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Hi, I'm Michaela, the heart behind Lovely & Planned. This blog is all about elopements and destination weddings, but you'll also find general tips and advice on wedding planning. I'm so happy to have you here! Grab a cup of coffee and stay a while!

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How to Plan a Destination Wedding – Part 2: Sharing Your Vision With Your Vendors

How do you share your vision with your wedding vendors? In this 3 part blog post series, we look at how to plan an intimate wedding from afar and how you can create your unique and perfect wedding day when you work with international vendors that you only meet on the day of your wedding. 

  • In Part 1, we talked about how to find and reach out to international wedding vendors. This post also included an email template. In case you missed it: How to Plan a Destination Wedding – Part 1: Reaching Out to Vendors
  • Today, in part 2, we’ll look at how you can share your vision and communicate with your wedding vendors so everyone knows exactly what you expect.
  • The final Part 3 is all about how to pick your wedding venue without visiting it first. 

So, without further ado, let’s jump right into Part 2:

How to share your vision with your wedding vendors

Once you have found your dream vendors, signed the contract, and paid the retainer, it’s time to get to the nitty-gritty.

If you haven’t already, create an overall mood board that you share with all of your vendors. For tips on how to create a mood board, here are some great resources: 

In addition to that, every vendor needs more specific details that are only relevant to their services. 

Expert Tip: Never assume! When communicating with vendors, always be as specific as possible. Because “beautiful, modern, small, lush, vintage” mean different things to different people. Especially when you are having a destination wedding, styles differ from country to country. A modern, small wedding bouquet might look completely different, for example, in the Middle East than in Central Europe or the US.

Now, let’s have a look at the individual vendors:

Hair and Makeup (hamu) Artist 

Ask your hamu artist if it’s possible to have a virtual trial. During a virtual trial, you already get to know each other. You will discuss your preferences and what’s important to you. Also, your hamu artist gets an impression of your skin tone, hair color, texture, and length. Based on that, they can suggest different looks.

If a virtual trial isn’t possible, share an image of your hair and face and briefly explain your hair texture and skin condition.

Share images of hairstyles and makeup looks you admire and explain what it is in particular that you like about the pictures. In addition, it’s equally crucial that you share images of looks you dislike. This gives your hamu artist an excellent overview of your preferences.

Communication is everything when it comes to creating your wedding look. Therefore, explain your vision in much more detail instead of just saying that you want to look beautiful and natural or glamorous. 

Here is an example of how you can share your vision with your hamu artist in more detail:

I’d love to have an overall [modern, bohemian, glamorous, elegant, classy, romantic, whimsical, dramatic, natural] hair and makeup look. For me, this means that I would love to have:

  • [sunkissed, glowy, clean, flawless, healthy glowing] skin 
  • [blush, natural, rosy] cheeks / defined cheekbones
  • [nude, light, glossy, apricot, bold red, dark berry] lips  
  • [classic smokey, soft and natural, shimmery, colorful] eye makeup
  • [long, voluminous, effortless and natural] lashes
  • [natural, bushy, defined] brows

As for my hairstyle, I envision: 

  • An all-down hairstyle [with/without waves]
  • A half up half down hairstyle [with loose waves, with/without braids]
  • A [low, glam, voluminous, sleek, loose, side, wavy] bridal pony 
  • A [fishtail, waterfall, milkmaid] braid
  • A [classic, chignon, asymmetrical, effortless, tousled] updo
  • I will wear a [flower crown, (birdcage) veil, headband, headpiece, hair ribbon, tiara, hair jewelry] 

If possible, send them an image of your hair accessory and veil.

[Related: What You Must Know for Your Destination Wedding Look I Q & A with The Stylist Abroad]

Florist

In order to share your vision with your florist, send them inspirational pictures of bouquets, centerpieces, or ceremony decorations you adore. Explain what you like about it. Is it the colors, the form of the bouquet, the specific greenery, or the long romantic silk ribbon? Be as detailed as possible.

More information your florist needs:

  • What and how many floral arrangements do you need? E.g., x wedding bouquet(s), x boutonniere(s), x flower crown(s), x centerpiece(s), x bridesmaid bouquet(s), flowers for the cake, floral ceremony decoration (e.g., arch decoration, chair decoration)
  • What are your favorite flowers?
  • Are there any flowers you don’t like? 
  • Do you have any floral allergies? 
  • Do you already know the wedding bouquet style you are drawn to? E.g. round bouquet, biedermeier, pomander, posy, hand-tied, cascade, freeform, or nosegay?
  • What are some keywords that best describe your floral vision? E.g., lush, modern, extravagant, colorful, organic, wild and unrefined, delicate, classic, simple, cultivated, whimsical, fresh, bright
  • How relevant are florals for your wedding, and is there anything else you would like your florist to know? Try to be as specific as possible. For example, you could say something like: “Floral decoration is [not that important, quite important, crucial] for us. This means we’d love to have [simple and minimal, lush and extravagant, truly unique, breathtaking] floral decoration. Our florals should be [understated, the main highlight], and we would love to incorporate [a lot of greenery, the latest floral trends, pampas grass] into our decoration.”

[Related: Why Wedding Flowers are Essential Even for Micro Weddings I Q&A with Isibeal Studio]

Cake Designer

Share inspirational pictures of wedding cakes. Briefly explain what you like about them. E.g., the color, the form, the piped detailing, the smooth finish, the ribbon, or the flower decoration. 

Other relevant information your cake designer needs: 

  • Would you like a buttercream, fondant, half-naked, or naked wedding cake?
  • What cake flavor(s) would you like to have?
  • How many guests do you expect?
  • Ideally, how many tiers should your wedding cake have? 
  • If your cake has more than one tier and you choose more than one flavor, which flavor would you like for which tier?
  • Would you like to have a round, square, hexagonal, or mixed-shaped wedding cake?
  • Do you (or your guests) have any allergies?
  • What are some keywords that best describe your perfect wedding cake? E.g., artful, modern, classic, elegant, unique, trendy, clean, contemporary, whimsical, quirky
  • Will you have a cake topper?
  • Do you want real flowers on your cake? – Clarify with your cake designer and florist, who will provide and assemble the flowers. Different possible scenarios:
    • Your florist provides the flowers, and the cake designer puts them on the cake.
    • Your florist provides the flowers, and the venue puts them on the cake.
    • Your cake designer provides the flowers and puts them on the cake.

Photographer 

Information your photographer needs:

  • Would you like getting ready photos, flat lay/ detail shots, or a first look?
  • How important are getting ready photos and detail shots to you?
  • Will you bring any accessories for your detail shots, such as a beautiful perfume bottle or any heirloom jewelry piece? For more examples of what to include: What Is a Wedding Flat Lay and 20 Ideas What to Include
  • Will you bring other props, such as a “we eloped” sign?

Photography Shot list:

Every photographer works differently. Some love to get photography shot lists from their couples, while others don’t work with them at all. Either way, ensure your photographer knows if you have any photos that are particularly important to you, e.g., a picture just with you, your mum, and your grandma, or a photo of your wedding heels.

Share your guest list with your photographer and let them know your VIPs so they can make sure to capture them in their best light.

You can also share some inspirational pictures of poses or shots you love. This can help your photographer to get a better sense of what you like.  

I hope this was helpful and that you are now prepared to share your vision with your wedding vendors successfully! Stay tuned for the final part 3 about how to pick your wedding venue for your destination wedding without visiting it first. 

If you have any questions or feedback in the meantime, I’d love to hear from you. You can contact me right here or email me directly at michaela@lovelyandplanned.com.

Love, Michaela

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