Destination Wedding Site Visit – When To Go and What To Do

Destination Weddings by Mango Muse Events

As you’re starting to plan your destination wedding one of the things you should be thinking about is making a site visit.  If you’re wondering what a site visit is, it’s a trip out to your destination location.  I highly recommend making a site visit if you can do it.  It will give you a chance to see and do things in person.  Most things you can take care of over phone and email.  But, there are some particular things that are just so much better to do in person.

Now if you can’t make a trip out for a site visit, that’s ok.  You’ll just have to be clear on what you want and communicate that.  But, if you’re planning on heading to your destination location, there are two things you should consider – when to go and what to do when you go.

WHEN TO GO ON A SITE VISIT

So, when should you schedule a site visit?

If you can make only one trip out you should go at one of these two times:

1. In the beginning to pick out your venue

2. After you’ve picked out your venue and when you’re ready for your tasting

The reason is because your venue is one of your biggie items. So, if you need to see it in order to make a decision, you should go in the beginning.  If that isn’t necessary, then you should go later when you can set up a tasting.  If you can make two trips out (or multiple trips), I’d highly suggest setting it up for the two timeframes I listed above.

WHAT TO DO ON A SITE VISIT

The key with your site visit (or visits) is to try to group meetings and tasks together.  You don’t need to do everything on these site visits, but you want it to be productive.  Take care of everything that is helpful to do in person and that makes sense in terms of where you are in your planning.

Here’s what you should do in the first timeframe:

1. Check out venues*

2. Look at hotels for your guests to stay at*

3. Check out vendors for your other activities and events*

4. Research any other travel needs

Here’s what you should do in the second timeframe:

1. Catering and dessert tastings*

2. Hair and makeup trials*

3. Meet with any other visual vendors like a florist, photographer and/or rental and lighting company

4. Research any welcome gift ideas

Now if you aren’t doing two site visits, you’d lump what you can into one. Remember, you should be focused on the items that are necessary or easier to do in person.  The items that are starred are the ones you should definitely try to do.  The rest are nice to do, but aren’t as necessary. And any other vendors and items not on list are just gravy.  While you want your site visit to be productive, don’t overdo it.  Schedule what makes sense for you at the time and what you can handle.  And give yourself a little play time.  That’s research too!

Site visit photo of Beaulieu Garden, a wedding venue for a Napa destination wedding

Are you planning your wedding and feeling overwhelmed? You’re not quite sure what you should be doing or if what you’re doing is right. Does this sound familiar? We understand and we want to help you! Get our free cheat sheet, 7 steps to planning a destination wedding on your own, without losing your mind. It’s totally free and will give you the steps to help you plan your wedding.

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