When should I start planning my destination wedding?

Start planning 12+ month ahead, this will give ample time to allow for thorough research and the best pricing, your guests adequate time to plan and save for the trip.

What does a pre-planning timeline look like when working with a specialist like you?

Typically, initial consultations are dependent on your availability and I can work as quickly as you can. After an initial consultation and agreement with initial deposit have been made, the timeframe I like to work with is 4 weeks for pre-planning (this includes securing the date, location, venue and guest list)

1 - 2 Weeks

  • Research on best options

  • Obtain rates (including group) and wedding availability

  • Negotiations on pricing and bonuses available

  • You should prepare:

    • Emails and guest list for evites

    • A few pictures for the website/evites

    • A short, personalized introductory paragraph for your website

    • Decide how you would like to be addressed on evites, and on the website

2 - 3 Weeks

  • Selection of proposal with the best option (s) for your group travel package

  • You should know: we will normally have about 1-2 weeks validity period for the pricing to confirm the rate, at which time, we will place down the deposit for the package, and for the wedding itself.

3 - 4 Weeks

  • Website is prepared

  • Evites are prepared and sent out

4 Weeks on

  • Guests start to confirm

  • The wedding planning can begin

What on-site destination wedding support is included in my contract?

Every client will receive a detailed contract on what is included with their package for Wedding Day Direction, Destination or Full Wedding Coordination services. I will also include and create a personalized website and evites for your day.

How are vendors selected?

I always endeavour to benefit my client and not myself. Vendors are suggested on merit, in the best interests of the client, not myself or the vendor suggested. 

What type of ongoing communication will I receive?

We will make every effort to return calls and emails in a timely manner (within 1 business day.). 

Can you guarantee the perfect wedding experience?

As it is with anything in life I cannot guarantee your wedding will be perfect, but I can guarantee I will do everything within my power to make sure it is as close to perfection as it can be. As an active member of ACTA and WPIC, I adhere to a comprehensive Code of Ethics to help your trip run as smoothly as possible. Please reach out if you would like more information.

When do you recommend developing a budget?

A budget early on is a must for any wedding; preferably this is one of the first things you will do. In the excitement of getting engaged, and wedding planning, it might be way down on your list of priorities; but without a clear idea of what you have to spend and what you want to spend it on, things can easily get out of control. Making a list of “must haves” can help determine how to allocate your budget, and won’t leave you short of funds for something that is truly important to you.

What should I think about when planning my guest list?

While it can be expected that not as many guests will attend a destination wedding, this is no longer the rule. With the tremendous increase in popularity of destination weddings over recent years, more and more people anticipate the possibility of being invited to them. Being “pretty sure” Uncle Joe won’t attend is by no means a guarantee. You’ll want to compile a guest list only with people that you want to attend, and that you can afford should 100% of the list say ‘yes’.

What are some of the benefits when booking a group?

Here are some of the benefits available with group bookings:

  • Upgrades

  • Future travel vouchers

  • Bonuses based on room nights booked as a group

  • Early booking and early booking discounts

  • Flexible group deposits

  • Ease of Guest management

  • Avoidance of Overbooking/guests moved to another resort

When is an extension trip or Honeymoon a good idea?

Always! If budget allows, stay on (or switch hotels) for a few days to a week after your guests return home. Trust me (as a former destination bride), you will need it. While everyone is there, even though you’re having a great time, you’re spending a lot of energy and time keeping all your guests happy. You’ll definitely want some downtime after, to relax and enjoy being a newlywed.

Why is insurance important for my destination wedding?

I cannot stress enough the importance of both travel insurance and wedding insurance. Of course no one expects having to cancel their wedding, or for anything to go wrong, but insurance exists to cover unforeseeable events. Your destination wedding is an investment, and you should protect it.

What makes a destination wedding truly impactful?

One of the reasons you’re getting married away from home is to enjoy what the destination has to offer, right? Consider incorporating local wedding traditions, food, or décor into your wedding. Also think about sourcing what you can locally, for anything from favours to photographers. Most destinations have a wealth of great vendors, and you will be giving back to the local economy, while truly impressing your guests.

What party favour should I consider?

It is a lovely idea to present guests with a gift for attending your destination wedding (and a thank you card is a must!), but it needn’t contain everything but the kitchen sink. While personalized tumblers, hangover kits, sunglasses, and beach balls, etc. are cute, perhaps not every guest will use them and will feel inclined to take them home. Consider alternatives like a handwritten note paired with a bottle of wine and a nice beach bag, or book an excursion for everyone to enjoy together.

Is DIY a good idea?

I love seeing cute new ideas for DIY wedding projects, and yes, they can be a great way to save. For a destination wedding however, there are a few additional considerations. Will you have to ship the items or pay excess baggage fees to get them there? Will the venue charge a setup fee? When comparing the prices of the local decor vendor and a DIY project, you need to consider the total cost of the project, and it’s safe arrival to your wedding, not just the materials.

What should I consider when creating an itinerary for my guests?

Create your week itinerary with a mix of events and downtime. Having too many planned activities will not allow for guests to enjoy some leisure time making the most of their holiday. Whereas having none could make them feel less welcome. Make sure all guests receive the schedule, so everyone knows where they need to be and when.

What should I keep in mind about destination weddings in general?

This is imperative for any wedding, but even more so for a destination wedding. Yes, travel can be unpredictable. Yes, planning a wedding long distance does take extra patience. Keep the big picture in mind and don’t lose sleep over a 20-minute schedule change or the resort taking a few days to respond to emails.

Why is it invaluable to work with an expert?

Working with a consultant who specializes in destination weddings will take away the guesswork and stress; I have done this before, and know what to expect and how to handle anything that gets off track. You’ll also want to partner with someone you get along with; you will be working together for a long time and the process should be enjoyable.

Why is working with a partner of Escapes preferential?

Find out for yourself why Escapes is incredible!