Destination weddings are unique, beautiful, and fun, but they also require significantly more planning than a wedding in your hometown. For example, if you choose to hire a wedding planner, you have to decide whether to hire a planner from your own area or to find an experienced wedding planner based at your destination.

There are definitely benefits to choosing a wedding planner based in the area where you live—someone recommended by a friend or family member. But, if you’re having a destination wedding, it can be incredibly helpful to have a planner who knows the area, as well as venues and vendors there. 

You may even find a wedding planner who specializes in destination weddings, and they may even have previously done wedding at your chosen locale. If they haven’t, however, their expertise may not be as helpful.

So, how do you choose the right wedding planner for your destination wedding? The choice is up to you, but there are advantages to both local and U.S.-based wedding planners.

Choosing a Wedding Planner Based in Your Region

The main benefit of choosing a planner based in your city or town is that you will get to meet them face-to-face before you start working together. Meeting a planner in person gives you a better idea of whether they will be a good fit for you and your wedding. 

Keep in mind that dealing with vendors in another country may be entirely different than working with vendors in the U.S. There are cultural and language barriers, and they may struggle to understand your exact desires or you may run into issues with things being done on time. A U.S.-based wedding planner will be more understanding of your needs and timeline and will be more likely to be on the same page with you.

The downside, however, is that a wedding planner from your area won’t have relationships with any of the vendors in your destination wedding country, so they may struggle to get responses just as much as you would on your own. 

But a U.S.-based wedding planner will be available for frequent meetings and phone calls, allowing you to iron out details in person. They can also help you with your invitations and have a more hands-on approach during your planning that an international planner would not be able to have.

Choosing a Wedding Planner Based at Your Wedding Destination

A wedding planner local to your destination will have a list of vendors to work with, as well as established relationships that will enable them to get things done more easily and perhaps even get you discounts. Instead of researching caterers, musicians, and photographers, they will have a list of possible vendors ready for you to review.

A local planner is also likely to be more inexpensive, especially because you won’t have to pay for the time they spend doing research, since their research will already be done. They also know all the best attractions and sites in their area and can recommend accommodations for your guests. Unless a U.S.-based planner has spent a significant amount of time in the country, it’s unlikely that they’ll have the same amount of knowledge.

A wedding planner based at your destination will also know all the permits you need to get married on the beach and any rules and regulations you need to be concerned about. They can even tell you if your vision is possible at your chosen venue.

When you’re choosing which wedding planner to hire, keep in mind the additional costs associated with a U.S.-based planner, like travel expenses. A local planner may fit better into your budget but won’t provide you with the frequent face-to-face time you may require. The most important thing is to decide what situation works best for both you and your partner as you plan the most important day of your lives.