If you are thinking of getting married abroad, using a wedding planner to help you plan your wedding could be one of the best decisions you make!
I think many couples initially feel that using a wedding planner may be too expensive and will increase their wedding budget. However, the feedback I always hear from couples is that using a wedding planner actually helped them save money on their wedding abroad.
Destination wedding co-ordinators aim to help you create a unique wedding that will reflect your individual styles and personalities. They work with the philosophy that every couple is different therefore no wedding should be the same.
Wedding planners are individuals or small companies who specialise in tailor made weddings for couples planning to get married abroad.
Most wedding planners abroad operate in a specific country or a specific region within a country giving them the advantage of knowing a particular area very well.
A wedding planner will take the time to personally get to know you, understand the type of wedding you would like, make recommendations and organise your wedding according to your wishes. You can have as much or as little involvement as you would like in the planning of your wedding.
Wedding planners also offer additional services such as organising extra activities and celebrations around your wedding. They can organise things such as sight seeing trips of the local area, wine and cheese tasting and post wedding lunches.
Many wedding planners abroad charge a flat fee which is usually determined by the number of guests you have at your wedding. The advantage of a flat fee structure is you know the wedding planner’s costs upfront and any discounts or savings they secure from suppliers on your behalf you will be passed onto you and not taken as commission by themselves.
Other wedding planners abroad will charge you a percentage of the total cost of your wedding. If your wedding costs £10,000 they may for example, charge you a 20% fee making their total cost £2000.
Most wedding planners will also charge travel and accommodation costs if they need to travel to your wedding destination.
Caroline & James used a wedding planner to organise their wedding in Italy and wouldn’t have done it any other way.
Not only did the service they provide go above and beyond their expectations but using a wedding planner actually helped them save money. In hindsight they said they could have organised their wedding themselves but it wouldn’t have been enjoyable. Both Caroline & James highly recommend using a wedding planner, particularly in Italy where the legal requirements can be quite intricate, and wedding planners know exactly what is needed.
As Caroline commented, “all that needs to happen is for one piece of paperwork to be incomplete and the wedding can’t take place, so it’s an essential aspect to get right. It also means that there is someone on site to liaise with your suppliers for you in person, rather than having to struggle to do it yourself over the phone and in a different language. Also, it’s easy to forget that overseas traditions are different, so your idea of something is likely to be different to theirs. A planner acts as a useful interpreter for these things”.
Wedding planners abroad may be the best choice if:
- You would like to have a unique wedding abroad that reflects your individual styles and personalities
- You would like to be involved in the decision making processes but not involved with the hands on planning of your wedding abroad
- You do not feel you would have the time or skills to organise a wedding abroad
- You would feel uncomfortable negotiating with suppliers in a foreign country
The benefits of using a wedding planner abroad:
- Your wedding abroad will be tailor made not a package style wedding
- They have vital local knowledge and can make recommendations on appropriate venues and suppliers according to your taste and preferences
- They will have developed strong working relationships with a variety of top quality local suppliers ensuring you will get excellent service and value for money
- They will save you time and effort planning your wedding
- They will take care of the legalities and paperwork ensuring your wedding is legal
- They will work with you to create the wedding of your dreams
- They will ensure your day runs smoothly and according to plan
The downsides of using a wedding planner abroad:
- Their fees may increase your wedding budget
- You will be giving away some control in the planning of your wedding
I asked some top wedding planners who specialise in planning weddings abroad the following…“How can couples have a great working relationship with their wedding planner and what can they do to help make their day more successful?”
Take some time to read their exclusive insider tips as I truly believe it will be to your advantage if you know what wedding planners abroad go through when planning a wedding and what you can do to help them make your day a success.
If you do decide to use a wedding planner abroad:
- Ask to see testimonials of weddings they have planned or if you can contact previous clients
- Find out exactly what they will organise for you. If there is anything extra you would like organised will this increase their fee?
- Ensure they will take care of the legalities and paperwork for getting married abroad.
- Determine if they have a set list of venues and suppliers they work with. Often this can be an advantage as they will use them because of their high standards and reliability. However, see how flexible they are in researching new venues and suppliers if you are not happy with their recommendations.
- Understand their fee structure. Determine if they receive commissions from booking with certain venues or suppliers. You want to be sure they are using them because of their excellence and not because they stand to make extra money.
- Find out if there is a total amount you need to spend on your wedding before they will organise it. Some Wedding Planners will only plan your wedding if it costs over a certain amount.
- Ask for a sample budget. Determine if you will be given the option to choose from different priced suppliers, e.g. do they use high and low end suppliers?
- Ask how many weddings they organise for the same day or weekend. If they are a small company it is better to have someone solely dedicated to your wedding.
- Ask if they will be on site co-ordinating your wedding day. If so, will this be an extra charge?