A BRIDE’S GUIDE TO DESTINATION WEDDING PLANNING

Asos Postcard Dress

Evan and I spent a long weekend in San Miguel de Allende last week to do a ton of wedding stuff. We got so much done and drank so many margaritas!! It was a blast. I’m learning so much about destination wedding planning, and I’ve got some tips for those of you brides out there who might be thinking about it, too. There are a lot of things to do and think about from the perspective of prepping your appearance – VERY FAR IN ADVANCE. This isn’t a guide for how to send out invites and all that. This is strictly about you, bride!

Asos Postcard Dress on Belle Meets World blog

HIRE A WEDDING PLANNER

There is absolutely no question that you must absolutely hire a wedding planner who lives and breathes and knows your destination inside and out. You simply don’t. No matter how many times you’ve been there. Or how decent you think your Spanish is.

A wedding planner can not only figure out and execute every single logistical detail, she can tell you things you didn’t even know that you didn’t know about the wedding day and leading up to it. Like when to start your hair and makeup that day. Who the bests artists in town are. Why you need a first dance to keep the flow of your wedding going.

DRESS THE PART WHILE MEETING VENDORS

You might think this sounds silly, but dressing up like a million bucks while you’re out meeting vendors, tasting food, exploring town is key to taking this all seriously and getting the most from your vendors. If you look like a schlub, they may not feel the need to bring their best to the table. Show you have high expectations for yourself and they’ll have them too.

This amazing Asos dress with the postcards and ruffles (under $90!!) is what I wore on our day of planning. I’m in love with it – colorful, feminine, full-coverage and comfortable. Pair it with easy walking shoes (like a demi-wedge) and statement earrings and you’re golden.

TAILOR DRESS AND ADJUST SHOES WELL IN ADVANCE

Wedding dresses take time to get tailored so do it at least three months out. Even if you’re trying to lose weight, they will usually do a final fitting one month or so out so don’t think you need to wait until you are down a few more pounds. GO NOW. If you’re dress doesn’t have a bustle, consider getting one added so you can walk and dance around. And make sure they show you how to hook it up so you can have one of your bridesmaids do it.

For shoes – are you going to be walking on cobblestones or slippery sidewalks? Get a bit of tread added to your shoes. If you’ll be walking a lot or can’t do heels for that long, consider buying a pair of sparkly sneakers for later in the evening. But start looking now. You’ll want to try a couple different things on with your dress to make sure everything goes together.

PLAN THE DAY’S WARDROBE NOW

Here’s what you’ve got to consider:

  • Day-of get-ready outfit (A robe or button up shirt – nothing that you have to pull over your head – you’ll mess up your hair)
  • Wedding dress (Obvi)
  • Reception dress (Second outfit!!!! Why the heck not?! Just make sure you’re getting that tailored now, too)
  • Overnight outfit (Lingerie, PJs, whatever it may be – give thought to it now, buy it and pack it).
  • Shoes for each activity (See above – sandals/flip flops/slippers for getting ready; wedding heels; walkin’ and dancin’ shoes!)

BEGIN TEETH WHITENING, HAIR COLORING, FACIALS NOW

This stuff takes time to be effective on your teeth, to build up on your hair, or to improve your complexion so it’s a good time to start when you’re about three months out. It’s important for your pictures and your makeup and just your overall loveliness on the day, so definitely give thought to the small little appearance improvements you’ve been wanting to do for a while – and do them. Now’s the time!

PLAN FOR YOUR HAIR, MAKEUP, NAILS

This *might* just be the first thing I did because I think they are the most important. In San Miguel, we happen to know an amazing stylist who agreed to do my hair. She’s a former Vidal Sassoon trained stylist, so I knew she’d be able to get my vibe. She then connected me with a makeup artist she trusts in town. Our wedding planner showed us a few nail places and will arrange for me for the day before. And share Pinterest boards and photos so the person knows exactly what you want. If you can schedule a trial, either on a trip down before the wedding or a few days before, that is key.

Pink Cesca Bag from Target

Asos Postcard Dress in San Miguel de Allende

Asos Postcard Dress

Asos Postcard Dress worn by Elise Giannasi

Cesca Bag from Target on Belle Meets World blog

Dress: Asos Off Shoulder Postcard Print // Bag: Cesca Women’s Pink Ring Crossbody (similar here and here!) // Shoes: J.Crew Suede Demi-wedge Sandals // Sunglasses: Old Navy Cat Eye (c/o) // Earrings: J.Crew Star Beaded Tassels

J.Crew Star Beaded Tassel Earrings on Belle Meets World blog

San Miguel de Allende Vacation Outfit

WHAT DID I MISS? ANY ADVICE FOR A BRIDE-TO-BE??