Wondering if you need to work with a travel agent for your destination wedding?
Even with all of the amazing modern technology we have at our fingertips, you absolutely still need to work with a travel agent for your destination wedding!
Planning a wedding away from your home comes with its fair share of obstacles; especially if you are planning a wedding in a location that you have never visited before.
A travel agent will help you navigate choosing the right location, picking a resort that embodies your needs, arranging travel and stay for you and your guests, making sure that everyone in your party is safe, AND negotiating the best rates for you!!
Working with a travel agent to plan your destination wedding will give you instant access to a world of knowledge and access to all of the secret perks they can pass on to you, just from being part of the travel industry.
As a luxury travel agent, I have to admit that planning a destination wedding is one of the absolute favorite aspects of my job!
In this blog post, I am breaking down the 10 steps of working with a travel agent to plan your destination wedding!!
Set Your Budget
I know this is not exactly one of the most exciting steps but it’s one of the most important!
Having a clear budget in place is a non negotiable when it comes to planning your destination wedding.
If thinking about your budget seems overwhelming, try breaking it out!
Focus first on the items that are the most important and go from there.
Is it the flowers, the food or the actual location?
Look at each item to determine how high they rank in importance for your wedding.
This will help you then determine which items are less important and how to allocate your budget.
If you are not already set on a specific destination and you are still throwing around ideas, setting your non negotiables in place will also help you narrow down your destination and resort.
Being more open to your resort will allow you to have select from a wide variety of resorts with great benefits to your wedding including a free ceremony, free cocktail party, and credits towards your stay!!
Sounds pretty amazing doesn’t it?!
Putting a budget in place will help you help more easily make the big decision for your destination & resort choice!
Hire a Destination Wedding Travel Agent
Make sure to hire a destination wedding travel agent that will help you with all the logistics!!
Keep in mind, your travel agent or advisor is not your wedding planner,
A travel agent will start by helping you pick a destination and the resort!!
They will be familiar with the travel logistics of a destination wedding.
Your travel agent will be the person to take away the overwhelm that comes with planning the logistics of your wedding!
Travel agents are well connected with the resorts and it will be a huge help especially in the very beginning when you have no idea where to start.
We can negotiate with a resort on your behalf!
You will communicate directly with your travel agent on a routine basis.
This eliminates having to frequently chase down the resort to answer all your questions.
You’ll have someone to quickly, text, email, or call when those nagging questions pop-up in the middle of your workday.
Additionally, a travel agent will help your guests with all their questions and reservations!!
Your travel agent will keep you & your guests stay well informed on how to protect yourselves while traveling.
A travel agent will know the different rules & cultures of the destination.
They will also be informed of the best time of the year to get married at a specific destination.
It is especially necessary to work with a travel agent now with all of the new CDC rules & travel regulations changing almost daily!!
A travel agent will also create a room block for your guests.
The best part? Your chosen travel agent or travel advisor doesn’t have to be in the same city or state as you!! It doesn’t get much easier than that!
Ready to start planning your destination wedding with a trusted travel agent? Grab a free 60-minute consult call with me via >> this link <<!
Decide on the Location
Your budget is in place, you have an amazing travel agent on board to help you, now what?
Deciding on your destination is the next most critical step when planning your destination wedding!!
Picking your location is very important, and you have to be just as in love with it as you are with your partner!!
Think of a place that has a special meaning for both of you….
It could be the place you met or the place you had your first trip together!
Or maybe you haven’t yet traveled together but you’ve always talked about it and you already have specific destinations on your travel bucket list.
The best part, your chosen destination can literally be anywhere in the word!!
It can be in a different state, a Caribbean Island, Europe, or Asia.
The sky is truly the limit!
Pick the Time of Year at Your Destination Wisely
Your preferred season and your destination has to line up!!
This is something, as an informed travel agent, that I frequently work through with my clients!
If your picture-perfect destination wedding takes place in the summer, but you pick a dream destination that has winter in July, you are going to run into a problem!
For example, if you want to get married in South America remember that our summer months in the U.S., are winter months for South America!.
The complete opposite!!
Another weather factor to consider is the rainy season and hurricane season.
Are you hoping for a dreamy destination wedding in Bora Bora?
Don’t plan on a Bora Bora wedding in January or February because you will be rained out.
Another thing to consider when matching up your dream destination with the time of year is to make sure the destination is open.
Some islands in Greece and Italy actually close during the winter months!
If you were to visit Capri in October, you would find it is quite literally dead!
Most of the stores, hotels, nightclubs, and restaurants will be shut down and the weather is not hospitable for any outdoor activities.
Plan Your Stay at the Destination
What does your work schedule look like?
What about your partner’s schedule?
Look ahead and decide if you and your partner will be able to take off from work and any other prior commitments for at least one week.
You should be able to arrive at your destination comfortably, a few days before your guests arrive in order to finalize details!
You’ll have food tastings to attend and the finalization of any plans with your wedding planner once you are all on site at the destination!
You might need time to prepare guest’s gifts, or welcome baskets!
Planning to go on your honeymoon directly after your destination wedding?
You’ll want to clear your schedule for at least 10 to 14 days!!
Children or no Children at the Wedding?
This is an important decision to make when picking a resort, although it’s never an easy one.
Should you keep your destination wedding strictly to all adults or should you allow children to come along?
Here’s the thing, some resorts are adults-only.
So if you have lots of children in your family you’ll have to know in advance which resorts are adults only and how to avoid them.
And here’s the other thing, even if you choose an adults-only wedding you may not necessarily benefit from picking an adults-only resort!
That is absolutely something that your travel agent should help you decipher.
Share the Great News With Your Guests
Ready to tell all of your loved ones the great news about your destination wedding?
Not quite sure who to tell first?
Start by sharing your plan of a destination wedding with the most important people on your guest list!!
First on your list should be parents/grandparents, siblings, and inner circle best friends!!
Think about the people you love the most and the ones you couldn’t imagine your day without!!
The people you know be will absolutely overjoyed to celebrate with you!!
Share your idea with them to see what their feelings are about travelling for your wedding.
Most of your loved ones will love the idea of a destination wedding just as much as you do and they will be thrilled about your wedding and the nice vacation that comes along with it!!
This will get them excited about sharing the most important day of your life in a ‘vacation mode’ activated mindset!
Of course, there will be friends and family that may have travel restrictions or require special accommodations that may need to be worked into your destination wedding.
P.S. Only invite the people you really want to attend.
You’ll find that when the conversation of a destination wedding comes up, most guests will be a ‘yes’ to your invite, so don’t invite everybody ‘just to be polite’.
Get Legally Married at Home
Many destinations make getting married legally married, very difficult.
If you choose to have your ceremony at your destination, it might be that your legal marriage is only valid at that destination and not at home.
To avoid a lot of headaches (and paperwork) it’s best to first get legally married here in the States.
Once you arrive at your destination you can absolutely still have a symbolic ceremony.
Many of the couples that I work with will first legally marry at home, a couple of weeks ahead of their destination wedding.
Hire a Wedding Planner
The wedding planner that works for your resort will only begin to work with you a few months before your wedding, so many of my couples hire a wedding planner at home to help bring their dream wedding to reality!!!
You could be full of so many ideas but have no idea where to start.
A wedding planner will help you immensely!!
Your travel agent will be the one providing you with all the wedding packages for your review and the resort wedding planner will be helping you with the on-site details, much later!
For this reason many couples do hire a wedding planner for the beginning stages while they are still home.
I have a list of trusted wedding planners that I have worked with on destination weddings for my clients and I frequently make recommendations on which wedding planners would best suit their dream wedding needs!
Think About Your Guest Experience
Your guests will be spending money and taking time off from work to attend your destination wedding.
Providing your guests with an amazing experience, one that they will be talking about forever, is an important part of your planning process.
Be sure to ask about optional activities and tours that are offered at your destination so that you can provide your guests with a complete list of things to do & see while they are on site.
You can also extend your guests experience by adding in your own ways to spend some extra time with them and make the festivities fun!
After all, they’ll be heading to your destination to spend time with you before the ceremony as well.
Your travel agent or advisor will be able to provide you with recommendations based on your locations and interests!
Now it’s Time to Enjoy!
Plan every detail that you can way in advance!
Most couples start planning their destination wedding 18 months in advance so that when they arrive at their destination it is a well-deserved vacation.
Having everything done and planned in advance will allow you to get the most out of your once in a lifetime experience!
Imagine arriving in paradise for your destination wedding and just kicking back to enjoy the resort, the activities, festivities, and your lovely guests!
You shouldn’t have to worry about anything else when you get there!
Your work is done, now it’s time to enjoy!