Whether you’re jetsetting off to a tropical island or planning to get hitched on a mountaintop, there’s no shortage of reasons to love destination weddings. We were curious about what goes into planning a truly extravagant destination affair, so we caught up with Christina Matteucci, director of destination weddings at David Beahm Design. She gave us the lowdown on how to plan a destination wedding that’s truly special.
Image: Getty Images
Some of the amazing details Christina has helped plan include importing fresh-cut flowers overseas and giving guests VIP access through international customs and immigration lines. Read on for some of Christina’s tips for planning an awe-inspiring destination wedding below!
Make your guests feel appreciated from the start (and even weeks before the wedding!)
“It’s important to honour the fact that your guests are taking precious time off to attend your wedding and that many use vacation days to travel to destination weddings. The welcome basket should reflect where they are. We like to include local items like hot sauce and fudge so guests can take home a taste of where they’ve been with them,” says Matteucci. She even suggests getting guests geared up for the wedding as soon as they receive the invitation. “We did a wedding in Tuscany where the couple had their own wine produced and sent it with the invitation. Sending something in advance gives guests a little taste of where they’re going,” says Matteucci.
Image: Leanne Handreck Photography
Carry each detail through from beginning to end
Throwing a spectacular wedding is all about showing your guests that you thought through the entire process. “For a Barbados wedding, we had escort cards handcrafted from watercolor paper. We ended up making an entire garden for the escort cards so guests could pluck their flower and take it. It was this wonderful detail that carried throughout and it’s those kinds of details that take it to the next level,” says Matteucci.
Surprise guests with the unexpected (like imported flowers!)
“If you can pull it off with your budget, bring in the unexpected that wouldn’t normally be available,” says Matteucci. For a Hollywood-glam-inspired wedding, Matteucci and her team brought in peonies and hydrangeas to the wedding’s Caribbean locale. “In the Caribbean, everyone’s used to orchids and tropical flowers like birds of paradise and ginger, but to get that heightened Hollywood glamour we brought in big, beautiful peonies and hydrangeas, which we kept cool until the last minute,” says Matteucci. All we can say is… wow!
Image: Leanne Handreck Photography
Seriously consider a travel agent
“A lot of couples try to stay away from travel agents, but I think that needs to re-evaluated in today’s destination wedding world. An agent is able to arrange amazing room blocks and can negotiate amenities that you may not have when working directly with the hotel. They can work with airlines to do seat blocks to create your own party plane and become your personal travel concierge,” says Matteucci. Some of the coolest amenities travel agents have helped arrange for Matteucci’s couples? Their very own express line through customs! “For a Barbados wedding they worked with customs and immigration and all the guests had their own line to go through directly,” says Matteucci.
Do you have any tips for planning a destination wedding, Knotties?
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