Destination weddings: who to hire locally and who to fly in?


Wedding 101
Tips for Brides

The phenomenon of play is local: that is, while the phenomenon of play is universal, the experience of play is intrinsically tied to location and culture. ― Mary Flanagan, 

Local vendors are often a go-to choice when couples are planning their wedding ceremonies and receptions in Greece, and we know it since we’ve been a destination wedding photographer in Greece for more than 20 years. As the “shop local” movement grows in popularity, weddings present a prime opportunity to embrace this movement. If you’re planning on getting married overseas, finding the right team of vendors can be overwhelming. You might find yourself weighing up the benefits of hiring local vendors versus bringing in an international team to help bring your wedding into reality. So where do you start?

In this blogpost we’ll be giving couples an idea of:

  • Why hiring local vendors is important
  • Who they should fly in and who to hire locally

Couples may have different ideas regarding where to tie the knot, but local vendors can be hired regardless of geography. There is no denying that we live in a very international society these days and as destination weddings and elopements become increasingly popular, so does the number of vendors offering to travel halfway around the globe to be a part of a couple’s big day. It may come as no surprise that destination weddings require more coordination than local weddings. Paying close attention to detail is critical because not only are you planning an event from afar, you are also likely to be hosting multiple events over the course of the wedding weekend, not just the ceremony and reception. The good news is, destination wedding vendors can help you with just that.

Wedding vendors to hire locally:

  • Wedding Planner
  • Wedding Photographer/Videographer
  • Florist
  • Wedding Cake designer
  • Caterer
  • Band/ Local Musicians
  • Makeup Artist/Hairstylist

Why you should be hiring locally?

They Know the Location

Local vendors will be familiar with the area and possibly even the location where the wedding will be held. Whilst I don’t believe that a vendor needs to have worked at a particular location before to do a great job, having local knowledge is a bonus. Local vendors love acting as tour guides for their couples and sharing their insider knowledge for their home turf. That can help couples avoid having to give directions, discuss venue protocols, and handle other tasks that must be worked out with non-local vendors. Local vendors often know some of the best locations and will know about any special permissions or permits that might be required to go there. For example, as a wedding photographer in Greece, we are familiar with plenty of wedding venues and we know all of the best places to get shots. Also, local vendors may have preexisting relationships with venue representatives that could ensure wedding day operations go smoothly.

They Know about Contracts

By hiring local vendors, you’ll get the benefit of all of their local contacts. Destination wedding planners who work with local suppliers regularly will often be able to get better deals, and should something unfortunate happen leading up to the event, they’ll probably have several people they can call on to help out. Local vendors can meet with brides and grooms more readily throughout the planning process, making things less stressful for the happy couple. This also makes it easier to drop off deposits, attend meetings, make fitting appointments, or attend styling sessions.

They Know the Language

Of course, this isn’t limited to just local vendors, as you don’t need to be local to somewhere to speak the language. But having vendors that speak both English and the local language can be a big help, both running up to your wedding and on the day.

Traveling light

Couples who travel for their weddings and employ local vendors will not have to pack as much. Using local vendors eliminates the need to bring along bulky dresses, decorative items, flowers, and much more. Plus, couples needn’t pay to transport and house vendors brought along from back home. Working with local vendors often translates into getting more personalized service and attention than mass retailers or merchants can provide. Going local when choosing wedding vendors is an increasingly popular choice among couples about to tie the knot.

Food for thought: Take a look at Kim and Kevin’s stunning wedding in Santorini!

Now we’ve talked more about why hiring local vendors, let’s talk about more of the wedding vendors and details you should be flying in when having a destination wedding.

Wedding dress and Bridal Accessories

Visiting wedding dress boutiques is usually one of the highlights of the planning and preparation of a wedding. Finding a wedding dress is hard and we highly advise brides to bring their wedding dress from home where they have the time and options to try. Of course, you can find a wedding dress at the location of your destination wedding if you’re able to travel to it beforehand. Our tips? When you get fitted for your dress, let your alterations team know your exact day of travel. By doing this you’re giving the team enough time to work on your gown since most of the alterations done to wedding gowns are by hand. It’s stressful enough when things take longer than expected for in-town weddings, you don’t want to risk any hiccups when you’re 1,000 miles away from your alteration team. Also, Use a Good Garment Bag. Not much can happen to a dress when it’s being driven from the store to the venue 30 minutes away, that’s why many brides don’t stress over the garment bag their dress is kept in. Flights, multiple days of car travel, or shipping your dress, however, opens a whole world of possible moisture and dirt. If your gown is taking a trip, you want to make sure you have a high-quality garment bag that will protect it from anything and everything the dress might encounter on its way to your destination. Same with the dress, we’re advising brides to fly in their wedding accessories and shoes. It’s important to have all your important details taken care of from home

Food for thought: Check out our wedding dress guide and wedding accessories guide!

Graphic Designers

Although you can find beautiful stationery all over the world and even fly it in from abroad, we believe that if you have a stationer you trust back home don’t think it twice. Wedding invitations will travel from your home town to all your guests and you can take any other stationery-related items with you!

We believe that when you’re having a destination wedding, traveling light and effortlessly is key to the experience. After all, a wedding like this is all about relaxing, taking some days off and experience the new country as wholly as possible! Why not make the most of your destination wedding location by shopping locally, planing locally, and supporting the local communities?

Looking for a destination wedding photographer in Greece to capture your nuptials? We’ll be glad to do the honors! Contact us or schedule your call!


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