Should your destination wedding planner be UK based? Or should you use someone who is locally based to your wedding venue? In this blog post I will talk honestly about the pros and cons of both options. But ultimately, I firmly believe that your entire wedding planning journey will be much better if you work with a destination wedding planner who is UK based.
Destination Wedding Planning Skills
In my opinion, planning a destination wedding requires additional skills and experience to planning a wedding locally. If you work with a UK Wedding Planner who specialises in destination weddings, he or she will have all of the skills and experience that are specific to destination weddings. On the other hand, working with a local wedding planner doesn’t necessarily guarantee that he or she will understand the specifics of all that is involved. For example, bringing all of your guests from overseas and the additional issues that you need to consider, particularly if you also want to bring some of your suppliers from home.
Of course it’s true to say that a local planner speaks the language (which won’t necessarily be true of a UK based planner), but in my experience this has NEVER been a barrier or an issue. It’s common knowledge that Europeans learn English at school and I rarely come across any supplier who is not able to speak to me in English. And on the odd occasion where it’s necessary, I hire an interpreter. But in all honesty, I have had to do this only once in my entire destination wedding planning career
It is also true to say that a local planner will have a much more established relationship with their local suppliers. After all, they will be working with them on a much more regular basis. When I first started out as a destination wedding planner, I was concerned that this might be an issue. But I have built a network of absolutely incredible suppliers overseas and always find them to be extremely helpful and co-operative if I am trying to source someone new.
Ease of Communication
Turning the language and supplier issues around; you should consider that if you work with a UK Wedding Planner for your destination wedding, you will benefit from ease of communication. It allows for a more interactive and involved planning process, with regular face to face meetings as required (with an overseas planner it will be all via email). As a result, the service which will much more personal and bespoke (as I call it – “a hug, not a handshake”). So it means that you don’t have to worry about the language or supplier issues.
UK based planning items
A UK destination wedding planner will help you with items that an overseas planner would not necessarily become involved with such as guest list management, travel and hotel arrangements, invitations and event day stationery.
I always advise my couples that if they are planning a destination wedding, they should try to embrace at least some of the local customs. But equally it is important that you blend these with those of your own which are important to you. A local planner will of course be more knowledgeable about the local customs, but if you use a UK Wedding Planner for your Destination Wedding, he or she will be extremely helpful in designing your wedding to incorporate both cultures.
European Wedding Planners typically work on a different basis to UK Wedding Planner, particularly those, like myself, who are a member of the UK Alliance of Wedding Planners. As a member of UKAWP, my service (and fee structure) is totally transparent and subject to a strict code of conduct which requires me to refuse commission payments. In Europe, commission payments are the norm, so despite a potentially lower “headline” planning fee, it could end up costing you more for your wedding in overall terms and you won’t necessarily get the best suppliers, but instead the suppliers who pay the best commissions to planners.
An Luxury Destination Wedding planned by a UK Wedding Planner
Finally, I would love you to take a look at a recent Italian destination wedding I planned for a London based Jewish couple. If you watch this short, 3 minute video, you will see how we planned a Jewish ceremony, with both British and Italian traditions incorporated. The level of detail that we went into to plan this wedding, including bringing a band from the UK, plus hair and make up, would have been much more difficult if I had not been local to the bride and groom. We were able to have regular face to face meetings throughout the planning process and the entire planning journey was stress free and enjoyable. Click here to watch the video.
So, in summary, I would strongly advise that if your planning a luxury destination wedding, you use a UK wedding planner for your destination wedding.
If you would like to find out more about working with a UK wedding planner for your destination wedding, please get in touch. You can contact me by email, by phone on + 44 7734 976459 or by heading over to the contact page on my website.
All of the weddings featured in this blog post were planned, designed and co-ordinated by Elegante by Michelle J.
Photography by David Bastianoni
This blog post follows on from my recent post with some top tips for starting to plan your wedding. Hopefully, by now you will have decided on the type of wedding that you want, the number of guests and the budget. For help with this stage, check my previous blog post here.