One of the most common questions my wedding couples ask after they have selected their resort, held their time, and sent their save the dates, is—“how do we plan all the details?”
If you are a Type A person, detailed oriented, or even a little OCD, planning your destination wedding will have you readjust what your behavior would normally be. This doesn’t mean that type A personalities should not plan a destination wedding, it just means that maintaining order and control will be trying. Since I am a recovering “control freak”, I can tell you first hand that I had a long list of MUSTS for my wedding and always felt that I should know every detail of everything. This OCD (overly conscious of the details) trait, has served me very well in the past, and is one of the things my wedding couples love about working with VIP. However, I had a lot to learn about keeping my personality in check with the natural process of events for planning a destination wedding. My experiences have given me a basis for which I can make suggestions to ease the uncomfortable feelings a type A personality may have with this whole process.
Here are some of the ways I coped with “handing off control”.
- Know your plan of attack. This means that if you have a “wish list” of things you want for your wedding, create that list. Do not send each item over to your wedding planner one by one, rather, complete your list and send it at one time. If you make amendments or additions, then just update them accordingly.
- Know your budget. This means that if your wish list is clearly “over budget”, trim it down before you send it to your wedding planner. Some resorts have set costs so early on, you can start to calculate the necessary items and budget accordingly.
- Know your timeline. If you are 18 months + out from your big day, it is virtually impossible to expect a quick response from your wedding planner/coordinator at the resort or get precise pricing for every detail as prices are sure to change. 90 days prior to your wedding, you should have an idea of approximately how many guests you will have. With your wish list complete, and your guests confirmed, this is the perfect time to get firm costs from your coordinator and detail out precisely how you envision your wedding day to be.
- Create lists. I had a list for just about every aspect. I listed the music for the DJ, including the order of the songs. I created a playlist on our Ipod, burned it to CD, and typed it out. (OCD to the max!) I had a detailed program for the wedding, including the exact wording for the sand ceremony, our vows, and individual programs (which were fans) and when I met with the wedding coordinator, I simply gave her my program and timeline. I created a “wedding packing list” and “reception packing list” and crossed off items once they were placed in the suitcases. I had a full portfolio that included samples of “must have photos”. I handed a copy of these photos to the photographer that was assigned to our wedding when we arrived.
- Understand the philosophy of the islands. You have surely heard the expression, “when in Rome”. If you are planning an island wedding, there is a very “relaxed” approach to life. You simply cannot change a lifestyle or culture, so learn to deal with it early on. Understanding that the wedding coordinators create magical weddings on a daily basis and are the experts, but still seem laid back, may frustrate some Type A’s. However, if you continually demand immediate attention months prior to your wedding, you will only create friction and frustration. I find that I can often answer my couples within hours and provide direction which alleviates some of the frustration concerning quick response time from resorts and their wedding planners. The wedding planners will certainly follow what you would like, so spelling out what you expect and handing them your many lists when you arrive, is actually a good thing.
The most wonderful aspect I found with my destination wedding, was that I discovered the true joy of the entire event wasn’t wrapped up in perfect seating charts, or precise timelines; instead it was about looking around at the smiles, love and laughter that was shared by our friends and family during the 5 days they were there. I will also note that I am on a 12 step program right now called TAA—Type A’s Anonymous. If I can help you “stay on the wagon”, feel free to send me an email!