7 Things Every Destination Bride Must Do

Whether you’re planning to get married on a beach in the Maldives, a castle in Italy or in a lux hotel in Dubai, planning…

Whether you’re planning to get married on a beach in the Maldives, a castle in Italy or in a lux hotel in Dubai, planning a dream destination wedding is a fun and exciting process, provided you follow the right steps. Celebrity wedding planner, Patrizia Cilli, shares her top tips for a seamless planning process.

Hire a planner

I cannot emphasize this enough. Exceptional planners offer so much more than wedding day support. They have great contacts, a clear understanding of venues and locations and are there to work behind-the-scenes so that you can enjoy your wedding day. Planning a wedding day is more than picking a location, flowers, colours, invitations and a dress, it’s negotiating discounts, dealing with last-minute emergencies and managing your bridal party and guests. A good planner is worth every penny. That said, you need to choose one that is right for you. Meet and speak with a few and don’t be afraid to ask hard questions. Not every client is right for every planner and both sides should feel comfortable working together.

Make a list of potential locations.

Many brides have a “special” place they would like to get married, but it is important to remember to consider your partner, guests and the benefits and setbacks of a locale. A remote island is a lovely idea, but there’s a good chance that items and materials will need to be shipped in which means you’ll pay more. You want to make sure the location is accessible for guests, has all of the elements you need for your “dream wedding” and that it is meaningful to both you and your partner. I advise couples to make a list of at least three places, and visit them, to compare and contrast how they are now. The right location always stands out.

Meet with every vendor and test out their service

A good planner will have a list of preferred vendors and arrange meetings, tastings and have a good sense of the service that will be provided. It is essential that couples take the time to sit with the vendors and share their likes, dislikes and expectations in order to feel comfortable. Hair and makeup trials should be done a month in advance.

Be considerate of guests

A glam event is always a lot of fun, but you want to make sure that you’re being considerate of your guests who may not have money to splurge on the five-star hotel you’ve chosen. I advise my brides to choose a less-expensive, but comfortable hotel nearby and to offer transportation to the main hotel for any pre-wedding social events. Villas and Airbnbs are also a great option.

Welcome guests in style

Arrange transportation from the airport or at least give guests very clear details on how to arrange for pick-up or rent a car. Having guests greeted with a glass of champagne as they check-in is always a lot of fun and who doesn’t enjoy walking into a room with a fun welcome bag waiting. Include items that are relevant to your location, a map, phone and room numbers, essentials such as SPF and some favourite little treats that are special to your union.

Go Local

Flying items and vendors in can take up a very large portion of your budget. Not only will using local materials and botanicals save you money, it will also make the event much more festive. Serve local delicacies at your welcome dinner, if not your wedding. Incorporate regional luxuries such as limoncello in the southern parts of Italy or oranges in Seville.

Pack Properly

Make a very clear list for every day and event you will be at the location and prepare for any setbacks. Pack items in an extra suitcase to avoid high shipping costs and always carry your wedding outfit (dress, veil, shoes) and tux on the plane.

Meet Patrizia Cilli and her wedding planning team at stand E5 this weekend. Read more on her website www.PatriziaCilli.com