Logistical questions about DWs

posted 3 years ago in Destination Weddings
Post # 2
Member
1298 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

qwerty2k1:  how far away is it from where you live currently? If driving distance, you could recruit family/wedding party to help with transporting decor. If you will be flying, if you know someone there, you could do it beforehand and ship the not too fragile things there. I would recommend if you are going to do diy arrangements to buy vases/other breakable stuff at your destination rather than risking them getting broken en route. (I.e. We found a local flower market and bought vases at dollar tree for my brother’s destination wedding)

 

I would think most photographers would likely be ok with maybe a Skype video chat or facetime.  

Post # 3
Member
1769 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

I recommend looking online at full weddings and at reviews for photographers in the area where you’ll be getting married and starting discussions to find out which photographers you like are in your budget.  We contracted with our photographer over a year out and did our engagement shoot with him at 11 months out when we were near the area where we’ll be getting married.  We absolutely LOVE our photog and wouldn’t have known that for sure and wouldn’t have known to be as comfortable with how he shoots if we hadn’t done our e-shoot with him.  I exchanged tons of emails with him and we skyped with him before contracting with him.

We visited the area where we’ll be getting married at about 14 months out and again at 4 months out.  Like you, we had mtgs set up with vendors at our earlier mtg and were able to select most of our vendors through the email screenings and meeting with most in person.  Then, at 4 months out, we did our tasting, did our walk-through of the venue with a more in-depth mtg, and met with more vendors to figure out who to contract with.

Since it’s a plane ride away, we decided not to diy most decor.  It’s just too much hassle.  I won’t stress out trying to transport anything that could easily break, be too heavy, etc.  The only things I’ve got that I’ll need to take with me in extra suitcases (and it’s still TONS) are: my dress & accessories; bridesmaid gifts; fans, shawls, slippers for guests; groomsmen’s accessories; ceremony program; welcome bag items; fabric for aisle.

Post # 4
Member
106 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Our wedding was about a 4-hour drive from where we live.  We were saving every penny for wedding and honeymoon, I managed to plan everything from afar and only have to make 2 weekend trips out there in the year before the wedding!

 

It can be done, but I found that you will have to be pretty laid back and willing to trust people (what I mean by that is, we hired our caterer, musician and our officiant before meeting them face to face.. we just talked through phone/email and I trusted them!  We hadn’t even tried our caterer before I booked them.. we just trusted the good online reviews and our interaction with them) and willing to hash out a LOT of details through email or phone.  If you want to meet all your vendors in person before booking them then you’ll probably need more trips than we did.

 

Trip #1 was to pick a venue and date.  This was about a year before the wedding.  I did a ton of research online and with phone calls, and narrowed us down to about 10 venues we visited in a weekend.  Yes, it was quite a clip!  I had already researched all the costs and had all the in-person questions I needed to ask ready to go, so that we could see each venue in an hour or less.

 

Trip #2 was to finalize local details with the venue, caterer, cake, etc.  This was about two months before the wedding.  I set up appointments with our caterer, venue, officiant, musician.  We’d already booked all of them from afar and started discussing details, so this was just our checkin – and if we had hated them I guess we could have switched at that point!  We checked out the local options for flowers and cake (we had a small wedding, so we didn’t need to special order).

One of the hardest things is managing the sheer amount of stuff you will need to bring – and stressing over forgetting any of it since you can’t run back home.  I had a Google Docs spreadsheet that literally had every box, suitcase, etc. we were bringing listed, where I listed which items were going in which box, and only checked off that boxes were “packed” when I had literally put them into the car.  My SO kind of thought I’d gone crazy at that point, but later admitted there is NO WAY we could have kept track of everything without having a list that actually said “UNDERWEAR IS IN PURPLE SUITCASE”.  LOL.

I also made a lot of decisions based on knowing we’d have to bring everything with us.  I picked our caterer partly because they had some stuff we could use for centerpieces already, I DIYed the rest but that way we didn’t need to bring it all.  I picked our venue partly because it was pretty on its own and didn’t need much extra decor, AND because we could have both ceremony and reception there, so no bringing stuff to 2 places.  Basically, any vendor that will provide or do something for you (setting up chairs, etc.) will make your planning so much easier.

Another thing I kind of worried about but worked out great was having our rehearsal dinner and caterer be the same.  Our caterer was a local restaurant, and they also had a big banquet room in the restaurant.  So…we just ordered totally different food the night before.  Since they catered at our venue I don’t think anyone even knew it was the same place.  It was delicious, convenient, and they threw in a bunch of freebies since we booked two meals with them.

Post # 5
Member
305 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

We are getting married about 4.5hours from our city.  We actually took our engagement pictures here in our own city with a photographer that my friends highly recommended.  We loved her and her pictures are flawless.  I’m actually paying her a little extra to make the 4.5 hour trip to shoot our wedding.

We made a trip up to our wedding city a few months ago and before we went up there, I scheduled for us to do our cake tasting and catering tasting while we were there.  We knocked those two out in the same day.  I picked our florist based on other reviews and weddings I had seen pictures of and I’ve been communicating with her through email.  She also happens to be my day of coordinator.

I’ve set up pretty much everything through email.  We’ve visited the venue once and I took a few pictures (there are a ton of pictures availble online if I need to reference them.).  I’m actually not doing any DIY stuff so we will just load up all of our attire etc and head up there a few days before the wedding.

Because it’s out of state, we are going to have to make another trip up there in a few months so that we can get our marriage license and so that I can do my hair & make up trip.  Again, I booked them based on other reviews and weddings that I had seen.  I will also go visit the venue with my day of planner/florist so that we can do any last minute orders and I can go over where I want her to put things and how to set everything up.

 

 

Post # 6
Member
2065 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

qwerty2k1: we had our DW in a different town for simular reasons. it is a lot of work but what isnt 😉 i set up a year in advance the church. they sqrewed it up and double booked me. so i had to change to a friday. the venue i picked backed out a month right before the wedding…. even though we had been talking and it was booked a year in advance ugg. but found a new place (and had to cater ) and it worked out. i DIYed a lot of stuff. in fact almost everything. are you flying or are you driving? we took a ferry with a friends van and i tried hard to pack everything accordingly. AND bring your glue gun and it all, in case soemthing brakes. my cake toppers glue kept coming undone so i would have to re attatch it all the time ;-P other than that everything stayed together. ferry ride was about 12 hours. in fact i made some stuff while we were staying in that town. the photographer will be fine if its a different one. i think they just recommend that so you know what you will get at your wedding. when i did transport my stuff i used a suitcase just for them. wrapped well! and my mil and sil made me boxes, one for the girls and one for the boys. so that way i stashed my DIY stuff in these lovley made boxes. 

Post # 7
Member
25 posts
Newbee

Our destination wedding will be in a few weeks.  We had planned a trip to the area with friends and then my FH and I decided we should explore venues while we were there. I researched a number of vendors and then, since we had limited time, I narrowed it down to 4 reception sites during the long weekend (but you could easily do more).  I actually found the reception site we went with on Style me Pretty.  For me, it was nice to see how the photos turned out because that is important to us.  A few weeks ago we hired a wedding planner/coordinator to tie up loose ends.  These women are magic and they have actually saved us a ton of money and stress.  They also let me ship everything to them in advance.  I wish we found them earlier.  If I could do it over, I would work with a planner in the area from the beginning. 

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