booking their weddings in these months. Look back at the weather almanac to check the heat and humidity especially if you’re having an outdoor wedding.

Hire a planner. I can’t say this enough, at least have a day-of coordinator so you can sit back and relax on your wedding day without having to worry about logistics. {We agree….HIRE A PLANNER!!!}

If you have a specific venue in mind, especially the plantations, make sure you book well in advance to ensure you’ll get your date.

Plan appropriately for your guest count. Chances are if you invite 100 guests, you’ll have at least 80 of them come because Charleston is such a beautiful city, guests will want to make a vacation out of your wedding.

When deciding on a catering menu, pick items that are local to the area- that’s what we do best.}

Charletson Wedding

A resounding theme…Event Planners are invaluable! Our friends at Open House write a great Bride Cents blog and they shared their {Top 10 Reasons to hire a Wedding Planner}

1. Saves time – Planning wedding takes enormous amount of time. In fact, the average couple spends well over 200 hours planning their special day. A good wedding planner will save you time and energy by researching vendors, taking care of the many, many details, and coming up with various creative ideas to make your wedding amazing!

2. Saves money – Weddings can be extremely expensive. However, by hiring a wedding planner, couples can save a great deal of money. Because wedding planners provide so much business to vendors, they are often able to negotiate discounts for their clients. Wedding planners are also well-versed at helping couples set budgets and sticking to them.

3. Saves relationships – Weddings are very stressful. This stress often results in many arguments for couples as well as with family members and friends. Wedding planners have been there time and time again and know how to avoid such problems before they begin as well as act as a buffer when there are conflicts. Wedding planners are also able to take on the responsibilities often assigned to loved ones so that everyone is able to enjoy the wedding. Remember, you still want a relationship with your mother well after your wedding!

4. Ensures dreams are made realities – Most have been dreaming of their wedding day their entire life. Wedding planners work for the couple and ensure that all desires are met (and often surpassed)!

5. Offers advice – Wedding planners have planned countless weddings and know exactly what works and what doesn’t. They are also knowledgeable on wedding etiquette. Furthermore, wedding planners are able to recommend competent vendors, based on personal experience.

6. Acts as the “go to person” – The average wedding has at least 22 different vendors. Combine that with the entire wedding party and all of the guests and that is a lot of people with questions and concerns! By hiring a wedding planner, couples can simply tell others “talk to the wedding planner!”

7. Creates schedules – There are so many events leading up to the big day! Couple that with the many things that happen during the wedding and who can keep track? The wedding planner can! Wedding planners are well-versed at making detailed itineraries for all involved (including other vendors) and making sure that everything happens on time!

8. Handles crisis – Whether we like it or not, most big events involve crisis. Who really wants to deal on their wedding day with the bakery not delivering the cake on time or the flower girl throwing a tantrum? No one! Wedding planners know how to handle all unforeseen circumstances.

9. Orchestrates from rehearsal through the end of reception – Do you want to be responsible for organizing rehearsal or making sure the bridal party is properly lined up? How about making sure that the guest who had a little too much to drink departs safely? Wedding planners orchestrate from rehearsal through the end of the reception, ensuring everything goes off without a hitch!

10. Minimizes stress and maximizes fun! – Hiring a wedding planner ensures that you will have a worry-free and stress-free day, thus, allowing you to enjoy your day like your guests!

Charletson Wedding

The experts at Stella Nova strongly recommend stylish relaxation…good plan!

{Just like booking the perfect vendor or purchasing the perfect dress, it is also very important to reserve your hair and makeup appointments early to ensure we are available on the date of your wedding. When visiting Charleston to meet with other wedding vendors, don’t forget to schedule your necessary trial run appointments as well as some relaxation time. Let Stella Nova’s spa technicians alleviate some of your stress and pamper you for an afternoon.}

{Photographs by Susan Dean Photography}

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