5 Things You Need to Consider When Having a Destination Wedding
Deciding on a destination wedding is one of the most difficult decisions you'll make but once you've picked a destination for your big day, you'll be faced with a world of new challenges you might not have thought of. Lucky for us, we have expert wedding planner Anna Walmsley VIP Event Management on hand today to advise us on everything you will need to remember when planning your destination wedding.
1. TOP 3 THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BOOKING A VENUE
"Accommodation - Ideally the venue has accommodation, minimum for the family/close friends (nice bridal suite to get ready).
Location - Is it close to hotels for your guests from the overflow of the Château? Ideally have a couple of options where guests can choose from 2/3 according to cost, taking into consideration the personal budget of each guest. Is the venue close to airports? Is it close to a lively village for your guests? This also provides the vendors with easier to access to good suppliers if not so far from a relatively large town/city.
Practical solutions - Think about plug sockets and if there is easy access, according to which part of the day you’d like to carry out for the musicians/microphones/caterer etc. They need to connect easily so they can carry out the day smoothly (if there isn’t easy access, this adds costs… bringing extension leads etc…) Depending on the Château/venue (some the electrics are not updated) the lack of power can be an issue too, as the last thing you want is for there to be cut off during your reception meal for example with all the speeches going on, and the musicians playing/DJ for the dance part of the night. I always double check all of this when a Château has been chosen, and often have a technician onsite to avoid any such issues."
2. SHOULD I BE CHOOSING LOCAL SUPPLIERS?
"There are a number of advantages and disadvantages with choosing both local and vendors from outside of the area. For local vendors, the advantages can include; lower costs, familiar knowledge of the venue, and the language which is ultimately to ease the flow of communication with the other suppliers they will come into contact with, depending on their role on the day. For vendors traveling in for the wedding day, you won't be as limited in your choice of the quality of the vendor. If you're hiring someone to fly in (a photographer for example), it's likely you've hired them because you're in love with their work as an artist and the quality of their work rather than their location.
Any suppliers also need to have include a site-visit to avoid issues on the day, and also be familiar on how to get to the Château, know what the exact cost will entail with travel included. All suppliers need to be self sufficient, they are able to get to the venue without worrying the couple about whether they will need a taxi/worrying about if they’ve arrived ok/got to their hotel etc."
3. WHAT VENDORS SHOULD I KEEP LOCAL?
"The musicians I always strongly advise are local especially, as this entails lots of extra costs, like having to provide the sound system for them, their accommodation and often their transport. All this adds up, when there are some great musicians in France. Vendors that you would definitely bring in externally in my opinion are a hair and makeup artist. This is important as they understand the needs of their clients, and this can be misinterpreted or lost in translation if they don’t have an English speaking/international background, the same applies for the photographer and videographer."
4. WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON MISTAKES WHEN CHOOSING A DESTINATION VENUE?
"Not thinking of a Plan B, in case of unfavourable weather. There needs to be an inside space large enough for your guests, for the ceremony/cocktail/and reception meal/dance … preferably 2/3 separate areas so the ceremony and cocktail can be set at the same time in one area, and the reception meal in another.
Another thing to consider is easy access for the suppliers (width of the gates for the different trucks etc that will be delivering things), a decent kitchen for the caterers, and a walk-in fridge if possible, as often the fridges are not often large enough for all the wine/sparkling wine/beer & soft that usually needs to be refrigerated. There’s not too much space between the different parts of the day, for both the ease of the suppliers and the guests, as again this incurs extra costs."
5. WHAT ELSE SHOULD I CONSIDER FOR A DESTINATION WEDDING?
"In general, think about vaccinations (dependant on your country of choice but check with your Doctor), visa requirements, and weather for the time of year that you're planning on traveling. For where we’re located in the South of France, travel vaccines are usually not necessary. If you are coming from outside of Europe you don’t need a Visa to travel here generally.
We usually have very good weather most of the year where we are based in France, but I would say May through to the end of the September are great months to organise your destination wedding in general. Not keen on a hot Summer wedding? July & August are perhaps too hot for some, and would therefore prefer May/June or Sept."
A huge thanks to Anna Walmsley VIP Event Management and her help for our brides planning a destination wedding! If you're thinking about planning a wedding in the South of France, you can get to know Anna and her wedding planning business here and don't forget to check out all of our curated fine art wedding planners and stylists on our Vendor Guide.