Have you and your partner been dreaming of planning a destination wedding? Maybe a tropical beach wedding somewhere in Mexico or the Caribbean. You might be picturing warm weather, white sand, and being surrounded by sweeping views of the ocean under the golden horizon. Unforgettable scenery and a gentle ocean breeze are high on your list when it comes to your wedding day experience. And you’re finally ready to start putting this dream destination wedding into planning mode!
There might already be a specific location on your list, maybe one you’ve traveled to together in the past. But here’s the thing. Planning a destination wedding for you and your guests is nothing like planning a vacation. There are an extraordinary number of moving parts that go into bringing your destination wedding to life. Needless to say, you’ll need an on-site wedding planner. One who is experienced and knows what it takes to make it happen. And if you’re thinking “yeah but…. Our resort has an on-site planner/coordinator”, we’d like to point out that the resort’s planner works for the resort. You need a planner that works for you, the couple, and has your vision and best interests at heart!
We’re breaking down 7 of the biggest reasons you need an on-site planner when planning a tropical destination wedding, in the blog below!
Still Searching for the Right Resort?
One of the most important decisions when planning a destination wedding is choosing the right resort! You might already be settled on the location, but unsure of which resort would be best for your vision. It might seem like an easy choice, but you’ll feel swamped with decisions. Which makes choosing just the right resort complicated if you don’t exactly know what you’re looking for. Or (worst case scenario) if bits of information are missing from their wedding package info or website.
Your resort selection will affect pretty much every aspect of your wedding, including lodging for you and your guests. It’s also the largest part of your wedding budget. With those two things in mind, your on-site planner can pair you with the right resort. One, that fits your specific needs and the needs of your guests!
Cut Through the Online Confusion
Google will only take you so far when planning a destination wedding. It’s true. There will come a point during wedding planning where you will hit a wall of frustration. You’ll have specific, detailed questions about your wedding day and you won’t be able to find the answer online. You’ll need to communicate with an actual human being.
Did you know that all-inclusive resorts operate their guest call line as a call center? You know what that means. You’ll speak to a different person each time you dial their number for help. Meaning each time you call you’ll have to give the new rep the rundown of your travel info and wedding day in order to get your questions answered. Working with one planner, or a planner that operates with a small team will provide you with a more personalized experience. The planner and their team will keep themselves up to date on your wedding day details and travel. Making it easy for you to reach out to them with any questions or concerns because they will make themselves available to you!
Handles Your Room Block & Guest Travel
You and your partner will not be the only ones traveling for your destination wedding. Your guests will be traveling and in need of accommodations as well. They’ll also want to be part of any pre-wedding events while having easy access to your ceremony and reception. Which means, more than likely, that you and your guests will all be staying at the same resort. Having your guests on-site with you will enhance your overall experience, but we’ll get to that a little later.
To make this as seamless as possible, you’ll need an experienced professional to set up a room block for your guests. A room block at a resort is a reservation of over 10 rooms that are held specifically for your guests. Creating a room block also comes with the benefit of a group rate which will discount the total cost of the rooms. The total room count doesn’t have to be exact at this point, a rough guess is fine. Your on-site planner will be able to negotiate the rate of your room block in addition to assisting your guests with any questions about travel or accommodations for their stay!
This will also relieve any burden on your end from constantly fielding questions, text messages, emails, and phone calls from your guests about their own personal travel needs. And if you really want to make it as easy as possible for your guests to communicate with your on-site wedding planner for your upcoming destination wedding, then you’ll need to add your planner to your Guestie event as a co-host! This will give them access to easily communicate with your guests via your personal message board!
Expertise & Experience
An on-location destination wedding planner will have previous experience planning events at the resort you’ve decided on. After all, when was the last time you planned a large-scale event, outside the country? They will know the ins and outs of what a full wedding day timeline should look like at your resort, what time the music can play until, the best option for your reception space on site (many resorts have more than one!) and to top it all off, they will have direct relationships with onsite resort staff, including the in house catering and resort day of coordinator, and accessibility to, well, just about everything!!
For example, if your resort offers the option of a beach reception, a ballroom reception, or a rooftop reception, would you know how far the restrooms are from the beach? Or the distance between the kitchen and the rooftop? Will the distance between your chosen reception space and the kitchen limit your ability to choose between a buffet dinner or a plated dinner? Or what about guests ordering drinks or guests with dietary restrictions? How efficiently will they be served in each of these locations?
All of those ins and outs that might otherwise not be known unless you work in the wedding and event industry will be key knowledge that your planner has access to!
They’ll Provide Recommendations for the Best Suited Vendors
Your on-site planner for your destination wedding will have already built working relationships with other local wedding vendors. This allows them to provide you with the best referrals for what you envision your wedding experience to be. You might find yourself looking for floral designers, officiants, chair rentals, and anything else not directly offered by the resort.
If your wedding day style is more boho chic versus traditional black tie, your planner can pair you with the right rental company that has the latest rattan seating and fringe chandeliers. Maybe an interfaith wedding ceremony is best to honor both you and your partner’s family and cultural traditions. It’ll take the work of a skilled officiant, who has experience in bringing attention to detail while blending your beliefs into your vows. Your planner will be able to provide you with a recommendation on an officiant who has worked with interfaith couples.
The needs of your wedding day will be specifically aligned with your vision. And your planner can recommend the local wedding vendors who are best suited to meet those expectations!
A huge reason why many couples choose a destination wedding is for the experience. Traveling outside of the country to a tropical destination where you will say I do and have an epic beachside honeymoon with all of your family and friends by your side, is a truly surreal experience. It’s the experience of a lifetime for you and an event and vacation that your guests will never forget. If you want to take that overall experience and enhance it even further for your guests, your on-site planner will give you the ins and outs of how it can be done!
From beachside dinners to incorporating local flavors into your drink and cuisine choices, to excursions and experiences (how badly do you want to hop on a boat!?) your planner will have all of the options and details at their fingertips, things you might not have known were even possible. They’ll help you put a premium on value and convenience while planning a wedding that will delight your family and friends. Create unforgettable memories and experiences that will all come without the stress and overwhelm of planning your destination wedding because you’ll have someone in your corner to keep everything smooth, in order and worry-free!
Additional on-site events? Easy Peasy!
Planning a tropical destination wedding at an all-inclusive resort with an experienced on-site planner comes with many perks. Many resorts will have hidden freebies that you might not otherwise find online. Like a free cocktail welcome party! Your onsite planner can clue you into what the resort has to offer as far as freebies and work with you to enhance the event to the experience you’d like to create.
For example, maybe the resort only offers up one choice of cocktail but you’d like to add on two more. Or you’d like your guests to be welcomed with a personalized welcome bag but it’s not something the resort has the ability to accommodate. Your planner can organize all of this for you! Maybe you’d like your guests to be greeted with a floral lei but the resort only offers faux florals, this is where you’re on-site destination wedding planner can use their experience to create an amazing experience!