Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Consider Hiring the Professionals, They are Professionals for a Reason
Written By: Jaime Valdes-Riench, owner of Travel & Events with Style
Photo credit to: Kamp Photography: http://www.kampphotography.com

Most people are savvy enough to book a holiday by themselves on the internet and do so on a regular basis. But if you are considering a destination wedding for your day, more thought should be put into it to make it everything you dreamed, even if it is last minute. When it comes to your special day, a word to the wise would be to consider hiring the right professionals to make your day, not just memorable, but rather a full success. Hiring a travel professional, a certified destination wedding planner, a photographer, and possibly a makeup artist/hair stylist can make a destination wedding everything it should be. It is understandable that with financial trying times upon us, our instincts are to draw away from consulting with professionals and try to “do it ourselves”, but something to remember is that these professionals have taken the time to educate themselves on the very thing you want... to make a dream wedding, at a dream location, and do it on budget.

Arranging Your Destination Wedding
Travel Agents and Destination Wedding Planners:
When looking for the right professional to arrange your destination wedding, it is ideal to look for someone who can arrange your travel and your wedding. Look for a travel agent who is familiar in the type of wedding you want to book and choose a wedding planner who has the certification to arrange your details. When looking for a travel agent, find out how much experience they have. You may want to ask if they are certified destination wedding planners as well and where is their certification from. Finding one with both certifications will keep your planning moving smoothly with little back and forth. Some travel agents may not want to get involved with the actual wedding planning, but have the invaluable experience of arranging travel and accommodations for many destination weddings. Having the resource of a certified destination wedding planner in your home city can make the difference of having a wedding somewhere just far and away, to be something you never imagined possible. Their expertise is to do research to help you obtain the small details that you may not have been able to do on your own. Being able to express your wants and needs to your local wedding planner can take off stress, as they will be the ones to communicate with your chosen location. Your local wedding planner can assist with the communication through the course of the planning process and can communicate between you and the planner at the resort if there is one. You may feel deterred on hiring a professional wedding planner because of the cost, but remember, their job is to keep your wedding costs in check. They can negotiate with the resort and keep things on budget by keeping your best interests at heart. Remember, they work for you, not the resort.
Bring your own entourage. Why not bring your Wedding Planner, Photographer, and Hair Stylist/Makeup Artist to your wedding location

Wedding Planners:
By bringing along your wedding planner, you are able to have a liaison between you, the resort, and anything else your wedding may require. You will be able to spend less time making sure all the small details are being taking care of and the little extras are being done correctly. Most resorts offer their own local wedding coordinators, but these coordinators often have to arrange multiple weddings at a time throughout the week of your stay. Bringing your wedding planner will allow for the two planners to make sure all the arrangements are being done as you the couple would have wanted.

Hiring an experienced photographer locally, that can attend your destination wedding to take your wedding photos, can be the insurance you need to keep your memories for a lifetime. It does come with its price, but your photos are your memories for years to come, and something to pass down generations. Most resorts can offer to arrange a local photographer, but the quality is often unmatched to those we can trust here. By hiring someone locally, you are able to see the quality of the photographer’s work prior to the date. It is recommended that if you are whiling to bare this expense, you should look for someone who has had the opportunity to take such photographs. Ask your potential photographer if they have shot that type of climate, as each location can have different elements that can affect how the photographs should be taken. Another added bonus is that you may be able to have multiple opportunities for photo sessions. Most “trash the dress” photo shoots are taken a day or two after the wedding and you may want additional photo sessions while being on excursions during your stay. Hiring a photographer locally at the resort will not usually allow for these added bonuses. Experience over time has proven this to be worth its price and more. And to those who are considering entrusting their photo memories to their attending guests, do you really want the pictures your “Uncle Jim” with will take from his simple point and shoot camera after he has had one too many strawberry daiquiris? Are they the type of photos you will want to keep as your wedding album memories?

Hairstylist/Makeup artist:
Now this may seem like you are pushing the card, but having a hair stylist/makeup artist can really take care of the finishing touches on the bride and her wedding party’s look. Consider the elements that are involved when making yourselves up on that day. Humidity, time, maybe too may daiquiris yourself? Most brides feel that they will be able to take care of their makeup and hair, but the day comes and there is something unexpected along the line. Most resorts offer hairstyling and makeup, but remember, they don’t know you and your style. If you are considering this service at the resort, it is advised to make an appointment prior to the big day to do a trial. Once you do a trial, take a picture with your digital camera and bring it back on the wedding day. There have been cases where the same stylist is not available.

Let’s get it on paper: With all arrangements of a wedding, make sure you have all professionals under contract and make sure the contract clearly states what is expected during your time away. Another important reminder would be to clearly state what is expected of them time wise while during your trip. Have a pre-established time line on what time of day and what days you will require them for their duties on the contract. You may have paid for room and meals, but even though they are hired, they do need down time as well. If the time is stated on the contract, there is less chance of miscommunicated expectations. Remember to protect your investment! When arranging the travel for your professionals in attendance, make sure extra travel insurance has been purchased. Professionals travel with more equipment to enable them to do what they do. So a comprehensive plan will ensure that they are covered for cancellation, health, emergency, and their baggage is insured as well. Quality insurance agencies, such as RBC Travel Insurance, will even have “riders” that will cover them if there is a misconnection in flights, and they are not able to attend the wedding in time because of it.

Remember, this is your wedding, the less you have to stress about when you are away, the more time for fun and enjoyment!