Everything to Know About Hiring a Destination Wedding Planner

May 2, 2024 | kailey

Image by Helopixel.

Planning a wedding is tough, but imagine doing it from thousands of miles away. Bringing a destination wedding to life comes with its own unique set of challenges. With all that added distance, narrowing down venue options or assembling your dream team of vendors can be difficult. Luckily, you don’t have to do it alone. Hiring a destination wedding planner can easily prevent these inevitable hurdles you’ll face.

Having a local wedding professional on your team is key to a stress-free celebration anywhere in the world. Not only can they make game-changing recommendations, but they’ll also fill in any gaps you’re unable to address from far away. From expected costs to where to start your vendor search, we’re covering everything you need to know about hiring a destination wedding planner. 

Why Should You Hire a Destination Wedding Planner?

Hiring local wedding vendors comes with many benefits. With valuable experience planning weddings in a specific area, they’ll likely be able to provide a list of trusted vendors and venue recommendations based on your wedding style and budget. They’ll also be able to provide guidance on logistical details like necessary permits, marriage license requirements, etc. 

From the early planning stages to the day of coordination, investing in a local wedding planner will put your mind at ease every step of the way. 

Recommended reading: Everything You Need to Know About Hiring Your Wedding Vendors

How Much Does a Destination Wedding Planner Cost?

Before meeting with potential wedding planners, you’ll want to decide on a budget you’re comfortable with. Start by researching vendor prices specifically in your wedding location. This will give you an idea of what this number will look like and will help you avoid underestimating your wedding expenses

The cost will inevitably vary depending on location, event size, chosen package, experience, and so much more. On average, couples should expect to spend between $2,000 and $5,000. It’s a good rule of thumb to reserve around 20% of your overall budget to cover wedding planner costs. 

Image by Mary Costa. 

How to Find a Destination Wedding Planner

1. Do Your Research

Finding a destination wedding planner requires a lot of research. While you can rely solely on recommendations or referrals, we suggest taking matters into your own hands. If you’ve already done a Google search and find yourself burnt out jumping from website to website, turn to social media. 

Instagram and Pinterest are both visual search engines that can help you narrow down your wedding planner options. On Instagram, use hashtags to find wedding planners in your desired area. Planning a wedding in Scotland? Search #scotlandweddingplanner. Of course, this will be specific to your wedding location. For those who already have a venue in mind, the location tags will be a valuable tool in helping find vendors with experience in their dream space.

While these are all great options, they do require a lot of time—something not all wedding-planning couples have. If this sounds familiar, we have great news: all the work has already been done for you. To help save time scrolling endlessly, check out our vendor directory, which is filled with highly vetted, Junebug-approved vendors from all over the world.

2. Create a List  

Depending on your wedding location, there are likely hundreds, if not thousands, of planners available. So, after researching all of your options, create a list of those who caught your eye most. On top of experience, here are a few more things to keep in mind when creating your list of destination wedding planners: 

  • Do they have a large portfolio where you’re able to view their previous work?
  • Do they have experience planning events that are similar to what you envision?
  • Are reviews from previous clients predominantly positive?  
  • Do they offer flexible package options that’ll provide you with exactly what you’re looking for? 
  • Do they work with vendors I would be interested in working with? 

3. Check Availability, Pricing, and Package Options

Request more information after compiling a list of those you’re interested in working with. Often, planners will have a ‘contact me’ page on their website asking specifics about your wedding, like the date, budget, guest count, and theme. This will give them a general idea of what information to send your way. 

If they are available on your wedding day, they will often send you a new inquiry form with a planning guide that includes their services and pricing. Sit down with your partner and review these together, choosing up to two planners to schedule consultations with. 

Image by The Ferros.

4. Schedule a Consultation 

Scheduling an initial consultation with the planners you’re interested in hiring will give you a chance to discuss your wedding vision, ask any questions you may have, and get an overall feeling of what it’s like to work with them. The goal is to leave feeling comfortable and confident—that’s when you’ll know a planner is the right fit for your special day. 

5. Sign Contracts and Pay Deposits 

After you’ve put in the time, done the research, and completed your initial consultation, you’ll need to narrow your options to one. For some, this process is incredibly difficult. Just remember to trust your gut. 

Then it’s to sign your contract and pay any required deposits. Keep in mind that your contract is a legal form that states everything from payments to deliverables. It’s important to read through your contract carefully to protect yourself in the long run. So, before you sign on that dotted line, look for these five things

Hiring a wedding planner is necessary for a smooth and stress-free planning process, whether a local or destination celebration. If you’re convinced, kick off your search by checking out the best wedding planners from all over the world in our vendor directory. With a Junebug planner and our ultimate destination wedding planning guide handy, you’ll have everything you need to bring your dream wedding to life.

Image by Keani Bakula. See more of this real wedding here.

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