If you dream of tying the knot in your favorite European region, scouting the perfect event space for your wedding is key because your venue sets the tone of your event and dictates everything else. Europe offers an array of eye-catching celebration locations, from picturesque gardens to stylish private estates, but only a handful will really match your vision and meet your wishes and style.
If you don’t get to visit your destination before your wedding day, the best way to get a feel for a place is to reach out to a local vendor (a florist, a caterer, a photographer) and ask for their unbiased opinion about the locale you are interested in. They will gladly give away useful information about the venue’s philosophy, flexibility, enthusiasm as well as on their customer service and attentiveness.
There are many factors that can contribute to a wedding’s fiasco and one of them is a venue’s lack of devotion to meet their clients’ expectations. If you don’t have a good rapport with their team or feel that they’re not doing their best to offer you and your guests the experience of a lifetime, then you should definitely look elsewhere.
As a team of international wedding consultants, we spend entire weeks traveling, researching and touring venues in the European regions where our clients will wed. We visit dozens of curated event spaces and turn half of them down, no matter how gorgeous they are, for the only reason that their event team is not flexible enough or lacks initiative and enthusiasm to make client satisfaction their priority.
Don’t book a venue that you aren’t completely in love with. If what you’re looking for is not the typical event space but are craving for a celebration location full of personality and charm, a space that feels like home and whose team has a great sense of place, do avoid venues that cater hundreds of weddings each year and turned their property into a “wedding factory”.
Because the guests traveling for a destination wedding will want to make a vacation out of it, you want to ensure that their trip and stay will be as easy, pleasant, and memorable as possible. Make sure to pick a venue that is located close enough to the best local restaurants, shops and vineyards so that your loved ones can experience different options without being restricted.
Some venues photograph better than they look in person. To avoid venue mishaps, working with a wedding coordinator who will help you build a realistic vision of how a wedding in your target region looks and feels is priceless.
Some vendors do not necessarily document every agreement they make. Get everything in writing and eliminate from your list those who seem disorganized, don’t answer your questions clearly or those who you can’t get a hold of.
To ensure you are met with the greatest respect and cooperation from vendors in your destination region, taking time to find out how local vendors do things differently and meeting them halfway can be useful.
Keep in mind that response times can be slower – or inexistent – in your destination region. Planning from a distance without being able to meet with people face to face or build a relationship with local vendors can be a huge challenge. Therefore, hoping on a Skype whenever possible or talking on the phone rather than communicating exclusively via email is essential.
Don’t try to reproduce the wedding you would do in your own country. Go for a celebration that reflects your personality as a couple and give it a unique feel by showcasing elements of the local food, culture or entertainment.
Photography by Mademoiselle Fiona