Destination Weddings are becoming more and more popular for Australian Brides, but with the exotic location, cheaper price-tag (often) and unique venue comes a whole new set of logistics. We spoke with the team from Botanica Weddings to get their six ‘must-knows’ that can help you avoid a potential destination Wedding disaster.
1. Bring on the Budget
The average Bride can expect to run over budget by almost $30,000 (2015 Cost of Love survey), so one of the biggest concerns with destination Weddings is sticking to the original budget. This can be tricky, because without guidance from a planner, the destination Wedding couple can come across many overseas hidden costs, like tax fees and tips. A Wedding planner will ensure you get the best rates for every part of your Wedding, from the flowers to the venue.
If you’re looking at an overseas venue, Botanica Weddings recommend that you check the level of English. They explain, “With a Wedding, unambiguous communication is everything and so much can get lost in translation. For example, a supplier asked one Bride, ‘So, no videographer, yes?’ And she said, ‘Yes I do want one’. All the supplier heard was a confirmation that she didn’t want one, so no one showed up on the day.” In ultra-polite societies like Bali, if someone is not clear on something, they can tend to try and second guess you, rather than double-check and ask you outright.
3. Don’t Necessarily DIY
The first thing Brides ask themselves when trying to keep to a budget is ‘which parts of the Wedding can I DIY?’ However, with destination Weddings, Botanica Weddings suggests that DIY might not be a great idea, “We’ve heard all the horror stories, from the Bride who organised her own guest transport and ended up losing all the guests, causing the Wedding to run two-hours late, to the couple who couldn’t get Married because the chapel forgot to organise the services of a civil registrant and the reception where the wine ran out before the main course was served; if you don’t have a professional managing and overseeing the Wedding, it can mean Big Day disaster.”.
4. Have Someone on the Ground
It’s more than likely that the Bride-to-Be won’t be able to travel back and forth to her destination multiple times before the Wedding, which can make it difficult to organise and liaise with suppliers. From taking measurements, listening to a million different Wedding band options and doing site tours of venues, often all while trying to communicate in a foreign language, it’s bound to get stressful, so having a Wedding planner or a local assistant on the ground will be a serious life-saver.
5. Choose a Planner Carefully
Botanica Weddings advise that destination Brides should avoid hiring solo operators who haven’t yet developed a reputation, especially when planning an overseas ceremony. They explain, “In poorly regulated countries, it is not unknown for planners to just disappear, taking all the payments with them. Make sure the company you work with has a full-time back up planner as well and request some recent genuine testimonials.”
6. In-House Isn’t Always Best
Many overseas venues offer an in-house Wedding planner and Brides just assume that this will suffice as their overall planner. Botanica Weddings advise, “The job of an in-house planner who’s based in a hotel or resort is to fill rooms, so they will never be as proactive or unbiased in running your Wedding smoothly and economically as an independent planning team.” Once you’ve decided not to do it all yourself, how do you choose who to entrust with what is potentially the most important day of your life? Register here to receive your FREE exclusive copy of Botanica Weddings EBOOK ‘Will you be a Bridezilla or a Bridechilla? The 7 Questions To Ask Your Wedding Organiser Before You Book.”
Images from Terralogical, Studio Impressions and Playback Studios.