How to Plan a Destination Wedding Without a Site Visit

If you’re planning a destination wedding, one of the most important things you’ll be doing is a site visit.

Because it gives you a chance to see, touch, taste, hear and smell everything.

Since you don’t live in the area, it’s your chance to really experience the destination, the venue and your vendors in person.

But, what if you can’t afford a site visit?

Taking an additional trip out to your destination isn’t always feasible.

Perhaps you just don’t have the funds to make the trip. Or you can’t get the time off of work. Or both!

What do you do then?

Site visits are super helpful, but if you can’t make a trip out, here are some tips to help you plan from afar.

5 Tips to Plan a Destination Wedding Without a Site Visit

Tip #1 – Photos and videos are your best friends

One of the best tools you have to help you plan your destination wedding are photo and video.

Because one of the biggest reasons to go on a site visit is to literally see the venue. You want to see the spaces, the flow, and what the layout looks like.

If you can’t go in person, photos and a video walking you through the space is going to be key.

You can get a lot from a video. It’s not the same, but it’s close.

And you can even have your venue coordinator Facetime with you while they’re walking around so you can ask questions.

Photos will also help when you’re discussing ideas with your other vendors like your hair/makeup artist, your caterer, your florist, etc…

And while you’ll likely be sharing photos initially, you’ll want to rely heavily on those images in order to help communicate what you want.

Tip #2 – Have a video meeting with each vendor

Red tulips and dahlia centerpiece at a fall Sonoma wedding by destination wedding planner, Mango Muse Events, creator of Passport to Joy online wedding planning course
(Photo credit: Chrisman Studios)

Since you won’t be able to meet your vendors in person you’ll not only want to do a virtual meeting, but a video one.

This allows you to actually see them and not just talk to them. It adds another dimension and gives you a better sense of who they are and what they can do.

It also allows them to be able to show you things. That could be an album, a centerpiece, or a piece of furniture.

It will make you feel more comfortable making a decision on who to work with because you had the closest thing to an in person meeting.

Tip #3 – Rely on recommendations

Strawberry rhubarb crostata at a wedding dessert bar by destination wedding planner Mango Muse Events creator of Passport to Joy online wedding planning course
(Photo credit: Bustle and Twine)

Another big part of a site visit is doing a tasting. But, since you won’t be making a trip out, you’ll have to finalize your menu a bit blind.

To create a menu with the greatest success, have an idea of what you want and then ask for recommendations.

Like every restaurant, every caterer (or venue) has dishes that are better than others. Things that are crowd pleasers.

You’ll want to find out what those are and see if they fit with what you’re looking for. Then create your menu based on that information.

Another way to go about it is to have someone else do the tasting for you.

If you have a friend or relative who lives in the area or is traveling to the area and can taste the menu for you, utilize that option.

Then you can get their recommendations to help finalize your menu.

Tip #4 – Arrive early to try things out

Bride getting her hair and makeup done at her destination wedding in Hawaii by destination wedding planner Mango Muse Events creator of Passport to Joy, the step by step online wedding planning program
(Photo credit: Day 7 Photography)

I always highly recommend that you plan to arrive at your destination early in order to take care of any last wedding things before your guests arrive.

But, if you didn’t do a site visit, you’ll definitely want to arrive early so you have the time to try things out.

Just because you’ve picked your vendors and finalized your menu, doesn’t mean you can’t still make some final tweaks.

Arriving early means you can do a walk through at the venue. It means you can do a hair and makeup trial. It means you can do a menu tasting.

You’ll need to have your plans in place already, but these meetings will allow you to make sure the decisions you made were right.

And if not, it gives you a chance to make any last tweaks.

Like a change in your hairstyle. Or an adjustment to the sauce for the fish. Or a slight orientation change for your ceremony setup.

These are all things you can still do in person even though it’s only a few days before your wedding. And doing so will make you feel confident for the big day.

Tip #5 – Get help from a destination wedding planner

Yes, you’re working on a budget. And you may not have the funds for a full time wedding planner.

But, that doesn’t mean you can’t still get help.

Utilizing the knowledge, experience and contacts from a destination wedding planner will not only save you time, but money.

And make up for the fact that you couldn’t make a trip out.

Considering hiring one for a few select tasks like vendor recommendations or consulting hours. Or you can utilize all my insider tips and pro advice in the Passport to Joy program.

Either way, you’ll make destination wedding planning much easier on yourself. And it won’t be such a big deal that you couldn’t make a trip out.

Not everyone can make a trip out to their destination for a site visit. If that’s you, utilize these 5 tips to help you plan your destination wedding.

It will make it easier on you and make you feel more confident in your decisions.

Are you planning your wedding and feeling overwhelmed?

You’re not quite sure what you should be doing or if what you’re doing is right? Does this sound familiar?  

We understand and we want to help make wedding planning easier and happier.

And here’s how you can get started: Take the wedding quiz and find out if one of the three common pitfalls is holding you back or causing unnecessary stress.

Take the free wedding quiz to learn your #1 wedding pitfall and how to overcome it and get your Passport to Joy

So you can enjoy your engagement and also keep all your hair.

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