3 Tips To Plan Your Out Of State Wedding A Desert Botanical Garden Wedding. Planning your wedding from another state is no easy feat. Justin & Toni both live in California but picked Arizona for their wedding ceremony. They had to figure out how to plan their out of state wedding from afar and they shared some of the ways they handled it. I thought between their experience and my advice I would have a great blog post idea! So here you go!
What do you do if you are not familiar with the area you are planning your wedding but yet it’s not a destination wedding with an all-inclusive package?
I have a few key tips to help you get started
Tip 1- Relax.
It takes a certain personality to be able to plan a destination or out of state wedding. Seriously you have to be relaxed and let a lot of control go when you are planning from afar. You have to make decisions and then trust the process. It’s very hard to control every detail from far away if you have not hired a wedding planner. (If you have, hopefully, the wedding planner you selected can control all the things for you!) But most likely your out of state or destination weddings will go best if you can let some control go and relax in the process.
Tip 2- Find A Venue That Meets Your Needs
Obviously, the first step to planning your out of state wedding is to select a venue. There are lots of online recourses and lists to find the perfect venue. Some things to consider are your budget, what’s included at the venue, What is the setting/style of the venue, and what the food options are.
Some venues are high end (pricy), but also experienced in weddings and include a lot of goodies. So by increasing your venue budget most likely you need less decore, the planning will be less time consuming and take more decision making off your plate.
Then some are more affordable but usually more of the DIY vibe. These options offer flexibility in vendors and bringing in food- but maybe that is too complicated and overwhelming for you.
Both are great options depending on what your needs are. Simply decide what is most important to you and go for it!
Tip 3- Find Vendors You Can Trust.
Vendors can be your key to letting go and trusting the process. This is very much tied into step one- Relax. If you can find vendors you trust to implement your vision you can relax and trust the process.
Now, you might not even have a clue how to find vendors in your own state let alone another state.
Venues have lists! They usually call them Vendor Lists. This is exactly what Justin & Toni did for their Desert Botanical Garden wedding. Once they selected the wedding venue they asked them who they recommended. This is how they found me, the fantastic florist butterfly petals, and other vendors. Many times the nice part about a list through the venue is that these vendors are use to working at that venue and with the other vendors so they work well together!
Of course, not all lists are great because here is how it works:
-Not All Lists Are Created Equal
In a perfect world, venues would work with many different types of vendors offering their clients across the board excellent service. Then once they have worked with someone new or met them… if they can stand behind the quality, style, professionalism, and personality of the vendor they would add them to their list.
Sadly I’ve personally experienced another world of “vendor lists” where vendors with the “in” and connections make the list while new to the area or upcoming talent will never get on that list. It becomes a click that is impossible for amazing vendors to be a part of so you could miss out on some amazing options. It’s pretty rare but it does happen so be sure to do your own research on your vendors and vet them personally. Make sure they are actually talented and good to work with not just friendly with the venue. Because you want the best and you are trusting most of your wedding mood to these vendors.
I am on the list at the DBG because I reached out to them when I first moved to Arizona because I knew that the venue style was right down my alley. I thought my style and look would match their client’s needs and thankfully they agreed! It’s been a good partnership and I’ll have another wedding there posted in the next few weeks!
REVIEWS ARE YOUR FRIEND
So you used the venue list but now you want to do your own research- Reviews are your friend! Reviews will tell you a lot about how other clients have liked working with that vendor. There are some great online recourses for vendors as well as venues on these sites. ( as well as my own personal business reviews)
Some of these sites offer reviews you can read, ratings, and even price points on these vendors and services they offer.
If you want more tips on planning a destination wedding check out my 6 Essentials for Planning Your Destination Wedding