Planning a simple wedding is complicated, planning a destination wedding even more so; perhaps that’s why more and more people are opting to bring destination wedding planners on board. Given their qualifications and expertise, they can be a heaven sent blessing. In addition to the other usual responsibilities of arranging a wedding, like making a wedding schedule, working within a budget, and finalizing vendors, they can also help communicate in a foreign language (if required), fulfill legal requirements and deal with the native population of the destination.
Deciding you want a wedding planner is the easy part. Hunting down a good one is slightly more difficult. However, like anything else, if you approach the search methodically, it is bound to yield better results. The very first thing to do is to decide exactly what you want in a wedding planner. Is it professional qualifications? Experience in handling high profile weddings? Innovation and Creativity? Membership with a professional body such as the Association for Wedding Professionals International, Association of Bridal Consultants, or the International Special Events Society? This will help you narrow down the search criteria considerably.
Next up – If you haven’t already done it, work out a budget for your wedding. There are hundreds of destination wedding planners out there – some specialize in small scale weddings and some are well known for their lavish arrangements. Knowing how much you are prepared to spend on your wedding will help you sift through the desirable and not-so-desirable planners.
Finally, decide how involved your wedding planner will be in the ceremony? Do you wish to entrust him/her with all the responsibilities of the affaire or only those tasks you are not up to handling yourself? Will you need his/her input right from the initial stages of the planning process or would you rather he/she come in a couple of weeks before the D-day and work from there?
Now that you have drawn up the profile of a desirable wedding planner, ask around your friends and family members for some referrals. If they know of a wedding planner they were really happy with, your search will suddenly becomes a whole lot easier. Supplement the search by turning to online sites or reputable bridal consultant associations in your neighborhood. Local directories and information boards can also yield valuable information for you.
Once you are sure you’ve exhausted all possible avenues of information, draw up a list of potential providers and arrange to meet up with them. However, as a precursor to the meeting, it’s important you check out their reputation online. The Better Business Bureau, Yelp, City Search, and Insider Pages will be able to shed some light on this aspect.
When meeting with wedding planners face to face, check their portfolios thoroughly and do not hesitate to ask them a dozen questions, if you have to. Be sure to take some references from them, so you can contact previous clients to get a feel of their overall experience with the planner.
As you can see there is plenty of work involved in locating a reliable wedding consultant. Sifting through the many destination wedding planners out there is not easy, but the hard work eventually pays off when you enjoy a picture perfect ceremony among friends and relatives.