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Destination I Do
Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Tips From an Event Designer

Words by Alejandro Muguerza
Photos courtesy of Lara Rios Fine Art Photography

Destination Weddings are becoming more and more of a way for friends and family to celebrate that very special day in a dream location. Whether a tropical island, a beach, a winter wonderland or the allure of spring or autumn in the countryside; destination weddings are a trend that need careful planning. First of all, after you have done all of the necessary scouting of the desired location and you have selected that special one, there is a list of things I as an event designer, caterer and coordinator recommend to be followed to the end.

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1.  Make sure that all of your loved ones can afford to travel and that there is enough accommodations for all in the nearest surrounding areas.

2.  Make contact with the best planner in the area, or interview different ones and make your decision based on experience, taste and chemistry between you both. Otherwise, it can lead to a disaster.  

3.  Although you might be collecting images, Pinterest posts and paraphernalia of visuals you like, sometimes those things may not work in that particular location or may look out of place. 

4.  Try to use the local plants, flowers and idiosyncrasy of the place. Do not try to transport the look of an urban modern wedding to a prairie, a barn or a tropical beach. Play with what that place can provide and transport that idea to all the aspects from the colors, the flowers and even your choice of dress code for everyone. There is nothing more chic than a wedding in an island with tropical palm inflows, green coconuts and a few local flowers, like Bougainvillea.  Think barefoot elegance with chinos and blazer for the groom and groomsmen, Caribbean pure white cotton vintage dresses for the bride and bridesmaids complimented with a simple flower on the side of the head and a touch of suntan in the sunset amidst the sound of a Caribbean steel band.

5.  Make sure you communicate all your needs to the local planner, and when you think they have the grip of it, let go a bit.  Let them create that magic for you. Being too in control of every single detail and not delegating can create confusion. 

6.  As for the menu, have samples created for you as well as a tasting.

7.  Permits are very important.  Permits are different everywhere, so make sure in advance that everything you intend to do has all the permits and bureaucracy is covered, so you don't get any surprises a few days before when there is no remedy.

8. Always have an alternative plan in case of rain or hostile weather, and have it under your sleeve until one or two days in advance so there is enough time to react.

9.  Make sure all of your guests get specific instructions about choice of travel, lodgings, prices, car rental facilities, maps and schedule of activities way in advance, so they have time to plan since it will involve several days away from home and work.

10.  Above all, once you feel you are in the right hands, let the coordinator of your choice plan according to your instructions and make them feel they are trusted by you!

Alejandro Muguerza is the president of Le Basque, a full-service catering and event design company.

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