If you’re a bride or groom to be (or perhaps have just watched too many rom-coms) you might have spent a little time wondering what working as a wedding consultant is actually like. Is it a life of boundless romantic moments, smooches, violins and doves? Or is it composed of stress, shouting, and more outlandish demands than Mariah Carey’s rider?
Taking time out of her busy schedule, we sat down with our wedding consultant Stephanie Methven for a cuppa to talk destination weddings and what it’s really like in the world of a wedding consultant.
If you’re planning your own destination wedding or thinking about it, you might pick up some invaluable tips and get a little insight on what planning a wedding is really like.
The Lowdown on Destination Weddings
What are a couple of misconceptions that couples often have in regards to destination weddings?
A lot of clients believe that destination weddings are unachievable because of the expense. I totally appreciate where their concerns come from, so I try to put them at ease where I can. Then I get other couples that worry about the language barrier or not being able to have a religious wedding. None of this is the case, so the sooner I can talk to them, the better.
What are the pros and cons of getting married abroad?
Ok, where do I begin? The pros are that you get to customise your wedding to your exact style, it’s an opportunity for a family holiday, you’ll have an international team by your side, you can bring as much alcohol as you want and the weather is more on your side. I could go on, but those are just some of my main reasons.
The cons are that some family might not be able to afford the costs, you’ll have to travel back and forth to the venue and you won’t have the same control you would if the wedding was back home.
In all honesty, how complicated is it to get the paperwork to get married abroad?
Not complicated at all. You can find out more here.
Is it possible to have a budget-friendly, beautiful destination wedding?
A resounding yes from me. I’ve consulted for weddings of all budgets and it’s absolutely possible.
What do you think brides & grooms tend to overlook or regret in the wedding organisation?
The biggest is definitely not visiting the venue. It is an extra expense of a destination wedding but you have to do it – no ifs, no buts. The second is that couples tend to overlook having a professional team. There is so much work that goes into a destination wedding, that you need a team of experts working alongside you.
Stephanie’s Top 5 Tips…
Picking the right venue. Is like buying a house; you’ll need support from a wedding consultant, but more importantly, you’ll need to see a selection of venues. Having a shortlist is great because you can have plan a, b and c. Make a weekend of the viewings which is always incredibly fun and always trust your gut.
Deciding on the right theme. Most of my clients already know the theme before they speak to me.
Picking the photographer. Do your homework! There are so many wedding photographers, it’s a minefield to know who to pick. Look at their portfolios, qualifications and testimonials. Experience is paramount. Once you’ve made your final pick, it’s important to meet them in person a few times to discuss your vision. Afterall, your wedding photographer should blend into the wedding just like everything else.
The food and drinks. Make sure you taste EVERYTHING! From the wines to the petit fours – try everything to make sure your palate agrees with the flavours.
On the day itself. In an ideal world, you would wake up without a single worry. But that just isn’t going to happen (sorry). But in the midst of the madness, remember to stop and take a deep breath and soak it all in. The day will come and go – so be sure to remember all the little details that you can’t capture on film.
Why did you become a wedding consultant and how long have you been at Oliver’s Travels?
I actually started with a career in photojournalism and I was lucky enough to work with celebs like Keira Knightley and Jennifer Anniston. During that time I also worked as a wedding photographer, which gave me plenty of insight into the nuts and bolts to what really goes behind the scenes of a wedding.
When it comes to consulting, it’s something I think I’ve had in me from an early age. I always felt I could connect people together from high school onwards, putting people together or connecting actors to agents, that sort of thing. I combined my love of the two almost 10 years ago and I’ve been here ever since.
What is the best part of your job?
Getting feedback from my brides and grooms is such a dream. Knowing that they’re strolling around on weekends, visiting and falling in love with the properties I’ve recommended is something money can’t buy. When you think about it, I have a pretty beautiful job.
What are your favourite wedding properties?
What are your favourite honeymoon destinations?
I personally love anywhere with a beach. Bali to Ibiza, Jamaica to the South of France, as long as my toes are firmly planted in the sand, with a cold glass of champers in hand, I’m happy.
What’s your ultimate advice for anyone looking to get married abroad?
Regardless of budget, time of year, capacity etc, there will be a venue to match. Just make sure to do more research than you think you’ll need; talk to friends and family, read wedding blogs and start a conversation with industry experts and bloggers.
Hopefully, you’ll now have a slightly better idea of the ins and outs of destination weddings and how Stephanie can help you plan your perfect wedding day! If you’d like to get in touch with her for an informal chat on how she can help you, email her on firstname.lastname@example.org.