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Dear Inspired: Should I book local vendors for a destination wedding?

Posted by Casey Harrison  March 18, 2013 01:45 PM

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Dear Becca and Casey,

I have a question for you! I am getting married in the Dominican Republic next year, and I am just starting to research vendors. I know of some local vendors who I really love, but I can't decide if it makes more sense to fly people out, or to book vendors who are local to the area. Do you have experience with destination weddings? What are some things to consider?

Thanks so much in advance!

Beachy Bride

Dear Beachy,

This is a really good question! I know lots of brides with destination weddings struggle with the same thing. There are lots of things to consider:

- Different vendors come with different considerations. For example, it might seem easier for a photographer to travel than for a floral designer to travel, but both can and do. Florists can find a flower market no matter where the wedding is located, and photographers can pack up their equipment and bring it along.
- Since you will be avoiding travel fees (which can add up), it makes the most financial sense to try to find vendors local to where your wedding will be. Shop around!
- I think it's important to support the community where your wedding is located, so it can be really great to work with local people. They will also know the area, will probably have worked at your venue before, and will be familiar with local resources (spots for photos, where to hook up their sound equipment, etc).
- One really important thing to consider is work permits. For weddings outside the US, you must do some research and see if the country requires your vendors to provide a work permit. Most do, and your vendors can get in some major trouble for working in another country without permission.

There really are pros and cons to both approaches. If you aren't finding anyone in the Dominican whose work you are attracted to, you should definitely consider flying someone out. Make sure to do some good research first, though - there are great vendors everywhere! And make sure NOT to forget to research permits for your vendors - you don't want them locked up in customs while your wedding is starting! :)

Best of luck,


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About the Authors

Becca Olcott has a thing for old love letters and good old-fashioned romance. Bringing daily wedding updates and advice is second nature to Becca. She spends her days working with the brides of New England designing tablescapes full of lush florals and antique gems through her business Petal Floral Design.
Casey Harrison is a wedding and portrait photographer in the lovely city of Boston. She spends her days scouting the countryside for beautiful locations for shoots and taking photos of couples in love through her business Hello Love Photography.

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