The Difference Between a Destination Wedding Travel Agent and a Destination Wedding Planner
Woah nelly, we are tackling a really big subject today. The answer to this really depends on who you ask but I have tried my best to address this (surprisingly controversial) issue in the post below! Full disclosure: I am a Destination Wedding Travel Agent AND a Destination Wedding Planner and I have clients who just hire me as their travel agent and clients who hire me to help with both. Okay, this is a big topic so I am going to dive right in!
Before I get too carried away, I wanted to let you know that we cover all of this (and so much more) in our Destination Wedding Planning Guide. If you are serious about planning a destination wedding (either by hiring a planner or DIY-ing it), it’s your one stop resource. Hope you love it as much as we do!
Hiring a Destination Wedding Travel Agent
If any of the following statements ring true to you, you may only need to hire a Destination Wedding Travel Agent.
- I want a destination wedding to save money.
- Wedding Planning seems way overrated.
- I want a destination wedding so that I can just pick a package and be done.
- Despite a potential language barrier, I definitely want to be the person communicating with the on-site coordinator. I want to make sure I have complete control.
- I want simplicity. How can I make Destination Wedding planning to be as easy as possible?
- I just want to get married on a beach with the sand in between my toes.
Does that sound familiar?
Here is what, in my opinion, you can expect from a professional Destination Wedding Travel Agent:
- Find a destination that matches your budget and wish list.
- Help Choosing A Resort that has a Wedding Package You Love.
- Save Your Date at the Resort While You Confirm your group travel.
- Negotiate a group rate so that you and your guests can book in easily.
- Virtually introduce you to the on-site wedding coordinator at the resort so you can take over the planning process directly.
Hiring a Destination Wedding Planner
If any of the following statements ring true to you, I would encourage you to hire a Destination Wedding Travel Agent and a Destination Wedding Planner (whether or not they should be the same person I go into more below).
- I don’t want a traditional beach wedding. I want a unique wedding location that wows my guests.
- Even though I could spend hours every day on Pinterest, deep down I know that I realistically do not have time.
- I know what I want but please don’t ask me to put it into words. I will know what I want when I see it.
- Can we make sure that my wedding has a lot of instagrammable moments? It sounds silly but I do think about it….
- I love those detail shots when I look at photographers. The stationary, the decor, I love seeing a million little details come together.
- Even though I am having a destination wedding, I don’t think we will have a small guest list.
- I want to have a destination wedding, but I am worried about _________________ (showing up and having everything be different, family drama the day of, miscommunications, guests needing assistance in destination, etc).
Does that sound more like what you are expecting?
Here are the types of services you can expect from a Destination Wedding Planner
(and please note, these vary WIDELY, between planners and different planning packages).
- Research & Booking a destination and a ceremony and reception venue (either on site or off site where guests will be staying).
- Provide a detailed budget breakdown based on your wedding vision. Throughout the planning process, your Destination Wedding Planner will try and keep your budget on track, making you very aware of any new decisions and their impact on your wedding budget.
- Research & Booking any and all outside vendors such as decor teams, photographers, videographers, caterers, etc depending on the venue.
- On-site coordination the day off. Most destination wedding planners will require that they be there the day off to ensure that your plans are executed perfectly.
- Assistance planning additional events: welcome cocktails, rehearsal dinner, morning after brunch, a group excursion. Planning a destination wedding is more than “just” the day of. It is about creating a memorable experience for your guests from the moment they arrive at your destination.
Who Should You Hire?
Hopefully the above check points start to give you an idea of the type of Destination Wedding Professional you need to hire. Now, should you hire someone who offers both travel agent and wedding planning services together? Or should you keep them separate? I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer to this. Of course, because I offer both services, I do believe you can hire someone who does both and have an amazing experience. However, I do completely appreciate the advantages of both.
Hiring one person: If you really trust your destination wedding contact, and you really feel like they understand what you are looking for, it may be a lot easier to trust them to do both! Assuming you have done your research and really connect with who you hire, this can work perfectly. The main advantage is that you have one point of contact and your one point of contact will no exactly what is going on both with your guests & travel booking and your wedding. One phone call and you can have questions about either answered.
Keeping your Destination Wedding Travel Agent and Destination Wedding Planner Separate: Although I absolutely love planning destination weddings, I have also seen amazing weddings come to life when I have the privilege of working with a separate Destination Wedding Planner. The main advantage to keeping the two vendors separate is that you may find it easier to keep everything organized! Although you need to make sure your travel agent and planner will communicate well together, as long as you are hiring two professionals, I really don’t think you will have a problem.
Are you planning a Destination Wedding right now?
If you want more information, I would LOVE for you to take a second to fill out the form below so I can get in touch and we can start to connect and see if I would be the right Destination Wedding Travel Agent and/or Destination Wedding Planner for you. Let’s dive in!
PS: none of the fields are required by the way, but the more specific you are, the more helpful I can be right out of the gate.