Destination Weddings: Planning Your Site Visits

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The One-trip Plan

When to go: 8 to 10 months out
How long to stay: At least 3 days
What to do: Pick your place
  • Pick your location ASAP. Do your homework before you go and visit no more than three venues. Try to make the final decision by the end of the first day.
  • Check out various ceremony and reception spots at the time of day you'll be using them.
  • Plan to meet with as many vendors as possible – prioritize the vendors your care most (make the planner a must) – and handle the rest from afar on recommendations.
  • Meet every person on the priorities who will have a managing role in your wedding: the wedding planner, the site coordinator, the chef, and the general manager are musts. Having a face to put with an email address can simplify communication.
  • Use your experience as a "first-time guest" to uncover the things your guests may need to make their time more enjoyable. Scope out any potential problems (difficulty tracking down cabs at the airport, for example) and out finding solutions for them on your to-do list.

The Two-trip Plan

Refer to the one-trip plan, and then for trip number two:
When to go: 3 to 4 months out
How long to stay: A long weekend
What to do: Get down the details
  • Visit your property.
  • Check out the ceremony and reception spots at the time of day you'll be using them. Do a run-through and make sure you are happy with the locations.
  • Have your caterer/reception manager show you what your tables will look like with linens and place settings.
  • Do a tasting.
  • Request a trial centerpiece from your florist.
  • Collect any local items for your welcome bags. Bring any decorations or supplies to the resort that you want the manager to store for you until the wedding.

The Three-trip Plan

Refer to the one-trip and two-trip plans, and then for trip number three:
When to go: 1 to 2 months out
How long to stay: Two days
What to do: Refine the details
  • Make any last-minute decisions
  • Walk through the room where you'll be spending your wedding night and make any special requests.
  • Bring any remaining supplies or decorations to the resort.
  • Test-drive hair and makeup

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