Destination Wedding Planning: Perks and Challenges
Wedding planning is an exciting industry to work in no matter your location. You are helping people celebrate one of the happiest days of their lives! Planning a ceremony and reception is a challenging task, but it can also be very enjoyable and rewarding. For planners who specialize in destination weddings, there are even more obstacles than usual, but also more perks!
Destination Wedding planning can be a very exciting experience for the planner. You will face all of the challenges of planning a local wedding, plus some that are very unique to planning from a distance. Added factors like travel, cultural differences, and exotic venue choices simultaneously give planners more details to worry about, but also more potential to create a really great event. You can never predict exactly which challenges you’ll face, but there are definitely common things that destination wedding planners can prepare themselves for!
Challenges of Planning from a Distance
The biggest difference between planning a wedding at home and planning a destination wedding is perhaps the most obvious one; you will be organizing all of the little details from a distance! Some planners get the opportunity to visit the location beforehand, but this isn’t always the case.
As a destination wedding planner, you must be prepared for the fact that you might not see the venue or meet people like florists and caterers until you actually arrive for the wedding! The following things are some of the most common daunting (but manageable!) challenges for destination wedding planners!
Not speaking face to face
You will be organizing all of the details for the wedding from a distance. Because you can’t meet with people face to face to discuss prices and look at options, you will have to communicate very clearly!
Luckily, there are many different lines of communication that you can use. Phone, email, and video chat are the most common. Make sure you get all the details you need. Things like time changes can make people hard to get a hold of!
Not seeing venues and accommodations
You might not get to visit your wedding venues or hotel before everyone arrives for the big day! Sometimes, clients will pay to send their planner to the destination before the wedding to take a look around, but don’t count on that.
Research your venues and accommodations thoroughly, request lots of pictures, and read reviews from people who have been there. For venues, ask as many detailed questions as you can. You want to know dimensions and sizes for set up and decor, so you have at least a rough idea of the space you’re working with!
There’s a high possibility that your clients will choose a location where people speak a different language. Factor in distance, and you can see how language can be challenging!
You can hire a translator, but this is an extra cost. Perhaps a staff member at the resort speaks English and can translate for you? Maybe one of the clients or guests speaks the language and will help you? Some planners even use online services like Google Translate. This service is easy and very helpful, but remember that it’s not always the most accurate!
Coordinating travel and accommodations
Clients might ask for your help with not only planning their wedding, but also making sure everyone gets there! Some prefer to handle booking flights for themselves and their guests, but you will usually play a role in booking accommodations.
In cases where clients do request your help for flights, you will have to decide whether you are comfortable and experienced enough to do that, or whether contracting a travel agent might be best!
Offering travel services can be a great way to add a revenue stream to your business, especially if you specialize in destination weddings. If you’re interested in learning more, check out the QC Travel School for information on their travel programs.
Unique Perks of Destination Wedding Planning
Don’t let the challenges of destination wedding planning discourage you! In a job where you get to experience new places and cultures, it’s certainly not all bad!
In fact, destination wedding planning is one of the most exciting jobs in the event industry. Once you’ve organized a successful wedding in a beautiful new destination, you’ll realize how rewarding it can be! Here are just some of the great things you’ll experience as a destination wedding planner!
Visiting new places
You are traveling to the destination for work and you will be very busy while you’re there. Even so, you get to spend work hours on a tropical beach, in a historical Scottish castle, or in a park near the Eiffel Tower in Paris!
Working in these locations doesn’t mean that you won’t experience them. The wedding you’ve planned might even involve some local food or entertainment! Destination wedding planners get to travel in a way that most don’t!
Organizing unique events
Every once in a while, a wedding planner might encounter a really unique wedding. Clients might choose a cool theme, an unconventional venue, or a non-traditional style. As a destination wedding planner, you get to organize unique weddings every time!
You’re already traveling to a location very different to your home, and you’ll often get to include pieces of local culture or decor in the wedding that you plan! Incorporating your surroundings can make for a beautiful ceremony, and serving local food or hiring unique local entertainment makes for an exciting reception that they wouldn’t get to experience at home!
Networking all over the world
Every wedding planner benefits from networking. Each time you plan a wedding you meet new people and work with new vendors.
Destination wedding planners have access to a much wider network than most because they work internationally! The more experience you gain, the more you get to practice your networking skills all over the world. This is beneficial both professionally and personally!
Improving organizational skills
As you enjoy your work as a destination wedding planner, you also improve your professional skills! Because of the added pressures of distance and travel, coordinating this type of wedding takes an increased attention to detail and very high organization.
The more experienced you become at destination wedding planning, the better you will handle leadership roles in any situation. This is beneficial to you professionally and is a life skill!
What Do You Think?
Could you make a career out of wedding planning?