5 Tips for Flawless Destination Events
By Milena Santoro, Expo Della Sposa International – Destination Italy
Destination weddings are becoming very popular. According to Huffington Post Weddings, “More than 2 million American couples wed every year and just under 25 percent plan destination I do’s”. That means almost 500,000 newly betrothed couples in the U.S have destination weddings each year, but the question is: are you tapping into that market?
If you’re a wedding planner interested in this growing market, here are some tips you should be mindful of when planning destination weddings in Europe.
- CSI Destination! Know the destination inside and out! Yes, that’s right. You should be as knowledgeable about the area as the locals. Your expertise about the destination, including its venues, vendors, hot spots, and in’s and out’s, will not only set you apart from the competition, but give you the extra insight you need to make your client’s dreams come true.
- Show me the money! What are the realistic costs involved with destination weddings? Airfare, accommodations, transportation, food & beverage – these are all important factors that will help you determine your budget and keep you on track with your wedding expenditures.
- Is that legal? Getting married in your local state can sometimes be confusing for many couples, but getting legally married in Europe is another maze in itself. Marriage requirements may vary according to the couple’s nationality and can take up to 6 to 9 months to obtain all documentation. Some couples opt to skip the red tape and bureaucracies, deciding to instead marry legally in their hometown and afterward host a blessing ceremony elsewhere. Before this happens, know the legal requirements and be prepared to inform your client couple of such procedures. I recommend you contact your local Consulate as well as the Tourist Boards for more information.
- Relationships, relationships? In other words, who are your service providers? When you’re working with a local market, you tend to work with people you like and trust, right? Well, this is no different. In order to ensure your destination planning goes as smoothly as possible, you need to make sure you are working and communicating with destination service providers. After all, you’re relying on them to execute your vision based on a mutually agreed upon contract. However, if they don’t deliver, what do you do? Who do you turn to? In this case, it’s always important to maintain your service provider relationships because at the end of the day, it’s all up to you and whoever you have on your speed dial.
- Are we speaking the same language? English is the most common international language. However, not everything translates in the same manner. Things such as event lingo, acronyms, sizes, measurements, currency, and contract vocabulary (just to name a few) may vary. Make sure you are on the same page with every verbal detail. It could mean the difference between a successful event and a “play on words”.