Using a Wedding Planner to organise your wedding abroad:
In the past, wedding planners tended to work with the travel trade but more and more are marketing their services directly to brides-to-be.
The expertise and experience of wedding planners can vary considerably. Make sure you get exactly the service you are looking for by following our tips below.
If you decide to go down this route, you have the choice of either employing a UK based wedding planner or one in the country you are marrying in.
Hiring a UK wedding planner:
Good British based wedding planners, especially those organising weddings abroad, are few and far between. The reputable ones tend to specialise in one country or region that they know intimately.
This means they will be able to provide the kind of local information, advice and contacts that you will be wanting and can bridge language issues.
The beauty of hiring a planner in the UK is of course that you will be able to meet them personally and establish a one-to-one relationship from day one.
Hiring a wedding planner abroad:
Foreign wedding planners will know the region intimately and should be able to negotiate top deals for you. But references are crucial as you're unlikely to be able to meet them before the wedding.
Pros of hiring a wedding planner:
* Wedding planners are particularly useful if there are language issues and if you want a wedding that is held at more than one venue (eg local church and separate marquee/ hall reception).
* Hiring a planner should take most of the stress out of the organization with a pre-existing network of local contacts at their disposal.
* A planner will take care of all the wedding paperwork for you.
* A good planner will be happy to field queries from wedding guests too.
Cons of hiring a wedding planner:
* Cost – although in theory a planner can also help you save by negotiating better deals with local suppliers.
Costs vary between each planner depending on how much you want them to organise – from simple event co-ordination on the day to overseeing every detail.
* Some resorts won’t allow independent planners as they feel they know their venue and facilities better.
* There is no well-established industry regulator so word of mouth will always be a better indicator of past performance. Or see our recommendations.
Tips for hiring a wedding planner:
* Before you employ a planner, check whether the resort where you are holding your wedding has a dedicated planner in-house. Many do, even the smaller hotels.
* Ask the venue you have booked for recommendations.
* Get references – don’t be embarrassed to ask (a good planner will offer them).
* Get a written breakdown of costs, including payment options. Be wary of any company that asks for a significant portion upfront. Don't forget to factor in variations in exchange rates if you're planning over a number of months.
* Look at how many weddings they have organised in the past and if any resemble the kind of look and feel you are after.
* Read the small print!