As an international wedding planner, Elisabetta White thrives on making wedding dreams a reality in any breathtaking location across the globe. She specialises in designing intimate and effortlessly cool weddings and elopements, with a penchant for modern aesthetics and bringing together personal details to create a truly unique celebration. In this post, Elisabetta shares her thoughts and expertise on how to find your dream team of vendors for your destination wedding.
Destination Wedding Planner
How to find your perfect destination wedding planner? Where to look and what questions should you ask?
There are many places where you can find a wedding planner. Aside from the traditional Google search, you can check on directories on blogs such as Junebug Weddings, or The Uk Alliance of Wedding Planners. Alternatively, you can browse Instagram looking for pictures of weddings in the destination you’re considering or your dream venue. Often in the credits, you’ll find the name of the wedding planner who might have planned one of those weddings. The key is in shortlisting a small number of planners you feel an affinity with, to then organise a face to face (or video consultation). Nothing beats seeing the planner in person and having a thorough conversation with them.
If possible try to volunteer your wedding budget beforehand. Knowing this information allows the planner to evaluate whether they can confidently fulfil your needs within the budget you have in mind, and if she believes she can’t, it means you haven’t wasted time talking to someone who can’t help you. I say this because a lot of couples approach us telling us they have no idea of what they should spend. Once we get on the phone with them and we give them an idea, they suddenly tell us that that figure is over their budget which means they always had a maximum figure in mind. So the truth is, planning a wedding is not very different from planning a holiday. You’d never start looking for a holiday without having an idea of what you’re comfortable spending, would you?
When discussing the service of a destination planner try to gauge important things such as whether their contract is legally sound or not – many planners haven’t gone to the extent of getting lawyers involved when drafting their contracts, and this as far as I’m concerned would have to be a deal-breaker. Also, find out whether they are insured. At a minimum, they need public liability insurance, but a professional should also have professional indemnity insurance. This is a protection for you, and for them!
Discuss the issue of commissions (the money they receive from suppliers as a thank you for recommending a client). Are they transparent about them and how do they handle it? Is the price her suppliers will give you inflated in order to pay the planner or do the suppliers share a small percentage out of their own profit without impacting the direct price to you? And with that in mind, ask if she will be prepared to give you the proposals and the suppliers’ invoices as well as making sure that contracts are between yourself and the suppliers in question. Transparent wedding planners will have no issue with that!
How to find and work with local vendors.
Finding the right suppliers isn’t the easiest. However, if you don’t have a planner, we recommend that you start with asking the venue if they have a list of recommended suppliers – but please do also ask them if the suppliers are paying for being listed or whether that list is based on their experience with such suppliers. Once you’ve booked a photographer, ask them if they’ve ever come across a great DJ or a great band. Often suppliers have fantastic recommendations. If the venue can’t recommend florists, rentals, etc. head to Pinterest and look for images of weddings at that specific venue. This will likely lead you to blogs featuring weddings at your venues. Check out the list of credits at the bottom of the post and note down the suppliers. You’re likely to realise some of them work repetitively at the same venues. They could be a good starting point in your search for suppliers, in addition of course to personal recommendations.
To find out more about Elisabetta’s destination wedding services please visit: elisabettawhite.com
You can read more about my destination wedding photography services here.
Image of Elisabetta is by The Brand Studio Co.