Destination Wedding

Planning a destination wedding has all the fun of planning a local wedding, but with added travel excitement!
One of the questions that I receive most often is:  how do couples work with a travel agent for a destination wedding?
Here are the details that you need to know in how I work with engaged couples on their destination wedding:

The first step is to have a consultation.  I work with couples from all around the United States, so even if you don’t live near Southern Indiana, your consultation can be done via phone or Skype.  Many questions revolve around your ideas and your anticipated budget.  This will give both parties a better understanding of expectations.

Planning a wedding of a large size requires a contract between the engaged couple and the hotel.  There are a lot of moving parts to a destination wedding, and that requires the couple to be mindful of their financial commitment to their vendors.  A travel agent can be helpful in going over the fine details so the couple knows when deposits, subsequent payments, final payments, etc. are due.

Planning a Destination Wedding at an All-Inclusive Resort
All-inclusive resorts have on-site wedding planners.  The on-site wedding planner and the travel agent work as a team in organizing the package that the couple chooses.  The travel agent blocks out the rooms needed for the wedding party (as applicable) and can act as an intermediary for the couple with the resort.  Some couples prefer to talk directly with the on-site wedding planner, and that is perfectly fine.
Of course, the travel agent handles all of the travel arrangements for each traveler.  The fee for this service varies on the amount of guests attending.

Planning a Destination Wedding at an Off-Site Venue
What is an off-site venue?  An off-site venue is a restaurant, private beach, private home or estate, or a venue that is not at a hotel or all-inclusive resort.  In this situation, hiring a local wedding planner or a wedding planner that is very familiar with the destination is highly suggested.
The wedding planner will work directly with the couple in all the wedding details.  The travel agent arranges only the travel portion, but talks with the wedding planner often in regards to details of the wedding.  This type of planning is more complex and having local knowledge and “ears on the ground” is extremely helpful.

Destination weddings can be a great way to turn a “one-day event” into multiple days of celebration and getting to spend time with friends and family in a way that isn’t possible getting married in your hometown.

-Leah Dugan
Travel Agent at Haynie Travel
Charter Member of the Destination Wedding and Honeymoon Specialists Association