(Closed) Where to start?! Lots of questions for you experienced DW ladies!

posted 6 years ago in Destination Weddings
Post # 3
Member
1941 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

First of all, I think it’s great that you and your Fiance are trying to keep the trip even for both sides of friends / family, that’s awesome! Onto your questions …..

As far as the states you listed, as someone totally unbiased having never visited any of them, Colorado sounds the most romantic to me for some reason. I think Colorado wedding and think of THIS. I mean, how can you not love that?

Since it’s going to be a destination location for everyone, I think you should do Save-The-Date Cards. If it’s something you don’t want to do for budget reasons, consider signing up for emails from vistaprint. I literally got our STD postcards for free. Well, almost. I did pay for (discounted!) shipping, then postage to mail them out.

As far as the hotel block, I’m not the right person to ask about that. We have such a small amount of people flying in, and their preferences for what they want in a hotel vary so much, I just posted info for the 3 nearest hotels on our wedding website. The cheapest, the nicest, and then one in between, that way there was something for everyone.

I highly recommend booking a “Vendor Week” trip, just know that it has the potential for being a double edged sword. It’s amazing to be able to visit everyone all in one week. You might not necessarily book everything, but getting to see it all in person for me was great, and then the booking can be done via phone or email. However, I will say that it was overwhelming for us. We visited 7 different venue locations in three days!

You’ll most likely have to make a minimum of two trips, so keep that in mind. One to visit vendors, and then another for your menu and cake tasting. We’ve had a lot more trips than that, but our venue is only 6 hours away. Had we needed to, I think we could have made it all happen in only 2 visits.

The only vendors we booked without actually meeting were friends, so I don’t think that counts. The only two that I think you absolutely have to visit are venue and bakery; however, had our photographer, videographer, and DJ not been friends, we would have met in person, because that’s just my personal preference!

Oh, and I strongly urge you to consider venues that are all inclusive. Having a Destination Wedding myself, I don’t think I personally could have mentally handled two different locations for the ceremony and the reception, along with the travel, set up and tear down required for both. My head just hurts thinking about it!

Wow, I didn’t mean to write a book lol! Anyways, you can PM me at anytime if you have questions or want me to elaborate on anything 😀

Post # 4
Member
1406 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

We live overseas but had a Destination Wedding in Vegas.  Everyone thought we were going to be married by Elvis too.  We had a beautiful chapel, did a Vegas strip photo tour which everyone loved, and then had a suite reception with a view of the strip.  That was what did it for everyone….the views were amazing.  Everyone said our wedding was one of the best they’d been to b/c it was different but they felt like “rockstars”.  

We didn’t have the money or the time to make a 20 hour flight there to check things out so I pretty much did everything online.  Lots of research…emails, phone calls, and reading reviews.  I had NO issues with any of my vendors at all.  

Save-The-Date Cards went out about 6 months ahead of time even though most knew the date/location.  We got married 11 months after the proposal but we wound up moving to another country within a month of our engagement.  So trying to find a place to live, getting our stuff, etc. took up a lot of time and I couldn’t think of wedding planning until about 7 months before.

PM me if you have other questions.

Post # 6
Member
8738 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2011

Dh and I had our wedding in Maine. I was planning from NYC and Darling Husband was in the UK for the 6 months before the wedding.

We took probably 3 trips up there. 

First trip was 1 year out to pick our venue and see what flowers were in bloom that time of year.

2nd trip was over Christmas (DH’s mom lived there) and we met with several photographers, went to pick out linens, met with our graphic designer for invitations/STDs,  and worked on our menu. We also looked at some hotels in the area and set up hotel blocks.

We sent Save-The-Date Cards out in February (for a late September wedding) and sent invitations around the 1st of August (with an RSVP date of the 15th of August). 

Our third trip was in April and my parents came as well. That is when we did our tasting, met with the florist, walked around the ceremony & reception locations to show my parents. We me with our day of coordinator and worked on ideas for our Out of Town bags as well as other paper products. 

 

I then was able to spend most of the month of the wedding up in Maine with my Mother-In-Law. So I went and saw a wedding set up at our venue, met with the lighting guy, and helped assemble Out of Town bags. 

I probably went up there more than necessary, but it was nice to have the time to spend up there as it made me more comfortable.

We did a few things for our guests that I think they really liked:

1) Everyone got welcome bags with water, snacks, and a little note about all the events that weekend.

2) We sent a welcome letter about 2 weeks before the wedding telling people what to pack, things to do in the area, etc

3) Everyone was invited to the rehearsal dinner and day after brunch

4) We had our website up with area and hotel info before we sent out STD so early bookers could book early if they wanted to.

Feel free to PM me if you have any more questions.

Post # 7
Member
90 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

 My wedding was a bit different but I thought I could give some you some helpful tips/things to consider.

I can’t help with invites. After we got engaged we made it clear to everyone that we would be having a Destination Wedding so we had a big engagement parry. After that we decided just to have our parents and my best friend and her Fiance. 

We chose the destination and I did all of my planning online/via email. We went through a travel agent who gave resort suggestions. I chose a resort and they did up itinerary that included flights, accommodation and the wedding package.

The resort manager pretty much took care of all the wedding planning. We emailed back and forth A LOT!!! She made sure I was very comfortable with what would be happening and helped with photographer and MUA/Hairstylist suggestions.

It’s a risk to not be able to check out the venue/photographer/MUA and there were a few things that weren’t ‘fabulous’ but to be perfectly honest I have no regrets! I didn’t even get to pick my flowers and only gave the ppl colour ideas! They were gorgeous!!! I did a trial with my own hairdresser and took photos of what I wanted. I also took my own eye shadow and lipstick choices. I had my nails done before I left. The photographer gave us a a disc with unedited photos so we choose to print whichever we want. We also had it filmed and we are having a reception/party in few weeks to celebrate. The food and cake were beautiful. (People often get great food at restaurants without taste testing so please don’t stress able that too much)

The planning via email was stressful..at times. However, I found having no control over some things forced me to just let it go and relax. It felt more about ‘us’ than the details.

Best of luck – it will be amazing to be on a weddingmoon with your family and friends 🙂

Post # 9
Member
1941 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

@cirk:  of course, I’m happy to help!! Our venue was a country club; we had the ceremony outside, cocktail hour outside a little off from where the ceremony was, then right around sunset we moved inside for the reception. The super nice thing about using a country club was that we used their in house caterer, didn’t have to rent tables, chairs, etc, so it REALLY cut down on our vendors to keep in contact with! I strongly recommend going with an all inclusive place, especially if you’re planning from out of town. PM me *anytime* if you have any kind of questions – I definitely don’t mind talking about our wedding lol ;-D

Post # 10
Member
942 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

Choose your destination and accommodations first and then find a coordinator in the area. We have a coordinator for our Destination Wedding in Greece and she has been a god-send. Some resorts or big hotel chains have on site coordinators, otherwise you can hire event planners independently. Ask the Hotel management if they can recommend any. Ours gave us an up-front quote (xxxx€) and we paid xxx€ deposit then 30% at 6 months before and the balance 1 month before. Quote included all celebrant fees, license, location fees, photographer, musicians, cake, flowers etc. they usually just ‘package’ everything you want for you making life so much easier! I just chose flowers, photographers etc told them what I wanted and they sent me a price. Changed a few things along the way but no dramas

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