Destination Weddings Require Talent, Travel, and Time
Many successful wedding planner careers begin in the hospitality business, but planning destination weddings sometimes starts creatively, by providing wedding design services for outdoor weddings, including beach weddings, resort weddings, and other popular wedding destinations in the USA and abroad. Honeymoon destinations are easily enough arranged. But producing destination weddings for sophisticated clients where wedding coordinator duties may include foreign diplomacy requires talent, temperament, and a love of travel, traits not shared by everyone starting a wedding planning business. Arriving at wedding destinations on time depends on airline schedules. The weather for beach weddings doesn’t always cooperate. Even at expensive resort weddings, wedding reception halls can be impersonal, requiring a designer’s intervention when planning a wedding with individuality. And destination weddings aren’t for every couple’s wedding budget. While some wedding destinations provide coordination services as part of their package, couples who book their own honeymoon destinations find that they need help from professional wedding planners when four-day destination weddings reach a certain size. After all, getting married is supposed to be fun, and planning a wedding checklist for 50 weekend guests is hard work. International destination wedding event planning careers seem glamorous, but there’s a reason most destination wedding event planner jobs occur closer to home.
Distant Wedding Destinations Take Extra Planning and Experience
Resort weddings and beach weddings are hot wedding trends for creative straight couples and gay marriage celebrations. So learning how to be a wedding consultant and becoming a wedding planner definitely means knowing how to make honeymoon destinations work for weddings too. But building your wedding planning career on destination weddings alone is a risky proposition. Distant wedding destinations present challenges that certified wedding planners describe as ‘every local problem you’ve ever encountered, times 10.’ The destination wedding timeline is longer. The wedding checklist is more detailed. There are more moving parts, more unexpected expenses, and more unwelcome exposure when things go wrong. Experience is the best preparation. That’s why working as an assistant on destination wedding jobs is recommended for those just getting started. Any wedding planning course should provide instruction on how to plan resort weddings with precision. But for beach weddings, weddings abroad, and exotic wedding destinations, expect the unexpected and plan for the unplanned. Inside information from an enterprising event designer with years of destination wedding experience will help you prepare.
Course Video Tutorial: ’An International Event Designer Teaches Destination Weddings I’ (30:45)
Dominic Mitchell, an international event designer and destination wedding expert, is one of the the founders of Raj Tents, a luxury tenting and event décor company based in Los Angeles, where Dominic and his business partner, Maurice Walsh, create unique visual environments for the entertainment industry. Born in Croatia, reared on the Indian subcontinent, and married in Romania, Dominic was introduced to the wedding business in England, where his father retired from a distinguished career as a British cultural diplomat. Dominic’s signature style reflects his international upbringing, mirroring the magic of India in vivid color, lighting, and décor that have been featured by most major wedding magazines. In this course video tutorial, Dominic teaches Members how to market, plan, and produce destination weddings anywhere. He also gives Members a behind-the-scenes look as his busy crew sets up for an exclusive event at the Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay, where Dominic is spotlighted against the dramatic backdrop of breaking waves and the setting sun. The tutorial is the first in a two-part series.
Learn 12 essential elements of planning resort weddings, beach weddings, and distant destination weddings:
- What defines a destination wedding?
- What kinds of clients prefer destination weddings and why?
- How to evaluate the costs and benefits of destination weddings for your clients
- Who pays for what when the time comes?
- Why resorts offer basic wedding coordination services for free
- Why most couples need their own wedding planner
- When to bring your own vendors to a distant wedding destination
- How to prepare for your destination wedding debut
- How to gauge clients’ capacity before investing time in writing your proposal
- The smartest $500 you’ll ever spend at a client’s wedding
- Why you should visit the venue and follow up frequently to optimize outcomes
- Why catering and other wedding specialties are common paths to professional careers in wedding planning