International Wedding Planner or Local Wedding Planner – Which Should You Choose?

January 10, 2022

International Wedding Planner vs Local Planners

If you’ve set your wanderlust hearts on getting married abroad, you might be seeking some assistance with wedding planning. Broadly speaking, you have two options; an international wedding planner, or a local planner…but which one should you opt for? I believe that irrespective of their geographical location, the most important factor is hiring a planner whose values, approach and style are aligned to yours. However, there is often the assumption that a local planner based at the destination is the solution to all your wedding planning needs, and that’s not always the case. It’s my belief that choosing an international wedding planner is hugely beneficial and can help give wings to your dreamy destination vision. It’s a unique approach to wedding planning and a different set of skills. If you’re ready to say ‘Ciao’ to all the reasons why, then prepare your passport – we’re going on a journey!

Should you choose an international wedding planner or a local wedding planner for your destination wedding?

The Concept of an International Wedding Planner

It’s helpful to define what I mean by an international wedding planner as opposed to a local wedding planner. When you choose a local wedding planner, you’re hiring someone in the country or area you’re getting married in – let’s say Sicily, a region in the south of Italy, for example. An international wedding planner could be based anywhere in the world, possibly in your country, but have an international knowledge of the wedding industry that allows them to plan weddings in different destinations. They can and will help you plan your wedding in Sicily, Italy, but they also cover and have experience in lots of other regions and countries. This means that, should other venues be a great fit, they’ll have the confidence and experience to recommend an unexpected location – think of it like a wild card!

Broadening Your Horizons

Many couples who choose a wedding abroad have one of two things; a clear idea of which country they’d like to get married in, based on mutual love or sentiment, or a clear picture of how they want their wedding to feel in terms of surroundings, scenery and atmosphere. Or in some cases both! Yay! Any of these scenarios are a wonderful start for your wedding planning, but it’s easy to become so immersed in the dreamy vision that you forget there is quite literally a whole world out there! International wedding planners can help you to think outside the box when it comes to your wedding; unlike local wedding planners, they have no particular loyalty to or affiliation with a specific region, team or even venue.

Think back to our example of our couple wanting to get married in Sicily, Italy. The local wedding planner will help to find a (no doubt amazing!) venue in the region. They could even have set or exclusive agreements with specific locations. The international wedding planner however will be able to offer a whole range of other options that are centered around the feel and vibe you want from your wedding, and can suggest other areas that may be an even better fit than you imagined.

International wedding planners can help to find a wedding venue in a place you might not have considered!

Searching for Suppliers

Choosing an international wedding planner means you aren’t tied to the suppliers you can easily find in your region or country of choice. As international planners we know based on your personalities, style and budget, the best and most suitable photographers, florists and make up artists for the wedding you want to have. Whilst we love working with local wedding pros, we’ll often recommend vendors from outside of the region or even country you’re getting married in, who we have a good working relationship with and know will deliver the high standards you expect. Not being restricted by language and geographical boundaries opens up so many more possibilities! We spend a lot of time researching and building relationships with lots of wonderful, high quality local suppliers in different regions and countries too, so you’re never tied down.

Country Conundrums

Opting for a local wedding planner means you have to choose your country and potentially even the region first. For some couples, this is one of the hardest parts of the destination wedding planning journey – there are so many incredible places, and shortlisting them is tricky enough! Hiring an international wedding planner means you don’t have to have chosen your wedding country from the off, and we can help you to narrow down what it is you really want using our experience. You have the flexibility to be open to new ideas, and you may end up exploring somewhere completely new – that sounds like an exciting start to married life!

Tips for planning your destination wedding, from an international wedding planner

A Word About Rules…

Although it’s not the most fun and exciting part of wedding planning, we live in a world where in order to travel we have to know what the current rules and restrictions are. There are also different regulations and requirements in different countries surrounding the legalities of your marriage. Boring, I know! But hiring international wedding planning services means you don’t need to worry about it all – we’re often avid travellers ourselves and it’s part of our job to keep up to date with the latest information and factor it into your plans.

What Are You Paying For?

When researching different planners it may appear that local planners are cheaper, however it’s important to be aware that this is sometimes because they work on a commission based structure. Essentially your suppliers will pay the planner a commission for having booked them, but this cost may be covered within the suppliers’ fee to you. This is not necessarily a bad thing since local planners will often form partnerships with fellow local suppliers. However, irrespective of where your planner is based you should ensure you have an open and clear understanding of what you’re paying for and how. 

International wedding planner Monica of Dandelion Celebrations

As an international wedding planner I will always do my due diligence in the region or country you’re looking at, and sometimes this means I will work collaboratively with a local planner for their added local knowledge and expertise! So working with an international wedding panner could lead to having the best of both worlds really.

If you’re getting itchy feet and starting to fizz with excitement, drop me a message and let’s chat about your international wedding plans. There are no specifications on the countries I work in – I just aim to delight you with authentic celebrations in unique and magical landscapes. My passport is ready to go – is yours?

Photography by Ami Robertson and Gianmarco Amico