4 Tips for a Flawless Destination Event
It’s a new year and we have already been busy coordinating with event hosts for 2017 and 2018! One thing we have noticed is how many people are planning weddings and events with us from all over the world! At Sycamore Farm Bloomington we host many weddings and special events that have been planned from afar. Whether you met in Bloomington, or fell in love with the town, Sycamore Farm has the resources to help make your event something to remember!
If you choose to host with us or not (though we hope that you do!) we want to share 4 tips and tricks for to help you plan a flawless, and stress-free, event! Without further delay, here are 4 tips for planning a destination wedding or special event – from Sycamore Farm Bloomington, to you!
4 Tips for a Flawless Destination Event
Consider Your Guests
First thing’s first: Location, location, location! Choose a venue, city and hotel that are easy to get to and that have interesting things to do nearby. Much like Bloomington!
If you’re planning a wedding, consider having both the ceremony and reception in the same location or hiring transportation between locations. Guests driving themselves between venues can be challenging, especially if they are from out of town or if your chosen city is a destination for everyone (including you!). We are personal fans of having the ceremony and reception in one place, if possible. Not only will doing this be a benefit to your guests, but it will also help alleviate some stress from you and your fiancé in the logistics department.
We find that for any destination event, when guests arrive to the hotel, having a welcome bag or basket waiting at reception is a very nice gesture. These are a thoughtful way to say “thank you” to weary travelers and also help kick off the festivities!
One of our favorite welcome bags had a custom water bottle for each of us, a city map, coupons and freebies from local restaurants (these can be found at Visitor’s Centers), light snacks, plastic drinkware and a hand written note from the event hosts. Another wedding for some wino friends of ours gave us a bottle of wine and beautiful stemware for our room with crackers and chocolates. A cruise wedding gave us a beach bag full of beach needs like sunscreen, towels flip-flops and sunglasses. Come to think of it, the fact that we can remember all of these speaks volumes of the impression that welcome bags that speak to the location can make!
Hire/Recruit a Local Event Planner
This includes parents or family members! Planning from far away makes getting décor and other items to the venue a challenge. It can also be stressful if you’re not familiar with the local vendors or their particular styles. This is where a local event planner can help you!
Most professional event planners have heads for design and customer service, an endless supply of beautiful decorative items and either know or can help recommend vendors to use. Many event planners have packages that can accommodate any budget or need. Most can do just day-of coordination but also offer packages for planning the whole event or adding finishing touches to your ideas a few months out.
Planning a wedding, reunion or any other important party can be stressful, especially when doing it from afar. Hire someone to help – you’ll be glad you did!
Keep everything that you have planned in one spot, preferably in writing, so that the day-of your event you can hand it to someone else to help, especially if it’s your wedding day!
A 3-ring binder with dividers works well for this. Create a section for each vendor and include all communication, contracts and receipts. On the front of the dividers, put the name and contact information of the person/s that you have been working with and add if there will be anything owed to them at the end of the event. If there will be money owed, have checks made out in a sealed envelope for your designated helper to hand to the vendors and attach the envelopes with a staple to the dividers (you don’t want to lose them!). Gratuities should be in cash, unless already added to the balance in a contract, and also in sealed envelopes with the name of the company on the front.
If you are doing the décor yourself, add a section with photos of what you’ve saved on Pinterest or what your plans are for centerpieces and other decorative areas. A picture is worth 1,000 words.
Ask for Help – Especially from your Venue!
Any vendor you hire should be accessible, responsive, accommodating and helpful – this includes your venue. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for assistance in finding vendors, help with decorating ideas, table layouts etc. They are the venue expert and have probably seen hundreds of weddings in their venue. Another great place to look is at their social media pages like Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook. Great venues will have years worth of images from real events stored in those locations. Go through the photos – get some ideas, and then make them your own. Or not. Sometimes other people’s ideas are just that good!
There they are! Wherever your destination event may be, these tips should help get you through the planning with ease, and hopefully less stress. At the end of the day, it’s about making sure that you, the host/planner, will be able to enjoy the party. Trust in knowing that there is a wealth of knowledge around you, and more than enough people willing to help create the event of your dreams! And, if it’s here at Sycamore Farm Bloomington, you can be sure that we will do everything we can to make it something to remember!
What do you think? Experienced planners – would you add anything? Let us know in the comments page or by reaching out to us here.