Unique Ways to Source for a Destination Wedding


August 28, 2023
Words by Lauren Ertl
Photos courtesy of Peggy Picot

One of the challenges of a wedding away from home is finding the right vendors and design elements to create the perfect celebration. While traditional methods are reliable, thinking outside the box can lead to discovering extraordinary options to make your destination wedding truly unforgettable.

Photo by Dana Cubbage Weddings

Start at Home

“Using your local area wedding magazines, wedding shows, vendor parties, etc. are all great ways to find someone you love based in your city!” Dana Arnold of Destinations with Dana adds.

Local Artisans and Markets

Embrace the local culture of your chosen destination by seeking out handmade crafts, décor, and even attire that reflects the region’s unique identity. 

“Recently in Mexico, I walked the craft markets there and met many artisans that we then hired to make fans and welcome bags for us,” wedding planner, Ali Philips of Engaging Events by Ali says. “A great way to support local and meet locals is through farmers, craft and food markets.”

Photo by Kirnos Photography

Virtual Venue Tours

Thanks to technology, you can tour potential wedding venues from the comfort of your home. Virtual venue tours allow you to explore various options without the need for extensive travel. This not only saves time and money but also enables you to visualize how your wedding will come together in different settings, aiding your decision-making process.

Social Media Discovery

Social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest have become treasure troves of inspiration. Use keywords related to your wedding destination to discover local vendors, photographers, and event planners. 

“Check out the tagged photos section on your venue’s Instagram account,” Kayla Okpareke of Kayla Kollection Artistry adds. “You’ll find vendors who are familiar with your venue and have possibly worked with other vendors who you may be interested in. You can also search hashtags like ‘#CaboMakeupArtist’ and you’ll find both locals as well as vendors who work internationally and have previously traveled to your destination.”

Photo by Destinations with Dana

Destination Wedding Planners

Consider hiring a wedding planner who is intimately familiar with the area. These professionals have extensive networks and can recommend vendors who align with your vision. They can also negotiate on your behalf, ensuring you get the best deals and services.

“Oftentimes these resorts or venues have local planners who will help you find vendors who can make your unique vision for your big day come to life,” says Jennifer Day of Destination Days Travel.

Contact The Destination’s Tourism Bureau

“Start by contacting the local Destination Marketing Organization or Convention & Visitors Tourism Bureau,” Lisa Ochomogo of New Orleans & Company says. “Our resources are designed to help make wedding planning easier for you!”

Photo by Arte De Vie

Destination-Specific Blogs and Forums

Destination-specific blogs, forums, and online communities are goldmines for insider information. These platforms often feature firsthand accounts from couples who have had weddings in the same area. You can gain insights into their experiences, learn from their mistakes, and discover hidden gems that might not be easily found through conventional methods.

For example, a lovely group of wedding travel agents has started this Facebook group to connect with couples planning destination weddings at all-inclusive resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean. Since the administrators of this group often travel to resorts like this, they will be sharing solicitation-free tips, advice and information to help brides and grooms feel extra confident going into their wedding away!

Inquire About Traveling Vendors

Keep in mind that a lot of wedding vendors will travel and some even specialize in destination weddings. Dana of Dana Cubbage Weddings encourages couples that “if there is a particular vendor whose work you absolutely love, don’t be afraid to ask them if they travel!”

By venturing beyond the typical routes of vendor sourcing, you open yourself up to a world of creativity, culture, and one-of-a-kind experiences that will make your destination wedding that much more special.

Destination Weddings at Hyatt Zilara and Hyatt Ziva
Hyatt Ziva and Zilara Destination Weddings
Black couple getting married in Jamaica
Jamaica Destination Weddings
Couple in Cancun doing a gazebo destination wedding
White couple getting married in Punta Cana, DR
destination wedding couple throwing rose petals in costa mujeres
Iberostar Weddings

Find a Vendor

Access our list of vendors based on your destination location.