3 Steps to Hiring the Best Destination Wedding Planner For You

Planning a destination wedding is a big undertaking as any married couple will tell you. And with full time jobs and other responsibilities, tackling another big project like your wedding is a lot.

So, hiring a destination wedding planner is a good decision for many couples. But, who do you hire?

Because not just any wedding planner will do.

Having a good experience with your wedding planner is all about choosing the right one for you.

And there are TONS of wedding planners out there! Just like there are tons of venues and photographers.

And just like venues and photographers, there are all kinds and types of wedding planners as well.

So how do you find the best destination wedding planner for you?

Step #1 – Figure Out What You Want

Elegant floral grand entrance to the wedding reception on the lawn at Calistoga Ranch by destination wedding planner Mango Muse Events
(Photo credit: Emik Nikora)

Choosing the best destination wedding planner for you is important, but you have to understand what you want first.

So take a little time with your partner to talk about what you want from your wedding planner.

Now you’ve probably never worked with a planner before, so to a degree you don’t really know what you want. And that’s ok!

You don’t need to know everything. And you won’t know everything you want from a wedding planner.

But I’m sure you have some idea of what you care about.

Or some particular skills or services you want or need.

So, that could be having a planner who responds quickly because you hate when people are slow. Or a planner who is super organized (like you) and whose planning style won’t stress you out.

It could be a planner who will be able to help you with styling and finding the right outfits. It could be a planner who understands your religious/cultural backgrounds and has extensive experience with it.

Maybe it’s a planner who has a very particular design style that you’re looking for. Or maybe it’s a planner that is non-traditional and is open and excited about doing something different.

Take some time to think about it and I’m sure you’ll come up with a little list of things you’re looking for in a planner.

Step #2 – Look Online For Clues

Once you have an idea of what you’re looking for then you can start researching. And as you look at different planners, you’ll be looking for a few different clues online.

These clues will tell you if this planner would be a good fit for you or not.

Clue #1 – The vibe of their website

Beyond seeing if they have a website (definitely need one of those!), you want to see if the website is both nice looking and functional. It might not be super updated (and that’s ok), but it should look well done and well organized style wise.

So, you should be able to find the information you need on it whether that’s services, information about them and a portfolio.

But beyond the basics and functionality, it also needs to evoke a style. In other words, branding. And that comes through with colors, graphics, photos used and wording.

All of this should give you an initial sense of who this person is, who this company is. And in turn, whether you vibe with their vibe.

Because some planners are more fun and non-traditional. Some are classic or have a very particular style (glam, wine country chic, urban, modern, etc…). Some are very buttoned up, others more loose. And the list goes on…

As I mentioned before there are all kinds of planners.

So really looking at their website will give you a good initial idea of their personality, style, services and experience.

You don’t have to like everything on their site, but you do want to feel like they’re in line with you and your style.

Which perfectly segues into clue #2…

Clue #2 – Their experience

Experience is HUGE when hiring a planner. The more experience they have, the more wisdom and knowledge you’re getting.

But you’re not just concerned with number of years they’ve been planning, you’re also concerned about the kinds of weddings they plan.

Every planner is different and every planner has a certain kind of client they’re the best fit for.

What you’re trying to see is if you are that client or not.

Do they specialize in destination weddings? Does their experience include full week or weekend weddings? Do they have experience in your location and/or experience in lots of locations?

What do their weddings look like? What do their clients sound like?

And does all of this sound along the lines of who you are and what you want?

You should be able to find most of this information on their website. But if not, take a look at their social media and/or reviews for clues.

Clue #3 – Their reviews

Reviews are always helpful no matter what you’re looking for whether that’s a restaurant, a pair of shoes or your wedding planner.

So, take a look at their reviews and not just the ones on their site.

Look at Yelp, Wedding Wire/The Knot and Google.

Read what people have to say about them and see if the things they mention are things you want in a planner.

The more you read, the more you’ll understand the person/company you’d be hiring.

If the company has multiple planners, you’ll get an idea of not only the main planner, but all the associates as well. Because the experience with one may not be the same with another. And if you know that going into it, you might be able to request someone.

Also, if you happen to be getting a referral from the venue, a friend or someone else completely, find out from them why they recommend them.

But also make sure to do your due diligence!

A referral is not always foolproof.

That planner may not be good. Or they may be great, but not a great fit for you.

Don’t assume they’re good just because someone you know said so.

Step #3 – Interview!

Newlyweds jumping for joy at their Caribbean destination wedding in Anguilla by destination wedding planner Mango Muse Events
(Photo credit: Savanah Loftus)

Your research will likely lead you to a few options. Once you have a few options you’re excited about, reach out to them.

If they don’t get back to you quickly and/or they don’t seem excited and interested in learning about you, drop them immediately.

As with hiring any wedding vendor, if the experience isn’t good from the start, it won’t get better. It will only get worse.

From the get go you have to feel supported, taken care of and listened to and that means getting a prompt and friendly response.

If the initial communication is good then it’s time to set up an interview/consultation.

And THIS is going to be real kicker.

This interview will show you if this planner is the best destination wedding planner for you or not.

Because during this conversation, you’ll immediately get a sense of their personality. And that alone can make it a yes or no.

But it’s also about the conversation itself. Are they listening and interested in learning about you? Do they understand what you want and what you’re trying to create? Do they seem to care about you and what you care about?

If so, they will be asking more questions than talking. And when it does come for the time for them to share about themselves, they’ll speak to the things you care about.

When you leave the conversation, you’ll feel excited and already less stressed.

And if that’s the case, you’ve got a winner! Yay!

Finding the best destination wedding planner for you is about finding the right fit. And that’s about finding the right person who fits your vibe, gets what you want and has the experience to do it.

Don’t settle for someone who isn’t all those things because the experience in the end will not be what you want it to be.

And it may end up being more stressful than happy. And no one wants that!

Take the the time to find the best planner for you and you’ll be happy in the end, I promise.

And if our vibe is fitting with your vibe, please reach out and let’s have a chat! We’d love to help you create your destination wedding experience.

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