Are you dreaming of a Destination Wedding but just don’t even know where to start? Where would we go, how would that work and of course what might that cost? I totally get it, you’ve probably never planned a Destination Wedding before so how could you know? But don’t worry, I can help you, let me be your guide and make the process as easy as possible.
Get clear on your numbers
Planning any wedding should start with the numbers and these numbers are:
- how many people do you want to invite
- what’s your budget?
These two factors are quite heavily entwined because generally the reception is the largest expense that you have and since that’s usually a price per person then how many guests you have directly affects the total of your budget. Some couples who have loved the location so much that their budget has dictated the number of guests they invite. Other couples come to me with a clear number of guests they expect to have and then we find a location that fits within their budget for that number of guests. A good tip is to split your guest numbers into lists of ‘essential guests’ and ‘would love it if they could come’ so that you’re really clear on where your limit on numbers is. Also, get really clear about what that budget should include so break the budget down into Destination costs which would be ceremony, reception, photographer, music, flowers etc as opposed to Local costs which would be your dress (exciting!!!), suit, rings, invites, website if you’re having one etc.
Location, location, location
Once you have a clear idea of your numbers then what you need to think about next is the wedding destination. For me you should be considering a destination that is either somewhere really close to your heart or somewhere that you know is going to deliver an amazing experience both for you and for your guests. If you can find a destination that is both then you’ve hit gold. It’s also wise to consider how everyone gets there, are their regular flights from a good choice of airports and is that location going to be somewhere that your guests are happy to have a short break or better still, stay for a holiday? Lake Garda for example has flights from lots of regional airports into Verona, Milan Bergamo and Malpensa. The flights from the UK are under 2hrs and transfer time to the lake is between an hour and 2 hours depending on which airport you fly into and which resort you’re staying in. And the journey to get there doesn’t include any crazy hairpin bends which is always a plus.
Find a Wedding Planner
Once have chosen your destination and have an idea of your numbers you can start looking for a planner to make all of this happen. There are those brave enough to tackle their own destination wedding at a distance and run the whole show themselves but from my own personal experience as a destination bride it was absolute bliss to simply turn up and be told what to do. There was no stress or worry because I had someone who had my back, appointments had been made, timings set and all we needed to do was turn up. You can’t get more relaxed than that in terms of the lead up to what is always going to be an emotional moment. Remember, no matter how laid back you think you might be, when it comes to the crunch, those emotions can totally surprise you and it’s much easier to deal with if you haven’t got to sweat the small stuff.
With your wedding planner chosen and once they are informed of your guest numbers and budget they can start making suggestions to you about where you can host your wedding and what that might look like. There are things that you need to consider like what sort of ceremony you want, church, civil or symbolic, which could affect the choice of ceremony venue. Next is style. Are you looking for Italian elegance, modern chic, rustic and relaxed or a garden party vibe. These factors along with what you can spend and how many of you there will be will be how you begin to make a short list and finally a decision on your wedding venue.
Then you need a date. Now the date might already be one that you have in your head as an ideal date but until you’ve looked at the location you don’t know if it’s going to be available. The more flexible you can be with your date the easier it is to make it work. Your date should also take into consideration the month that it falls in, the busiest months here on Lake Garda are July & Aug which isn’t so much about availability because there are also plenty of hotels but you and your guests need to move quicker in order to have a choice. Then I always remind my couples of the fact that once their guests are away from their usual 9-5, somewhere warm, every day is like a weekend. So don’t fixate on a weekend, many of your guests might appreciate a Thursday wedding and the excuse then to make it a long weekend at the very least.
The extra details
Once you have a guest list, location, wedding planner and date fixed then you can get into the extra details which is where you make the day truly yours. These include but are not limited to:
Confirm legal requirements/Paperwork
Extra decorations such as lighting or tablescapes
Extra entertainment like a childrens entertainer, micro magican, caricaturist
Investigate accommodation options for guests
Compile guest information, info pack, website, welcome letter, gift bag?
Plan wedding day itinerary
Transport on the day
Your wedding planner will already have a list of tried and trusted suppliers and know how they work and idea of costs so that you can quickly and easily work out what you want to add to your day.
If you think Lake Garda might be just the place for you and your wedding then please get in touch for a free consultation so that I can show you what your Lake Garda wedding might look like.