stress-free destination wedding? what you need to know to make it happen!



1. Hire a local planner

Wedding planners are marvelous. They are like little fairy-godmothers that swoop in and fix things you never dreamed would need fixing. On my wedding day, I had carefully planned out all the little details. That included hand writing little seating cards for all my guests with antique playing card faces (my husband and I are Texas Hold'em players). Well, on the day of, it was really windy. So windy that all those perfectly laid out little cards blew right off the table I'd set up and ended up all over the courtyard, right as guests were arriving! My amazing planner swooped in and handed all of the cards out to each guest! I didn’t even know about the wind until the day after.


Hiring a wedding planner where you live is the first step to that stress-free, gorgeous destination wedding. You can meet them, face to face, and explain your style, your taste, the feel you’re trying to achieve, and you have the added benefit of being able to reach them during your normal day (without worrying about time-zone differences).

2. Let your planner bring along her/his crew!

Most of the wedding planners I know love bringing their own vendors with them on destination weddings. Why? Well, because they know their work, and they know they can be trusted to deliver. And they are the experts, right? So why spend all your time trying to research the perfect DJ who lives half a world away from you? Let your planner rely on people she/he knows can do the job and do it right!

I know what you’re thinking, “Sheesh! It’s a small wedding, Rachel! The plan was to save some money and still have a gorgeous day. How am I going to budget for all this vendor travel?”

Well, once you hire a local planner, they’ll fill you in on this little tip. Bringing your local vendors with you might actually be a lot less expensive than the vendors at your destination location.


When I flew out to Kauai to shoot Jenny and Dane’s wedding, yes, it was significantly less expensive to fly me out and pay my package pricing than it would have been to hire a local photographer.

But don’t take my word for it! And don’t spend hours online trying to get a feel for the people who are responsible for making your big day special. Hire an amazing local planner and let them do the work for you!


Need a place to start? Check out my Vendor Love page for some amazing ladies, right here in AZ, who can make the magic happen for you ;)

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