destination weddings

Consider a Maine wedding venueThis entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.

There are only a few necessities when it comes to planning a wedding these days. Almost all elements of a wedding are completely optional, but the one key choice that must be made when planning your nuptials is the choice of wedding venue. If you don’t have a dream location in mind from the start, finding the perfect spot to say I do! can be challenging.

Here in Maine, there are so many different kinds of wedding venues to consider, and they all offer their own set of advantages and disadvantages. Take it from us here at French’s Point Estate, finding the right venue takes time and patience. To help you in your venue search, here are a few helpful tips for finding just the right spot for your wedding.

Talk to your intended about wedding planning

Talk To Your Intended About Your Ideal Wedding Venue

Before you ask your family and friends for input on what kind of a wedding experience they think you should have, head to your favorite restaurant or bar and have a heart-to-heart discussion with your love about wedding venue. Compare your vision of the experience you’ll be offering your guests, discuss your priorities, define the geographical regions to be considered, establish a rough guest list size, and determine a budget for this event before you do anything else. This will help you stay true to what you want for this experience, help you save time, help make your search far more focused, and allow you to both participate in the process as you can find a venue the suits you as a couple!

Talk To Your Friends And Read Reviews

Chances are, someone you know was married recently or maybe you recently attended a wedding.  Ask friends and family for the names of locations that they have experience with or know about. There is nothing better than first-hand knowledge from someone you trust when making a choice like this. The next best thing is to get feedback from other couples that have been married at the venues you’re interested in. Take the time to read real reviews from past couples.

Work with your wedding planner

Talk to Wedding Planners

Once you have narrowed in on your choice of preferred geography and have a sense of your vision, budget and priorities, reach out to a wedding planner for help. A regional wedding planner has excellent knowledge of the available options in a location, especially if you are not familiar with the landscape.  Experienced planners can make easy work of the wedding venue search. Some planners like Heather Cuzzi of Maine-based Cairn Events offer the wedding venue search as a stand-alone service, so you don’t have to commit to a full planning contract if you are unsure of the location and date for your event.  In Maine, we have an incredible community of Maine-based wedding planners you can use as a resource to start your search.

Examine sales materials

Review Sales Materials

Take the time to review the website and read the emails and documents you receive from the venues you inquire with before you schedule tours. You may save time and energy if you avoid exploring options that do not align with your needs, vision, and budget.

Schedule Calls

Before you schedule a tour of venues you have interest in, schedule a call to talk with the sales office for these venues you are considering. This is a wonderful way to determine if your expectations and needs can be met by a venue. If a venue is slow to reply to your emails and calls, will they provide you with the attention and service you deserve on your wedding day? Are they willing to invest time getting to know you and do they care about your vision for your celebration? Do they offer the capacity you need for your wedding event, rain or shine? Do you have good chemistry with the person you are communicating with?

These considerations will all be important on your wedding day if you choose to work with this venue.

Examine wedding venues

Make a Short List

Make a short list of two to four venues and take the time to tour them in person, if you are able.  If you have family or friends in the region being considered, and you can’t tour yourself, ask them to visit for you. At French’s Point, many of our couples reserve our venue sight-unseen. They can do so with confidence after viewing our virtual tours, website, checking out our Pinterest boards, and talking with us.

Send out save the date cards

Reserve your Date

Once you have found the right location, don’t delay! Book your date so you send out save-the-date notices, and so your guests have time to make their travel plans to join you. You can enjoy a good selection of available vendors for the rest of your vendor team if you book your venue early.

There is a perfect wedding venue for every couple. Now that you have the tools to find your perfect fit, we know you will enjoy the experience.

Looking for a convenient way to finance your dream wedding? Consider a honeymoon registry from Honeyfund.

Author Bio:

Jessika Brooks-Brewer, is the owner of French’s Point, a beautiful oceanfront estate located on the coast of Maine. She strives to assist her couples in crafting memorable, meaningful celebrations that mirror their vision of the experience they wish to create for family and friends to enjoy with them. When she’s not working with couples, she is working with the Maine wedding community in an effort to connect business owners with resources to help strengthen those businesses, to provide better experiences for couples and promote growth and opportunity for Maine as a domestic destination wedding region.

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Planning a destination wedding

This entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.

When planning a wedding abroad, one thing to keep in mind is that it is going to be harder to control every aspect of your wedding day than if you would plan your wedding at the chapel next door. Two good things you can do are get an independent wedding planner who knows the location and have him or her do the organization on location and find a wedding photographer you like.

Why Find An Independent Wedding Planner

Why an independent wedding planner? Simply because he or she is not paid by a certain resort and is not going to tell you anything you like to hear just to get you book that certain resort. Of course, you will have to trust this person; it is a good idea to wisely select a wedding planner who you are going to let plan your wedding. The upside is that you have one person who you trust and is on location and who will give his or her best to get the day the way you want it.

One problem of not being there in person all the time is that certain things have to be decided only by imagining how they might be or become. For example,  you get an image of a flower arrangement and you want it just like that, but you can not see-touch-feel the flowers right away. So it always helps to have someone you can trust on location when it comes to makiong decisions.

Wedding in Camp de Majorca

Considerations When Choosing Your Wedding Photographer

While this it true for decoration, flowers, table arrangements, etc., different rules apply for photographers. As the photography of your big day is going to be the lasting memory of all the effort you put into planning that day, and all the emotional moments that will happen, only trusting other people’s opinion will not do the job. With photography, it is very much about how well the photographer and the client can connect. Especially with wedding photography, where it comes to capturing intimate moments full of true love, you don’t want to have somebody close to you who you just can’t stand. The key to truly emotional shots is that you feel comfortable with the photographer.

You can tell if a bride felt happy in every single picture by simply looking into her face.

So just booking the resort’s standard photographer because they say he or she is good most of the time will not make you happy. It’s all about building trust. You should ask yourself is: What happens if the photographer loses a memory card? Who is responsible for that? The resort? The photographer you don’t even know the name of? And if you can not answer these questions are you willing to trust somebody you do not even know?

As you can see, selecting the right photographer is a very important decision to make and for that it is important that you, first of all, like the images that a certain photographer takes. Because it might be lots of fun to shoot with a certain photographer but if the results are not good, it won’t help either.

Wedding at Grand Tirolia Golf & Ski Resort Kitzbuhel

Pros and Cons of Booking a Local Photographer at Your Wedding Destination

When you work together with a wedding planner you already trust, you can certainly ask for an host recommendation and then check out their website, blog, and whatever you can find to get an impression of what the work of this photographer looks like. By taking a look at the website, you might already get an impression of the photographer itself. Is there anything personal about him or her on the page? How old is he? What does he or she like or is passionate about? Do you think it might be a good fit?

If you have a good feeling and like the work, the next step would be to get in contact. Maybe you can do a phone call or even better do a Skype session so you can see each other, get a better feeling, and check out if you might be a perfect fit or not. Of course this it not easy over distance, considering different time zones, etc. but modern technologies like FaceTime or Skype have made this process so much easier. So if a photographer is not willing to do a video call with you – they might not be the right one for you. Think about how you are going to talk about the final images, maybe an album, prints, etc. afterward. If you don’t have a good feeling while communicating beforehand it might not get better later.

Wedding in Tyrol

Why Not Bring Your Preferred Photographer From Home to Your Wedding Destination

Another possibility you should definitely consider is taking a local photographer from where you usually live with you. A big advantage of this scenario is that you are able to build up trust rather easily. You can visit the photographer at his studio, talk about your expectations, get a feeling for each other, take a look at recent work in albums, see-touch-feel everything right away before you make a buying decision. The downside to this might be additional costs like traveling fees and accommodation for the photographer.

Depending on your wedding location, this could also be an advantage due to different price levels. For example, if you are from Europe and you are going to marry in New York, you might save a serious amount of money by bringing your own photographer of choice. So if you already found a photographer whose work you love, you feel comfortable with and who can assure you to be professional and flexible enough to shoot at a location he or she has never been before, it might be the best idea to stick with him or her and talk about the travel costs.

Wedding in Philadelphia

One more thing to consider when planning a destination wedding is that this is a once in your lifetime opportunity to generate unforgettable images. You decided to have your wedding at an outstanding location that is special and means something to you. There are possibly hundred sof small things that all contribute to the perfect overall look and feel. So, with that in mind you might consider having a second photographer booked for your special event.

A big advantage is that one photographer can document the getting ready of the bride and the second one can be with the groom. In addition to that, at every single step of your way to the altar, at the ceremony, the beach, wherever, two lenses see more than one. So this is a unique opportunity to capture more moments, more emotions and more unforgettable memories on your perfect day. You chose to have a perfect wedding at a special location, so complement that with enough potential to capture all these wonderful moments that you prepared.

Finance your destination wedding trip with Honeyfund honeymoon registry.

Wedding at St Anton & St Christoph Arlberg

BIO: Article by Nina Hintringer Photography, Nina Hintringer Photography is an Austria-based, internationally experienced husband and wife wedding photography team with a passion for details. We – Nina and Phil – love weddings all over the world! We have traveled to the United States, Mallorca, Dubai, Italy, Switzerland and Germany to name just a view countries, but we also have captured beautiful destination weddings from international couples celebrating their big day in our home country Austria. We are happy to create images that tell the complete story with all the emotions of such a unique day from beginning to end. So let us create your personal fairy tale together!

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